By Wole Balogun
The Law Clinic of the Faculty of Law, Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE) has made the institution really proud by defeating 15 other Universities in Nigeria, to win a grant of N500,000 for a proposal on a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) project of the Network of University Legal Aid Institutions (NULAI). NULAI’s CSR project is tagged Policing and Secirty Innovation Hub Challenge (PSIHC).
According to FUOYE’s Director of Law Clinic and Acting Head, Department of Public Law, Dr. Ngozi Chinwa Ole, NULAI created the project In response to the complex and multidimensional nature of Nigeria’s security.
She disclosed that NULAI Nigeria set out to execute the Policing and Security Innovation Hub Challenge (PSIHC) Project to open up the space for clinical law students (Nigerian youths) to conceptualize and execute innovative solutions to addressing policing, rule of law and enforcement of fundamental human rights in Nigeria. Student groups from 17 Universities participated in the project by first presenting proposals with which to carry out their assignments in line with the project’s mission.
Dr. Ole said that the FUOYE Law Clinic group, alongside that of the Legal Aid Clinic, University of Ilorin, Kwara, came tops by emerging winners of the grant as a result of having a most appropriate proposal which further ensured an impactful implementation.
Dr. Ole who supervised the FUOYE team, in her report, which was made available to the University Media team, said: “In response to the complex and multidimensional nature of Nigeria’s security especially with Issues around policing, security, rule of law and enforcement of fundamental human rights that has tangled up creating tenuous and distrustful relationship between security agencies and Nigerian citizens,
“In line with NULAI’s clinical legal education mission, the Policing and Innovation Hub Challenge for law clinics in Nigeria was also aimed at triggering and facilitating creative system design thinking that provides opportunities for groups of law clinics students to develop proposals that articulate ways to understand and develop innovative solutions around these issues.
“Seventeen (17) student groups submitted their proposals, after NULAI’s Call for proposal. These student groups are from the following law clinics –
Abia State University Law Clinic, Abia State; Ahmadu Bello University Law Clinic, Zaria; Achievers University Law Clinic, Owo
Adeleke University Law Clinic, Ede, Osun State; Bayero University Law Clinic, Kano; EBSU Law Clinic, Ebonyi State; ESUT Law Clinic, Enugu State; Federal University, Oye, Law Clinic, Ekiti State; Kogi State University Law Clinic, Kogi State; Olabisi Onabanjo University Law Clinic; Redeemers University Law Clinic. (Team A); Redeemers University Law Clinic. (Team B); University of Abuja Law Clinic, Abuja, FCT; University of Iorin Legal Aid Clinic, Kwara State; University of Ibadan (Women Law Clinic Ibadan); Ambrose Ali University Law Clinic, Ekpoma, Delta State; and Nasarawa State University Keffi Law Clinic, Keffi .
“These proposals were on very well-researched and insightful topics ranging from – Enlightenment for Police Officers and other security agencies; skill acquisition schemes; development and deployment of mobile apps; advocacy visits; radio and television shows; round–table and town-hall meetings between security stakeholders and the community; generation of hotlines for security agencies; symposiums; setting up student community security platforms; stake-holder engagements; jingles and plays.
“After appraisal of these proposals by independent reviewers, the winning proposals came from student groups of the Federal University Oye Law Clinic, Ekiti; and the Legal Aid Clinic, University of Ilorin, Kwara.
“The two student groups received a grant of 500,000 naira to execute the project within four (4) weeks.
Funded by Open Society Justice Initiative, the PSIHC aims at harnessing innovative ideas to tackle policing and security issues in Nigeria.
“The FUOYE Law Clinic proposed to use a Common Dialoguing Forum (CDF) which was aimed at eroding situations that could lead to violence between the police and the community. The Legal Aid Clinic, on the other hand, had a goal of bridging the gap between the community and the security actors through awareness and advocacy; alongside its plan for crime reporting and advancement of human rights through digital advocacy.
“Winners were assessed and selected based on the following criteria: Relevance to the theme of the call: This criterion measured the degree to which the proposed project meets the theme of the project. (i.e. Policing and Security Challenges in Nigeria) ; Quality of Problem Statement, including Background Research: which sought to measure the degree to which the proposed project is placed in a proper context, references existing literature and indicates a basic understanding of the key issue(s) and the problem(s) being addressed.
“Innovative Solutions: this criterion measured the degree to which the proposed project creates new ideas to solving identified problems.
Relevance to Constituent Group: this measured the degree to which the proposed project corresponds to the needs of chosen constituents, clients and/or community members. It was geared towards answering the question; does the proposal show clearly the importance of the project to the chosen community?
Quality of Application Implementation Plan: The quality of applications in terms of work/implementation plan was measured; Quality of Application Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: This criterion measured the quality of proposed mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation with objectively measurable indicators.
Sustainability: The degree to which the proposed project lays out strategies to continue the project beyond the project span was also assessed; Cost efficiency: This was aimed at ensuring that the proposals submitted had a budgeting that is clear and reasonable and reflects best use of organization and grant resources.
“The complex and multidimensional nature of Nigeria’s security crises has been a cause for global concern lately. Issues around policing, security, rule of law and enforcement of fundamental human rights are affected thereby creating tenuous and distrustful relationship between security agencies and Nigerian citizens. The diversity and dynamics of Nigeria’s security threats no doubt requires innovative solutions to correct current policing outlook with regards to security, rule of law and enforcement of fundamental human rights.
“Network of University Legal Aid Institutions (NULAI) Nigeria was established on 16th October 2003 as a non-governmental, non-profit and non-political organization promoting clinical legal education, legal education reform, legal aid and access to justice.”
Commenting on the development, Dean, Law Faculty, Prof. Olufemi S. Abifarin commended FUOYE team and attributed the feat to the huge support the Law faculty is getting from the Prof. Abayomi Sunday Fasina led Management team. Prof. Abifarin added that the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Fasina remains an excellent leader who desires the best for FUOYE’s students and staff.