On October 18, 2004, a dialogue series titled "Pentecostalism in Public Life" took off in Lagos. The dialogue brings together Pentecostal and human rights leaders for frank and interactive discussions on issues of public accountability and governance - especially the question of how the moral influence of the Pentecostal churches can serve to improve the quality of governance in Nigeria. The Pentecostal-Civil Society Dialogue is facilitated by the Centre for Law and Social Action [CLASA] with support from the Nigeria Office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation.  For further information on events, and for a continuous documentation of the Pentecostal - Civil Society Dialogue, please visit their Website www.boellnigeria.org , especially http://www.boellnigeria.org/pentecostal.html

A full description of this important project is is presented below.  Written by two lawyers, Ndubisi Obiorah and Seye Ajayi, both examine the political dimensions of Christian fundamentalism and how scholars want to study the phenomenon in order to understand it and tap its energy for development purposes.

Ndubisi Obiorah is director of the Centre for Law and Social Action [CLASA], an independent, non-profit policy centre in Lagos, Nigeria. CLASA brings together scholars and activists in law, the social sciences and the humanities for inter-disciplinary research and advocacy on governance and development. Ndubisi holds a Master of Laws degree from Harvard University and a Master of Laws degree in International Human Rights Law from the University of Essex. He has been a
visiting fellow and researcher at Harvard University, the National Endowment for Democracy, Washington D.C. and Human Rights Watch, New York and has also served as consultant to the International Centre for the Legal Protection of Human Rights [INTERRIGHTS].

Seye Ajayi, lawyer and public policy analyst, is Programme Associate at the Centre for Law and Social Action [CLASA. Seye, a former student leader and volunteer social worker,studied law at the University of Ibadan and the Nigerian Law School.


Report on the Inaugural Session
Monday, October 18, 2004
MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos


Pentecostal churches are widely perceived as the
fastest growing and most vigorous form of Christianity
in Nigeria attracting millions of new adherents each
year. The Pentecostal movement is a major, perhaps the
leading, social movement in Nigeria today with a mass
membership running to several millions and commanding
immense goodwill and support among its adherents.

During the struggle for democracy in Nigeria in the
1990s, the human rights movement allied with the
mainline Christian churches  to campaign against human
rights violations, corruption and military
dictatorship. The leaderships of the Roman Catholic,
Anglican and Methodist churches were particularly
vocal in public denunciations of human rights
violations and authoritarian rule by the military and
in demands for the restoration of democracy. Catholic
religious, working through the Justice, Development
and Peace Commission were especially active in
defending human rights;  drawing upon Catholic social
doctrine, they contended that the church had no option
but to oppose undemocratic governance and the
violation of human rights. Anglican bishops forbade
their clergy and religious from seeking political
office but declared that ’Äúthe clergy and religious,
and for that matter the church leaders in general,
cannot but be involved in politics of one type or

Paradoxically, even as the mainline churches became
ever more vocal in addressing the political roots of
poverty and social injustice in Nigeria, the people in
whose name they campaigned against authoritarian
misrule were increasingly turning to new religious
movements. Since the 1950s, evangelical and
Pentecostal Christian churches and movements have
spread their influence from the United States to many
parts of the developing world including much of
sub-Saharan Africa.  Although the Nigerian Pentecostal
and Charismatic churches had a distinctive indigenous
origin, in the 1970s and 1980s, some of them forged
linkages with American Pentecostal organizations.
These linkages provided institutional support to the
Nigerian churches and also facilitated their access to
the media and modern media technologies.  The
Pentecostal movement in Nigeria  grew rapidly
especially from the 1980s. By the mid-1990s,
Pentecostal churches were the fastest growing and most
vigorous form of Christianity in Nigeria attracting
millions of new adherents each year.  The new
adherents of the Pentecostal churches include many
former members of the mainline churches as well as
former adherents of the African Independent Churches,
Islam and traditional religions and belief systems.
The vigorous growth of the Pentecostal movement among
Nigerians has taken transnational dimensions as the
overseas branches of Nigerian Pentecostal churches
originally established in the late 1990s to serve the
ever expanding Nigerian Diaspora across the globe now
actively recruit natives of their adopted homelands. 


The relationship between Pentecostal churches and the
human rights movement in Nigeria today is complex and
ambiguous. On a personal level, many human rights
activists are adherents of Pentecostal churches and
some even hold leadership positions in the Pentecostal
churches as inter alia, pastors, deacons, ministers,
church workers etc. In contrast, on the institutional
level, the informal ’Äòalliance’Äô between the
mainline churches and the human rights movement that
was forged in the course of campaigning for democracy
in Nigeria in the 1990s has not been replicated with
the Pentecostal churches.

The reasons for this institutional disconnect are
complex and deserving of further in-depth research,
analysis and elucidation. Anecdotal sources including
some civil society activists in Nigeria suggest that
successive military regimes, at the very least,
tacitly encouraged the growth of the Pentecostal
churches as a means of deflecting popular attention
and inquiry from the root causes of mass poverty and
social injustice in Nigeria which the activists argue
derive from the corrupt misrule of various military
and civilian governments. Furthermore, some human
rights activists perceive the Pentecostal churches as
laying undue emphasis on instantaneous miracles and
’Äòprosperity doctrine’Äô while not questioning the
political, economic and social conditions in the
country which are perceived by these activists as
primarily responsible for mass poverty and social
injustice in Nigeria. These perceptions that the
Pentecostal churches have no interest in social
justice, human rights or democracy tend to encourage
the activists to continue working only with the
mainline churches. As a result, despite the
ever-swelling pews of the Pentecostal churches over
the last two decades, the human rights movement in
Nigeria effectively remains wedded to its alliance
with the mainline denominations while maintaining no
institutional relationship with the Pentecostal

These considerations motivated the Centre for Law and
Social Action to pioneer an initiative to facilitate
dialogue between these critical social movements.
CLASA proceeds on the basis that the emergence and
growth of the Pentecostal churches in Nigeria is a
social reality that the human rights movement must
take account of and adapt to in its strategies to
consolidate democracy in Nigeria and protect human
rights. The Pentecostal movement simply cannot be
ignored any longer by the human rights movement in
Nigeria and at the very least, the human rights
movement should engage in a dialogue with the
Pentecostal movement to explore prospects for
cooperation to promote peace, social justice and
accountable governance.

Towards this end, CLASA, with support from the
Heinrich Boll Foundation, began work on a project
known as the ’ÄòPentecostal-Civil Society Dialogue’Äô.
The dialogue is conceived of as an open-ended process
and not a one-off or series of events. It was decided
to initiate the process with a series of catalyzing
public events to be known as ’ÄòDialogue Sessions’Äô.
The project resource persons include Professor
Rosalind Hackett of the Department of Religions,
University of Tennesse-Knoxville, USA and Professor
Matthews Ojo, Head of the Department of Religious
Studies, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.

The Inaugural Session was held on Monday, October 18,
2004 at the MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos from 9.00am to
2.00pm. Welcome remarks were made by Ndubisi Obiorah,
executive director of CLASA and Dr. Axel
Harneit-Sievers, director of the Heinrich Boll
Foundation office in Nigeria. This was followed by
opening remarks setting the ground rules for the
dialogue by Professor Gabriel Olusanya, former
Director-General of the Nigerian Institute for
International Affairs and ambassador to France, who
served as moderator for the inaugural session.

The first keynote presentation was made by Professor
Paul Gifford of the Department of Religions, School of
Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
Gifford started his presentation by attempting to
identify those Christian churches which are been
classified as ’ÄòPentecostal’Äô.  He then gave a
history of African Christianity and its involvement in
public life which according to him had long been
restricted to the mainline churches.  He cited
examples such as the Anglican bishops in Kenya who
were the main opposition to President Arap Moi’Äôs
regime, Archbishop Michael Francis of Monrovia,
Liberia who was sometimes the ’Äòonly voice’Äô
speaking out in defence of human rights and the
Catholic bishop’Äôs Conference in Malawi whose
denunciation of corruption and human rights violations
eventually prompted the removal of the Banda regime.
He called these ’Äòhigh profile interventions’Äô and
further described them as direct involvement.

The posture of the Pentecostal Church was termed as a
lack of social awareness but Gifford stated that he
found nothing sinister in it, explaining that the
focus of many Pentecostal churches was on
evangelisation and personal salvation.  He also
asserted that indirect involvement was also possible
and could actually produce more significant results
than direct involvement. He also suggested that
Pentecostal churches could impart the leadership
skills necessary for citizens of a democracy better
than other elements of civil society because among
other things, ’Äòmembers can relate as equals’Äô,
’Äòthe ambition fostered eliminates despair and
encourages a solid work ethic’Äô and also because
’Äòthe dysfunctional macho male behaviour is
repudiated’Äô in favour of what would benefit the

Gifford then presented a form of involvement which he
called the ’Äútheology of involvement in Public
Life’Äù which he said was being already being
pioneered by some Pentecostal churches.  He referred
to Pastor Mensa Otabil of Ghana whose theology has an
explicit emphasis on personal responsibility.  Otabil
has identified certain attitudes and beliefs as
responsible for holding Africa back and these are;
inferiority complex, tribalism, cultural stagnation,
idolatry and fetishism, the village mentality, ideas
of leadership and apathy.

Gifford noted that the most remarkable thing about the
theology of involvement in Public Life was that
emphasis on the miraculous is reduced and that what is
stressed is the responsibility of the individual.
Finally, he concluded by saying that the biggest
contribution that the Pentecostal Churches could make
is to preach by example, to embody in themselves good
political practices: to abide by their own
constitutions, to exercise power accountably, to
provide a voice for all and to establish structures
for empowerment.

The second keynote presentation was made by Professor
Matthews Ojo of the Department of Religious Studies,
Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.  He
started by observing that religion has always had a
great impact on nationalism and democratization in
Africa.  He cited Benin Republic, Togo, Gabon,
Cameroon, South Africa and Ghana as examples of
countries in which Catholic bishops and Protestant
churches played important roles in fostering
significant political changes from dictatorial regimes
to democratic ones. 

Ojo however alluded to President Frederick Chiluba’Äôs
1996 declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation as a
situation in which the support of the Pentecostals was
exploited for sectional interests.  Reference was also
made to President Jerry Rawlings of Ghana’Äôs
closeness with the Pentecostal and Charismatic
churches as merely providing the regime with a
religious and moral legitimacy and in Nigeria, Ojo
observed that the ’Äòadoption’Äô of President Olusegun
Obasanjo by Pentecostals and Charismatic as ’Äòa
symbol of the Christian control of the political
sphere’Äô had not resulted in any significant
improvement in the country.  He stated that leaders of
the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements have neither
formulated any critical opinion about governance nor
spoken out with an ’Äòarticulate voice’Äô.

He noted that the consensus among political
scientists, sociologists and scholars of religion was
that religion has a definite impact on politics and
vice versa.  His own opinion is that Pentecostals and
Charismatics have always been aware and concerned
about the deteriorating socio-political and economic
situation of the country and they have sought to
intervene and change it.  He quoted several statements
made by leaders of Pentecostals and Charismatics in
Nigeria which in his view show a determination to
change the current state of affairs in the country.

Some of the dominant characteristics of the
Pentecostal and Charismatic churches in Nigeria such
as membership consisting of a large number of highly
educated young people and vigorous advertisement in
the media are key areas which the Pentecostal and
Charismatic churches seek to influence society

According to Ojo, ’Äúin modern Africa, never before
has the role of the media been more central to the
formation of religious consciousness and identity than
as it is at present.’Äù  He also stated that the media
not only acts as a channel of information but even
more importantly as a source of ideology and
consciousness. Furthermore, he declared that the
Pentecostal movement in Nigeria is in a position to
offer solutions to the problems confronting governance
in the country because of its institutional strength
of having membership drawn from diverse cultures and
backgrounds but still solidly united.

He suggested among other things, that the Pentecostal
movement must first condemn the ills of the society
such as the perversion of justice, oppression that is
becoming institutionalized and the sins that are being
glossed over. In addition, he recommended counselling,
teaching and social support to reduce the fear,
anxiety and hopelessness which have pervaded the
African scene in the last three decades.  He also
advised the hierarchy of the Pentecostal movements to
restructure their institutional framework and make
accountability a public agenda by guided by
transparency, awareness of the expectations of others,
awareness of their statutory responsibilities and the
promotion of discipline. 

Ojo encouraged the Pentecostal churches to make
determined and conscious efforts to stay in the
political struggle for democracy not only by
denouncing intolerable regimes but also by
establishing a democratic order within their
constituencies. He concluded by acknowledging the
Pentecostal constituency as a ’Äòmajor social force’Äô
in the country which could set the pace for good
governance and public accountability.

The keynote presentations were followed by a tea break
after which the selected panellists were invited to
the high table for the Panel Discussion. 


The panel was made up of Pentecostal pastors,
academics, and human rights/civil society activists

1. Pastor Wale Adefarasin                       Guiding Light Assembly

2.  Pastor Kemela Okara                  This Present House

3. Sola Salako                                        Household of God

4. Seye Ajibola                         Freedom Foundation [This Present

5. Pastor Ejiofor Obiorah                 Springfield Bible Training

6. Professor Gabriel Olusanya           [Moderator]

7. Dr. Axel Harneit-Sievers                     Heinrich Boll Foundation

8.  Sindi Medar-Gould                   BAOBAB For Women’Äôs Human

9. Chino Obiagwu                                Legal Defence and Aid Project

10. Dr. Sam Amadi                          Centre for Public Policy and

11. Felix Morka                             Social and Economic Rights Action

12.  Dr. Funke Adeboye                   University of Lagos

13.  Professor Matthews Ojo                  Obafemi Awolowo

14. Professor Dapo Asaju                       Lagos State University

15. Segun Adeniyi                         THISDAY

A summary of the panellists’Äô views follows ’Äì

’Ä¢      Pastor Wale Adefarasin, Guiding Light Assembly,
Parkview Estate, Ikoyi ’Äì

He referred to the ’Äòtheology of involvement’Äô as
illustrated by Prof. Gifford using Pastor Otabil of
Ghana as an example and said that the situation in
Ghana is not different from the situation in Nigeria.
He complained about the perception of the Pentecostal
Churches which the mainline churches have which he
said was based on unfair newspaper reports.
He conceded that there were some rotten eggs among the
pastors but also pointed out that many pastor are very
interested in nation-building.

On the issue of accountability, Pastor Adefarasin
disclosed that his church has external auditor and
that the accounts are published annually.  He noted
that pastors cannot demand accountability from the
government unless they also are accountable.

’Ä¢       Pastor Kemela Okara, This Present House, Victoria
Island, Lagos ’Äì

According to Pastor Okara, This Present House has
always taught that Christianity is a way of life and
is not just spiritual. Therefore, a focus only on the
spiritual is not holistic. He acknowledged that there
was the need to set up other programmes different from
the regular Sunday activities to address issues such
as ignorance and poverty which are not entirely
spiritual problems but are also manmade.

Pastor Okara stated that a lot of good work is already
being done by Pentecostal churches but is not being
reported in the newspapers and that is why some of
their efforts are not known to the general public. He
listed some of the efforts of This Present House
including ’ÄòKing Solomon’Äôs Fund’Äô which is used to
empower needy people, ’ÄòFreedom Foundation’Äô, a
faith-based NGO established to address poverty and
social exclusion and ’ÄòPresent Times’Äô which is a
newspaper published by the Church which regularly
addresses fundamental issues of social justice,
democracy and civic responsibility.

He also revealed that recently, the Deputy Governor of
Lagos State was invited to a ’Äòno holds barred’Äô
session in their church where he answered a lot of
blunt questions put to him by members of the
congregation.  At the end of the session, the Deputy
Governor was made aware of the fact that the Lagos
State government still had a lot of work to do.

He noted that civic responsibility becomes superficial
unless you take cognizance of the fundamental issues
of poverty, ignorance which affect the generality of
Nigerians.  Finally, he stated that Pentecostal
churches are very concerned with the state of the
nation and want to move the Nigeria forward and that
this was now time for active engagement.

’Ä¢  Rev. Ejiofor Obiorah ’Äì Springfield Bible Church,
Jos ’Äì

In his own submission, Rev. Obiorah disclosed that the
Pentecostal Christianity in the North is quite
different from the Christian faith in the South.  He
said that flamboyance and accountability are not the
main issues in a region where people are living on the
fringe and struggling to survive.  Instead of
glamorous churches, they have makeshift buildings and
the average congregation is about 50 people while the
offering and tithes are hardly ever counted in

He revealed that Pentecostal pastors in the North,
especially Plateau state cannot fight for democracy on
their own since they have been systematically excluded
by the hierarchy of the Christian Association of
Nigeria in that region.

’Ä¢     Segun Adeniyi, Editor, Thisday on Sunday ’Äì

As a member of a Pentecostal church, he observed that
there has been perversion of the gospel of prosperity
and that Pentecostal Churches sometimes give the
impression that the poverty of an individual is as a
result of his or her sins. 

He further noted that some Pentecostals in government
are questionable and he gave an example of a past
governor who is a member of a Pentecostal church and
was to be interviewed on his stewardship in his state.
 The ex-governor agreed to the interview but he
avoided answering the questions that where put to him
by quoting copiously from the Bible.

’Ä¢      Professor Dapo Asaju, Department of Religious
Studies, Lagos State University ’Äì

Professor Asaju noted that the force of the
Pentecostals is very strong and that the power to
effect change is in numbers. He surmised that if
democracy is a game of numbers then, the Pentecostals
could win. He also said that the accurate term was
’ÄòPentecostal Movement’Äô rather than ’ÄòPentecostal
Churches’Äô because it cuts across denominations.

He said that it was the duty of the church to work for
the underprivileged, the sick and the poor. Prof.
Asaju alleged that Nigerian Muslims have an
’ÄòIslamization’Äô agenda but that Christians have no
political agenda and stated that this called for
networking and creating a blueprint.  He suggested
that Christians should pool their intellectual and
spiritual resources together and call for their own
’ÄòSovereign National Conference’Äô.

’Ä¢  Dr. Funke Adeboye, Department of History,
University of Lagos ’Äì

Dr. Adeboye advised that any agenda for
Pentecostal-Civil Society cooperation to be proposed
should be based on a comparative study.  She also
noted that there was a lack of political theology in
the Pentecostal church but that it was not too late to
develop one. In her own opinion, Pentecostals are
actually in the minority of Christian faithful because
the rate of multiplication of churches and branches of
churches is not equivalent with the increase in
membership of the churches.  She also noted that many
people are just affiliates of the Pentecostal church
who merely attend some programmes in Pentecostal
churches. This however, does not prevent the
Pentecostals from making an impact. 

She revealed that in the course of her work as a
historian, she had observed that getting information
from the Pentecostals is difficult and urged them to
make information readily available.

Dr. Adeboye recommended that Pentecostals churches be
democratized as the present system is rather
authoritarian.  The internal structures of the
churches should be reformed so that they would have
credibility when they speak.  She also commented on
the direct and indirect methods of engagement citing
Chinua Achebe’Äôs recent rejection of a National Award
given to him by the Federal Government because he was
displeased with the state of the Nation.

’Ä¢      Chinonye Obiagwu, Legal Defence Aid Project ’Äì

Mr. Obiagwu suggested that an example of
Pentecostal-Civil Society collaboration ought to be
the end result of this dialogue as could be seen in
the collaboration of the Roman Catholic Church with
Human Rights groups. He noted that the prospects for
moving forward are good since the goal should be to
improve Nigeria. 

’Ä¢     Sindi Medar Gould, Baobab for Women’Äôs Human
Rights ’Äì

Ms. Gould charged religion with being guilty of
ignoring women’Äôs human rights.  She said that the
Church has to find a different way of solving the
problems of women trafficking, sexual harassment and
other abuses of women’Äôs human rights and that that
would be the basis of any collaboration between the
church and the civil society.

’Ä¢   Sola Salako [representing Pastor Kris Okotie],
Household of God ’Äì

Ms. Salako stated that it was necessary to get the
Pentecostal churches involved but that it should be
realized that the enormity of what the churches face
is more than they can deal with. Ms. Salako noted that
the preaching of ’Äòprosperity doctrine’Äô by
Pentecostal churches was often misunderstood and
misinterpreted out of context and explained that the
essence of the prosperity teaching of the Pentecostal
church is really that a person can work in faith and
earn a living. She also noted that the Pentecostal
Fellowship of Nigeria has a ’ÄòPolitical Action
Committee’Äô which could serve as an institutional
interlocutor for dialogue between the Pentecostals and
the human rights activists on issues of governance in

After the comments of the panellists, the Open Forum
for audience participation commenced.  Particularly
noteworthy were the comments of the following;

Rev. Fr. Akintolu of the Justice,Development and Peace
Commission of Abeokuta who said that in his own
opinion, the Pentecostal-Civil Society Dialogue was
part of the Sovereign National Conference.  He also
said that the Church is a lasting structure which can
save Nigeria faster than any other organization. 

Mrs. H.K. Ishola of the Adeniran Ogunsanya College of
Education, Ijanikin, Lagos was of the view that many
Pentecostal leaders are after what they can gain and
not what they can give. She also said that Christians
are afraid to go into politics because they are afraid
of compromise.

Dejumo Lewis of Global Dynasty who said that the
criticism of the Pentecostal churches also apply in
one way or the other to the mainline churches and that
the mainline churches should also beam the searchlight
on themselves to see if they are actually doing what
they ought to be doing.

Some participants called for the inclusion in future
dialogue sessions, representatives of the ’Äúlower
strata’Äù of the Pentecostal Churches.


Participants welcomed CLASA’Äôs initiative in
convening the dialogue and agreed that it was a most
topical initiative given Nigeria’Äôs present political
and socio-economic contexts. They broadly accepted
that dialogue and cooperation between the human rights
and Pentecostal movements is critical to efforts to
improve the quality of governance in Nigeria and that
there exist significant opportunities for synergies
between these movements. They tasked CLASA with taking
forward the results of the Inaugural Session including
further and deeper dialogue towards realizing an
institutional framework for cooperation between these


Towards attaining the dialogue objectives, the
dialogue is envisaged a continuing process. In the
first phase of the dialogue from October 2004 to March
2005, 3 Dialogue Sessions are planned. These sessions
will take the form of a one day public forum bringing
together key leaders from the Pentecostal churches,
human rights movements, development NGOs, the media,
academia, the private sector and labour. These
interactive fora will serve as a confidence-building
measure and building block for further activities.
Keynote presentations will be made by leading scholars
and distinguished panels comprising Pentecostal, human
rights, media and academic leaders will lead the
interactive discussions thereafter.

Accordingly, the first phase of the dialogue from
October 2004 to March 2005 has been structured into
three sessions.

1. Inaugural Session
    Date: October 18, 2004
    Theme: ’ÄòPublic Accountability and Governance’Äô
    Venue: AGIP Recital Hall, MUSON Centre, Onikan,

2. Review Workshop [Follow-up to Inaugural Session]
    Date: November 24, 2004
    Theme: ’ÄòPublic Accountability and Governance’Äô
    Venue: Function Room I, MUSON Centre, Onikan,

3. Second Session
    Date: December 2, 2004
    Theme: ’ÄòWomen, Pentecostalism and Public Life’Äô
    Venue: AGIP Recital Hall, MUSON Centre, Onikan,

4. Third Session
     Date: mid-February 2005
     Theme: ’ÄòInter-Faith Dialogue and Conflict
     Venue: TBD/A

A report will be published in mid-2005 comprising
papers presented at the dialogue sessions and a
summary of the discussions.


The Centre for Law and Social Action [CLASA], an
independent, non-profit policy centre, brings together
scholars and activists in law, the social sciences and
the humanities for inter-disciplinary research and
advocacy on governance and development. CLASA informs
and shapes policy dialogue and political action
through research, analysis and advocacy.

Professor Peter Rosenblum
J.D. [Northwestern], LLM [Columbia], D.E.A
School of Law, Columbia University, New York, USA

Professor Leslye Obiora
LLB [Nigeria] LLM [Yale], JSD, [Stanford]
College of Law, University of Arizona, USA

Sven Spengemann
Bsc. [Toronto], LLB [Osgoode Hall], LLM, Cand. SJD
Policy Adviser, Privy Council Office, Ottawa, Canada

Dr. Darren Kew
BA [Notre Dame], M.A.L.D., Ph.D, [Tufts]
Dispute Resolution Program, University of
Massachusetts, Boston, MA, USA

Professor Ebere Onwudiwe
B.A. [American College, Lausanne], Msc., PhD. [Florida
Director, Centre for International Studies, Central
State University, Ohio, USA
Fellow, Program on Ethnic and Federal Studies,
University of Ibadan, Nigeria

 Chidi Odinkalu [Nigeria] is director of the Open
Society Institute’Äôs Justice Initiative in Abuja,
Nigeria. He has been Jeremiah J. Smith Visiting
Professor at Harvard Law School (2003-2004) and
Brandeis International Fellow at the Centre for
Justice, Ethics and Public Life at Brandeis
University, Waltham, Massachusetts, USA. Chidi was
previously the Senior Legal Officer for Africa at the
International Centre for the Legal Protection of Human
Rights [INTERRIGHTS] in London [1993-2003]. He was
pioneer Director of Projects and Planning at the Civil
Liberties Organization, the first human rights NGO in
Nigeria [1990-1993] and has had extensive experience
in human rights and public interest law in Africa.
Chidi is a doctoral candidate at the London School of
Economics and has published extensively on human
rights and governance in Africa.
Mutuma Ruteere [Kenya], a political journalist and
human rights advocate, has worked in human rights,
governance and development with, inter alia, the
Kenyan Human Rights Commission and the Nairobi  Law
Monthly in Nairobi, Kenya and FAHAMU for Social Change
in Oxford, England. He holds a Bachelor’Äôs degree
from Moi University, Kenya and a Master’Äôs degree in
Human Rights from the University of Essex. He is
currently a doctoral candidate at the University of
Nebraska, USA.

Samuel Amadi [Nigeria] is research director of the
Centre for Public Policy Research in Lagos, Nigeria.
He holds a Master of Laws degree from Harvard Law
School [2001] where he is a doctoral candidate and a
Master of Public Administration degree [2003] from the
Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He
was a Mason Fellow in Public Policy and Management
[2002-03] at Harvard’Äôs Kennedy School of Government
and is currently a fellow at the Kennedy School’Äôs
Carr Centre for Human Rights Policy [2003-04].

Waziri Adio [Nigeria] is a distinguished political
journalist who has served on the editorial boards of
leading newspapers in Nigeria. Waziri has a master’Äôs
degree in journalism from Columbia University and was
a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University [2001-02].

Ndubisi Obiorah [Nigeria] holds a Master of Laws
degree from Harvard University [2002] and a Master of
Laws degree in International Human Rights Law from the
University of Essex [2001]. He has been a visiting
fellow and researcher at Harvard University [2002-03],
the National Endowment for Democracy, Washington D.C.
[2002] and Human Rights Watch, New York [2000] and has
also served as consultant to the International Centre
for the Legal Protection of Human Rights [INTERRIGHTS]
[2001-2002]. He is currently executive director of

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