By Philip Yatai
The Washington-D.C.-based World Justice Project has awarded 20,000 dollars (N8.4 million) World Justice Challenge 2022 prize for Anti-Corruption and Open Government, to Transparency Information Technology Initiative (TransparencIT) of Nigeria.
TransparencIT received the prize for its project: Trial Monitoring of Corruption Cases: Creating Monitoring Systems, an Online Corruption Database and Special Anti-corruption Courts.
The World Justice Chief Communication Officer, Tanya Weinberg said this in a statement made available to newsmen in Kaduna on Tuesday.
Weinberg explained that the Trial Monitoring of Corruption Cases project tracked and evaluated corruption cases in 21 states in Nigeria and had dramatically reduced the duration of corruption trials.
“Corruption is Nigeria’s greatest obstacle to economic development and often goes unpunished due to slow dispensation of justice and corruption within the justice system.
“TranparencIT’s Trial Monitoring of Corruption Cases project has helped reduce the average duration of corruption trials from eight years to between three and four years.
“The organisation is equally successfully advocating special anti-corruption courts that are even speedier,” she said.
She said that the prize was announced at the close of the virtual World’s Justice Forum, a global gathering of the justice and rule of law movement held in The Hague, Netherlands on June 2.
She said that the World Justice Challenge was a global competition to identify, recognise and promote good practices and high-impact projects and policies that protect and advance the rule of law.
“It is dedicated to addressing structural inequities and governance weaknesses exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis,” Weinberg said.
She said that 305 organisations in 118 countries applied, out of which 30 finalists were invited to showcase their groundbreaking work at the World Justice Forum.
Weinberg said that five best in-class local initiatives emerged winners under the five themes: Access to Justice, Anti-Corruption and Open Government, Equal Rights and Non-Discrimination, Data for Justice, and Alumni Vote.
“Finalists were evaluated by a 10-member judging panel, which included former president of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla, General Secretary of International Trade Union, Sharan Burrow, and Indian human rights activist, Hina Jilani.
“Red Dot Foundation, India, won the Equal Rights and Non-Discrimination Prize for its Safecity: A Croudmap for Sexual and Gender-based Violence project.
“Cambodia Bridges to Justice, Cambodia, won the Access to Justice Prize under its Championing Access to Justice: Improving Cambodia’s Courts of Appeals System.
“In Reach, Global won the Data for Justice Prize for its In Reach: Providing Legal Aid Support to LGBTQ+ People Fleeing Persecution.
“While POS Foundation, Ghana, won the Alumni Vote Prize for its Justice for All amid COVID-19: Alleviating Prisons Overcrowding with Mobile, In-prison Special Courts project,” she said.
The chief communication officer said that each of the winners received a 20,000 dollars prize.
Mr Bill Neukom, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, World Justice Project, noted that the rule of law was under attack around the world, adding that people were suffering countless injustices as a result.
“The World Justice Challenge demonstrates how communities are resisting these attacks, and how their innovations can succeed in delivering justice, opportunity, and peace.
“We applaud these rule of law champions and look forward to the additional impact they inspire through their exemplary work,” Neukom said.
In his response, Founder and Director, TransparencIT, Mr Abbas Inuwa, thanked the World Justice Project for the honour.
“This award means a lot to us because it is recognition from the World Justice Forum by world justice leaders.
“It validates our work and gives us a great nudge to continue advancing the rule of law for more just and accountable societies,” Inuwa said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Ese E. Eniola Williams