NBA Honours Agomoh, Veteran Prison Activist
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has bestowed an award on veteran prison reform activist and Founder/Executive Director of Prisoners’ Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA), Dr. Uju Agomoh.
The award was conferred on her at the recent criminal justice summit hosted by the NBA Criminal Justice Reform Committee (NBA-CJRC) at Asaba, Delta State “for outstanding contribution to criminal justice reforms in Nigeria. “
Agomoh is a long-standing and widely respected prison advocate whose work in prison reform advocacy remains unmatched. She was until recently the Project Coordinator of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) “Support to Justice Sector in Nigeria,” a project funded by the European Union under the 10th European Union Development Fund. She was also the Lead Consultant for the design of the “Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) Project” under the 11th European Union Development Fund.
Agomoh is the Team Lead of the Prisons Reform Programme – Nigeria as well as the Lead Consultant/National Coordinator of the Nigeria Police Human Rights Training Programme, being implemented in partnership with the Nigeria Police Force with the support of the Swiss Embassy and GIZ. She is also the President of International Corrections and Prisons Association, Africa Chapter (ICPA-Africa) and Executive Committee Member of the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT), representing Sub-Saharan Africa (2012-2016).
The veteran prison advocate was a Council Member of the National Human Rights Commission of Nigeria (NHRC) and the NHRC “Special Rapporteur on Police, Prisons and Centres of Detention of Nigeria (2001 – 2008).” A Member of Nigeria’s Presidential Committee on Prerogative of Mercy (2006 – 2009) and the Presidential Committee on Prison Decongestion (1999 – 2001, 2013 – 2014), Agomoh was a Research Fellow at the Institute for Development Studies (IDS) University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus.
A highly cerebral advocate, Dr. Agomoh holds several university degrees including a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, master’s degrees in Clinical Psychology and Sociology (Deviant Behaviour) respectively, and a master of philosophy (M. Phil) degree in Criminology from the University of Cambridge. Agomoh capped her quest for the golden fleece with a doctoral degree in Criminology/Prisons Studies. She also received a bachelor of laws degree from the University of London prior to enrolling at the Nigerian Law School. She has been admitted to the Nigerian Bar. She also received a post-graduate diploma in Theology.
A Chevening Scholar and Fellow of the Cambridge Commonwealth Trust, Agomoh was the Edwin Megargee Distinguished Lecturer where in 2014 she delivered the 50th anniversary lecture of the International Community Corrections Association (ICCA), Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
Agomoh has executed over 72 projects on security, justice, development, corrections, rehabilitation/reintegration and related issues in many African countries including Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Gambia, Benin Republic and Mali. She has a long history of engagement with both the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) and the African Correctional Services Association (ACSA).
The veteran prison activist has conducted over 1000 prison/monitoring visits covering about 110 prisons in 32 countries. She has authored/co-authored 37 books including seven training manuals and directed four audio-visual documentaries on death penalty, treatment of mentally ill prisoners, torture, and prison conditions in Nigeria. She is a recipient of several other awards, including the President’s Award of the International Corrections and Prisons Association (ICPA).