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Nigerian lawyer, Oyinlade, wins IBA Human Rights award in Italy



Nigerian lawyer, Oyinlade, wins IBA Human Rights award in Italy

… he deserves the award-U.S. envoy


Nigeria’s human rights profile resurfaced on the global circuit yesterday when a human rights lawyer, Mr. Adeola Austin Oyinlade, was declared winner of the International Bar Association’s (IBA) award for outstanding contribution by a legal practitioner to human rights for 2018.

Oyinlade, who emerged winner ahead of other finalists from many countries across the world, was presented to him at this year’s IBA Conference in Rome, Italy. Saturday Telegraph learnt that Oyinlade is the first Nigerian lawyer to have won the IBA award for outstanding contribution by a legal practitioner to human rights and the second from Africa, after George Bizos from South Africa, who was recommended by many personalities including late Dr. Nelson Mandela. Each year, the IBA presents the award to an outstanding lawyer in the world of human rights law since it has a membership of more than 80,000 individual lawyers and 195 bar associations and law societies spanning all continents across the world. Oyinlade has distinguished himself through his courageous stand for human rights and his probono legal services to the poor in Nigeria.

As a lawyer advocating equitable, just and fair society over the years, he had taken his human rights empowerment further by simplifying human rights laws and safeguards to the understanding of ordinary people on the street in English and major local languages including Pidgin, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba spoken by over 100 million people in Nigeria.

Interestingly, the IBA award winner pioneered human rights empowerment via mobile technology when he created ‘Know Your Rights Nigeria’ app for millions of android, iPhone and web users in Nigeria. The app and the web version of his work simplify all human rights laws in force with safeguards in English, Pidgin, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba languages alongside platforms where users engage him and his team of over 50 lawyers daily for free legal support on human rights issues.

The lawyer and UN Peace Ambassador also created platforms on the app where users report abuse anonymously, get safeguards on what steps to take in the face of assaults, and get connected to security forces for help, thereby pioneering the first ever human rights empowerment innovation with mere push of buttons in the palms in English and major local languages in the era of mobile technological advancement. Since the human right lawyer unveiled the app and web version for human rights empowerment, it has proved very effective for its free access, speedy dissemination of human rights information and free legal advisory with over 200 thousand people as beneficiaries. Earlier this year at the U.S Consulate in Lagos, the U.S Consul General, Mr. John Bray, commended and “acknowledged Oyinlade and the work he has done to strengthen respect and support for the protection of human rights in Nigeria”.

While asserting that the US government have turned to Oyinlade for his insights on the status of human rights in Nigeria, the Consul-General sees his work in Nigeria very key as according to him, Nigeria is ‘one of the most important countries on the continent, given its large population, thriving commercial enterprises, and strategic geopolitical location Nigeria is critical to Africa’s prosperity and stability.”

At the continental level, through advocacy, the law expert had also proffered solutions to human rights issues in Africa including the South Sudan Political Crisis, the Central African Republic Crisis, the Congo Democratic Republic Armed conflict, and the Libyan peace talks among others with relative impact. He worked as a resource person to the African Union Commission on the implementation of African Youth Charters and delivered papers on how AU member states can reform local laws for the implementation of the charter. At the presentation of the award at Roma Convention Centre La Nuvola, the conference venue yesterday, the IBA stated that the award was for the outstanding contributions made by Oyinlade.

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