Nigerian Lawyer Wins $75,000 Waislitz Global Citizen Award

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Ms. Oluwafunke Adeoye, a prominent Human Rights lawyer from Nigeria, has been named the winner of the esteemed 2023 Waislitz Global Citizens Choice Award. This prestigious award celebrates her remarkable contributions to the Criminal Justice sector.

The Waislitz Global Citizen Awards, a yearly recognition of individuals dedicated to eradicating extreme poverty, consist of cash prizes totaling $250,000. The top prize is $100,000, accompanied by two additional prizes of $75,000 each, summing up to three prizes in total.

Adeoye, serving as the Founder and Executive Director of “Hope Behind Bars Africa,” a non-governmental organization (NGO), has created history by becoming the first individual working in the criminal justice sector to earn this global accolade, entailing a prize of $75,000.

Her NGO, “Hope Behind Bars Africa,” offers vital free legal services and direct support to indigent individuals who are incarcerated. The organization is also actively involved in promoting crucial criminal justice reforms by utilizing research, evidence-based advocacy, and technology.

Adeoye’s motivation to launch this initiative in 2018 emerged from personal experiences within the justice system, notably her father’s unjust arrest and detention for a crime he did not commit several years ago.

Through their various interventions, Adeoye’s organization has provided support to over 7,000 incarcerated individuals. This aid spans multiple areas, including access to justice, welfare, support, and the rehabilitation and reformation of ex-inmates.

Furthermore, the NGO is on the verge of launching “Justicepadi,” a technology-driven platform aiming to revolutionize legal aid in West Africa, thereby expanding their efforts to assist individuals seeking justice.

The Waislitz Global Citizens Choice Awards stand as a testament to the exceptional performance of individuals in their quest to end extreme poverty and enact positive transformation within their communities, as well as on a global scale.