Nigerian Civil Society Leader, Innocent Chukwuma Dies

One of Nigeria’s civil society leaders and founder of the CLEEN Foundation, Innocent Chukwuma. Credit: CLEEN Foundation

 

One of Nigeria’s civil society leaders and founder of the CLEEN Foundation, Innocent Chukwuma, has died.

His death was announced on Sunday via CLEEN Foundation’s Twitter handle.

Although the foundation did not indicate his age, multiple reports suggest that he died at 55.

“We are extremely pained to announce the death of Innocent Chukwuma on April 3. He was the founder and pioneer Executive Director of CLEEN Foundation,” the statement signed by Professor Etannibi Alemika on behalf of the foundation’s Board of Trustees.

“Until February 2021, a few weeks ago, Innocent Chukwuma was the West Africa Representative of Ford Foundation.”

The foundation described its late founder as a patriot, who throughout his years, struggled for a Nigerian nation where peace, justice and development are attained and sustained.

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The late Chukwuma was one of the students within the National Union of Nigerian Students (NANS) platform that opposed the arbitrary powers of the military rule in the 1980s.

He continued the struggle as a staff of the Civil Liberties Organisation where he led research and advocacy on police reform.

In 1989, Chukwuma established the Centre for Law Enforcement of Education in Nigeria registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission as CLEEN Foundation.

Reacting to the unfortunate incident, one of his close allies and comrade in a civil right crusade, Chidi Odinkalu, said the late Chukwuma, “passed before the needle could be inserted.

“He was a man of decency. I knew him for nearly 35 and I am grateful for the privilege. In all things, as my late mum always said, we must learn to give thanks. He was a man of decency,” he told Vanguard.

Edo Election Observer Decries Handling Of Security Personnel Welfare

election observer, welfare, security personnel, Edo electionOne of the election observers that participated in the just concluded Edo state governorship election CLEEN Foundation, has expressed disappointment over the way the welfare of security personnel that participated in the election was handled.

The Senior Programme Officer for CLEEN Foundation, Chigozirim Okoro, told Channels Television in Benin City that some policemen were seen begging for food and transportation during the exercise as they were not paid their allowances.

He appealed to the Inspector General of Police to look into the matter.

Electoral Institute To Develop Election Violence Mitigation Tool

electionThe Electoral Institute is planning to develop an election violence mitigation tool to aid the prevention of electoral violence across the country, instead of intervening at the points of violence.

The Director General of the Institute, Professor Abubakar Momoh, said that militarization, which is usually government’s response to election violence, is not a solution but rather development of mitigation strategies and standard instruments that will predict risk factors and triggers and nip violence in the bud.

The Acting Executive Director of the Cleen Foundation, Benson Olugbuo, also recommended two to three years early preparation for elections, saying it is a key tool to mitigation against electoral violence.

From Kogi State, to Bayelsa State and then to Rivers, there have been series of election violence that have resulted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declaring elections in those states inconclusive.

There have also been losses of lives and property resulting from these cases of violence and a constant deployment of the Police and the military to the trouble spots.

Another challenge to stopping electoral violence is the failure to try and sentence perpetrators and instigators of electoral violence in a law court.

This has been blamed for the increasing spate of cases of violence which heightens with every election as there is as yet, no form of deterrence for sponsors and perpetrators.

FRSC To Investigate Issuance Of Fake Drivers License

FRSC To Investigate Issuance Of Fake Drivers LicenseThe Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC) has vowed to investigate the issuance of fake Drivers License in Nigeria.

The declaration made on Tuesday was consequent to an observation made by a civil society group, Cleen Foundation, that the integrity of the FRSC might be at stake if the issuance of fake Drivers License continued.

The group told reporters in Abuja on Tuesday that the observation was sequel to a survey which was conducted on Drivers License application and renewal across six states in Nigeria.

The Executive Director of Cleen Foundation, Mrs Kemi Okenyodo, decried the number of agents, who had taken up the business of fraudulently issuing Drivers License to Nigerians who wished to boycott the tedious process of license application.

However, the Assistant Corp Commander of the FRSC, David Joseph, said the agency would investigate the matter, stressing that any erring officer would face stiff disciplinary sanctions.

Decaying Police College: Criminologist Calls For Soul-searching

A Nigerian criminologist and member of the Cleen Foundation, Chukwuma Innocent, has said that the deplorable state of the Nigeria Police training center calls for ‘soul searching’ on the part of the Government.

Mr. Chukwuma, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast show, Sunrise Daily, aired his views about President Jonathan’s visit to the Police College, the first of its kind in 70 years.

He stated that the deplorable condition of the infrastructure raises questions about what is made priority in the country.

Mr. Chukwuma who described this period as ‘soul-searching’ for the government advised that the Government should visit its records and retrace its steps to determine where things went wrong. In his words, “this is not a time for witch-hunting … or pointing fingers at imaginary enemies.”

He expressed his hopes about the Government’s attention and said that “this should be a threshold below which we should not fall below again as far as training and preparing critical institutions of state to perform effectively.”

He also mentioned that the shocking state of the institution will have impact on the coming elections and that this is a time for the Jonathan-led administration to deliver on its promises.

Police Reform Bill a welcome development- Innocent Chukwuma

Looking at the Police reform bill which already passed through the second reading,is a bill sponsored by the Senator Edoma Egba a lawyer himself.

The Bill like every other bill that not from the Executive arm of government.

The question now is will make into law?

Is the bill encompassing enough to cater for issues around the force?

Innocent Chukwuma of the CLEEN Foundation who has been working hand in hand with the Police was on ground to look into the matter.