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About Lawyers Alert:

Lawyers Alert is a Justice Sector Civil Society Organization that is Non-Profit, Non-Partisan, and Non-religious. It is made up substantially of Lawyers and other professionals committed to the entrenchment of democracy, rule of law, and socio-economic development of citizens with particular emphasis on women. Lawyers Alert with its almost two decades of existence has actively serviced its target beneficiaries. They include Women, Female Sex Workers, Sexual Minorities, People Living with HIV, People who use and Inject Drugs, and People Living with Disabilities (PWDs), amongst others.

Lawyers Alert has a staff strength of 23 people working in both the Head office in Makurdi, Benue State, and the field office in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. It also has regional outreaches across Nigeria with 6 focal persons for each geo-political zone. There are also about 20 volunteers of which 8 are active while 12 are available on demand. The entire staff of the organization is trained, dedicated, and skilled in their thematic areas. The organization has offices that are well equipped and are fully functional with round-the-clock internet access. The organization has a website, a blog, Facebook page, Instagram page, Twitter handle, and YouTube page, including web-based e-mail addresses. It has a 5-person Board of Trustees, and an active 5-member Governing Board headed by Prof. Mrs. Magdalene M. Dura.

The roles of the Board of Trustees are many and multi-dimensional. Some of the basic roles include them standing in trust for the organization in the eyes of the public, they also act as promoters and custodians of the organization. The Board of Trustees also helps in raising funds and goodwill for the organization among other key functions. In summary, the Board of Trustees plays an advisory and promotional role in the organization.

The Governing Board, on the other hand, sets policies and programmes for the organization. They approve policy and direct policy thinking. They also help in fundraising, approval of appointments of senior management staff, and procurements. The Board also advises and supervises ongoing projects and programs amongst other strategic functions.

Decision-making in Lawyers Alert starts from the top of the Organizational radar down to the bottom. The task of the decision-making process rests with the Governing Board at the Annual General Meeting. The Governing Board initiates a decision process at the Annual General Meeting where the decision is studied closely and inputs are made into it by all members. When satisfied, the decision taken is forwarded to the Management Committee headed by the President for implementation. This is done to give our decision-making process a collective approach. The chain of command within the organization is structured to flow from top to bottom with instructions emanating from the President through the Program Officers downwards. Our communication flow is both upward and downward.


Lawyers Alert empowers women and vulnerable groups through knowledge of their rights and accessible means of enforcing the same. This is done primarily via literacy campaigns, capacity building, monitoring & documentation of rights violations, alongside advocacy.


Lawyers Alert envisions a world where women and other vulnerable groups are free from injustice. Lawyers Alert works with pro bono lawyers across the 6 geo-political zones who are litigating cases for the advancement of rights and public interest cases involving human rights and rule of law. While Lawyers Alert primarily provides legal support for women and vulnerable groups, its objectives also include the provision of training to Lawyers and members of the judiciary and the facilitation of legal networks across the country.


Telephone: +234-809-993-7358, +234-809-993-7318
Twitter: @lawyersalertng
Facebook: Lawyers Alert Nigeria
Instagram: Lawyersalertnigeria
YouTube: Lawyers Alert Nigeria

Adoption of Lawyers Alert’s 2021 Annual Operational Plan

Before the commencement of its activities in 2021, as is the practice of Lawyers Alert to collectively review activities and actions of the previous year alongside the collective development of an Annual Work Plan for the year in focus with our target beneficiaries. Lawyers Alert held several meetings to develop, review and adopt her 2021 Annual Operation Plan. These meetings were premised on the need for a plan to run within the new year 2021. These meetings were held physically and virtually and had in attendance all staff and beneficiaries. See link.

Highlights from January 2021 to December 2021
New Staff: In 2021, Lawyers Alert welcomed two new staff to the family; Peace Okeshola Esq. and Mainasara Galadima Esq. as Legal/Programs Officers.

Send-forth: Lawyers Alert also released Ms. Ellen Onugha and Ms. Doris Innocent, who were both Legal Officers. We wish them all the best in their future endeavours

Fig 1: Pictures from the Send forth of Ms. Ellen Onugha and Ms. Doris Innocent.
This annual report is a compilation of our accomplishments in the year 2021 in line with our program areas and Action Plan. Our program areas include;
(i) Gender and Human Rights
(ii) Campaigns and Movement Building
(iii) Security and Access to Justice
(iv) Elections, Democracy, and Good Governance.

Lawyers Alert envisions a world of gender equality, equal access to resources and services, participatory decision making, equitable and equal treatment for all regardless of their sex, health, physical appearance, etc. Activities under our gender and human rights programs are with the aim of challenging stigma and discrimination against women and other marginalized groups.
Interventions carried out in the year 2021 under this program aligned with the overall goals and objectives of the organization. They include;

• We carried out Advocacy and awareness creation on Rights and protection towards ending Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and violations associated with SRHR. We planned and implemented not less than 1 key advocacy strategy every quarter of the year. We also carried out advocacy to key government officials and other target group members to have them take action against Gender-Based Violence or other issues under SRHR, alongside the decriminalization of petty offenses in Nigeria. The courtesy visit to the Chief Judge of Benue State resulted in the partnership with the Judiciary in monitoring the effective implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) and Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law in the State.

• In commemoration of the International Women’s Day 2021, Lawyers Alert facilitated a webinar that discussed “COVID-19: Gender Parity and Women's Rights”. Resource persons at the webinar were Udo Jude Ilo, Lead, Nigeria Country Office, Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), Osai Ojigho, Nigeria Country Director, Amnesty International, and Abiodun Baiyewu, Executive Director, Global Rights Nigeria. The webinar discussed ways in which the COVID-19, its management, lockdown, alongside the militarization of the civic space affected the rights of women and their empowerment in Nigeria, and ways to navigate going forward. We also facilitated a Tweet Chat on “Reproductive Rights and COVID-19”. Resource persons were Fakhrriyyah Hashim, Peace, Security, and Development Fellow, African Leadership Centre, Hamzat Lawal, Founder, Follow the Money, and Mimidoo Mirabelle, Executive Director, Spring fo Hope for the Girlchild Development Initiative.

• In the year 2021, the Chairman and Members of the Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution recently put out a Call for a Public Hearing on the proposed alteration to the Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999. Following the Call, Lawyers Alert facilitated brainstorming sessions with its partners working on Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG), Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), Petty Offences, and access to justice for the poor and vulnerable. This was towards collating inputs for engaging at the various Zonal Public Hearing Centers; Jos, Minna, Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna, Sokoto, Owerri, Enugu, Asaba, Port Harcourt, Lagos, and Akure. The massive advocacy occasioned by this strongly drove home the issue of VAWG, SRHR, and petty offences to parliamentarians at the national level. The outcome of this advocacy as per the actual amendment of the constitution is yet to be realized but undoubtedly awareness and the anti-human rights nature of these issues was brought home. See the link to the memo.

• Lawyers Alert continued her capacity building, sensitization and awareness Creation on Gender-Based Violence (GBV), Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) and Petty Offences for women and the vulnerable groups. We built the capacity of over 6,000 Women on GBV & SRHR across 14 States in Nigeria and the FCT. We enhanced the capacity of over 3000 persons i.e., Sexual Minorities, Female Sex Workers, Persons who use Drugs, etc. on petty offences. We also held over 10 radio programs.

• Lawyers Alert strengthened its partnership with, and continuously enhanced the capacity of the Gender Unit of the Nigeria Police Force and the Police Duty Solicitor Scheme of the Legal Aid Council in Niger, Plateau, and the FCT towards understanding their roles and the best ways to address issues of SRHR and GBV in a human right and satisfactory manner. This is geared towards ending GBV and VAWG in Nigeria, and creating an enabling environment for women and girls suffering as a result of violence to seek redress.

• Shadow report of CSOs to the UN Committee Against Torture: In the year 2021, Lawyers Alert facilitated a meeting for CSOs to deliberate on issues of torture in Nigeria. This was towards the production of the final shadow report of CSOs to be submitted to the UN Committee Against Torture and discuss the way forward concerning the nation's security challenges. A report on Torture in Nigeria was prepared and submitted. See link.

• Towards the decriminalization of Petty Offences in Nigeria: Lawyers Alert facilitated a reflection meeting for CSOs and partners working on petty offences in Nigeria to deliberate on issues around petty offences, efforts made so far through advocacy, free legal support, provision of scientific data and release of detainees in Nigeria. This was towards restrategizing for better implementation and the decriminalization & declassification of petty offences in Nigeria.

• In commemoration of the world human rights day, Lawyers Alert collaborated with Connecting Lens Initiative and Sevhage Literary and Development Initiative via use of Arts as a veritable tool for the advancement of human rights. This aimed to promote human rights via expression and to exhibit some artwork & discuss its roles in human rights advocacy.

• Lawyers Alert facilitated a webinar on the effects of the criminalization of HIV infection. This was because states in Nigeria focused on legislation criminalizing HIV infection as an intervention against the virus. The webinar discussed the effects of criminalization of HIV infection vis-à-vis what works best within the framework of human rights and the best use of the resources of a State.

Lawyers Alert continuously worked with the Benue State Association of the Deaf Community towards strengthening their toes with the Government and building their capacity. We deepened our engagements with Persons With Disabilities in the year 2021 and we are working towards strengthening and building opportunities for Women with disabilities, access to public and private spaces, and awareness creation on the existence of the Disability Act in Nigeria

• Towards the promotion of rights of sexual minorities in Nigeria, a meeting was held with CDLCF and strategies for protecting the rights of sexual minorities were agreed on and other advocacy strategies.

• In the year 2021, we deepened our engagement/intervention in Ghana, a country in the West African Region. We developed a Joint Action Plan between Nigeria and Ghana women-focused NGOs on a common strategy and goals in influencing national priorities that capture Beijing +25, providing women groups in both countries a synergized platform to influence their governments. We mapped women Actors across other Anglophone African countries and facilitated a lesson sharing/regional meeting towards sustaining the gains from the implementation of the Beijing +25 Commitments. Women rights advocates from Nigeria, Ghana, Malawi, Uganda, Kenya, Cameroun, and South Africa were in attendance. A movement and network of women's rights actors across the 7 African Countries using the lessons gathered from our work in Nigeria and Ghana with possibilities of developing a Regional Joint Strategy, taking cues from that of Nigeria and Ghana are being discussed. From the lesson sharing meeting, Women Human Rights Bodies/Advocates in Uganda birthed the idea to hold the same strategy in East Africa.

Celebration of the 16 days of Activism –

The 16 Days of Activism were marked through various activities undertaken by Lawyers Alert, these activities include; online campaigns (pictures and videos) against every form of GBV, legal literacy series on various GBV issues on Facebook, awareness creation on free legal services provided by Lawyers Alert to indigent citizens on social media handles.

Lawyers Alert under our campaign and movement building program enhanced the capacity of organizations towards empowering them and enhancing synergy in addressing the issues of GBV, SRHR, and Petty Offences. Given that Network and Movement, building remains the most effective and efficient means of achieving a holistic social change, Lawyers Alert places much priority and attention on networking and movement building.
Interventions carried out in the year 2021 under this program aligned with the overall goals and objectives of the organization. They include;
• Lawyers Alert in the year 2021 held a series of capacity development sessions towards enhancing the capacity of the Effective SRHR Movement in Nigeria. This is geared towards advancing the rights of underserved populations and making the movement strong to carry out SRHR advocacy and other interventions. The Movement comprises a total of 80 organizations and is resident in the following states; Plateau, Bauchi, Osun, Niger, Benue, Edo, Kano, Borno, Kaduna, Imo, and the Federal Capital Territory.

• Lawyers Alert partnered with the Society for the Improvement of Rural People for Enugu State Youths towards enhancing the capacity of grassroots organizations on Project Management techniques

• Lawyers Alert in year 2021, which is the year post-COVID-19 lockdown, compiled experiences of organizations under the SRHR Movement. This was to share lessons on the impact of COVID-19, adaptation strategies, and success recorded amidst the pandemic.
• In the year 2021, we partnered with celebrities, key influencers, religious leaders, traditional rulers, and opinion leaders towards curbing the menace of Gender-Based Violence. We got over 10 videos and tweets of these notable persons speaking and supporting the campaign against GBV in Nigeria. A total of 5,500,000 persons were reached during this campaign.

• Lawyers Alert participated in the public hearing of the Police Service Commission Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2020 (HB 1112) at the National Assembly.

• Lawyers Alert in its bid to enhance rights awareness and legal literacy has created interventions for enhanced legal awareness for vulnerable and excluded groups (legal literacy). This includes weekly Facebook presentations with discussions on burning issues from the universality of human rights and several others; forums and focus groups discussions; and celebration of World days that are relevant to our target groups. Our campaigns in the year 2021 directly reached over 7,000,000 persons and indirectly 18,000,000 persons.

• Lawyers Alert also engaged in carrying out relevant research, documentation and advocacy on Gender-Based Violence, Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights and petty offences. This was implemented through the documentation, analysis and publishing of over 5000 copies of SRHR, GBV and petty offences finding. These findings are published on our website ( and this was intended to serve as a resource material for advocacy and/or policy formulation for both State and Non-State Actors working in the area of SRHR.

• Lawyers Alert facilitated series of brainstorming sessions with organizations within the Effective SRHR Movement towards leveraging on each others strengths, strengthening of organizations in the Movement and joint application for proposals.

• Bollyjoe Media Communications Limited recognized Lawyers Alert’s effort and impact on the lives of poor and vulnerable groups in Nigeria. An award of leadership was presented to the President of Lawyers Alert in recognition of his work in the advancement of human rights in Nigeria. Bollyjoe Media requests to partner with Lawyers Alert towards promoting media engagement and advocacy on issues concerning the rights of women and vulnerable persons.

In tackling the menace of Gender-Based Violence in Nigeria, the Head of the Gender Unit of the Nigeria Police Force Command Headquarters, Makurdi, Benue State, discussed proactive steps to be taken to mitigate this unwholesome trend in the society.


Lawyers Alert envisions a world where women and vulnerable groups are free from injustice. Activities under our security and access to justice program are geared towards unfettered access to justice for all, accountable policing, women’s rights in conflict situations, and dignified treatment in detention.
Interventions carried out in the year 2021 under this program aligned with the overall goals and objectives of the organization. These include;
• A giant stride of justice as the Federal High Court declared the raid of women in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, and environs as illegal and unlawful - Lawyers Alert in its mission to support and protect women's rights got the judgment of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja which declared that the raid of women in Abuja and its environs by a task force of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) as illegal and unlawful. The court ordered the respondent to pay damages to the applicants. See link.

• Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) registration challenges: Pre-Action notice/letter: Owing to difficulties encountered by potential candidates to register for JAMB and the extra amount that is spent in completing the JAMB registration, Lawyers Alert, in readiness for a possible class right action for the affected students, placed out a call to all affected persons towards engaging both JAMB as an institution and the network service providers in Nigeria. This is seeking accountability for the extra charge incurred by potential candidates in pin procurement.

• Free legal representation – Legal Aid and Pro bono Services has been the foundation of Lawyers Alert from its inception till the present day. It was on the back of a pro bono case that Lawyers Alert came into existence. In the year 2021, we intervened in over 300 cases across the Country. The cases we handled ranged from human trafficking, rape, GBV, petty offenses, and other human rights violations. In the year 2020, we held a series of brainstorming sessions with pro-bono lawyers and in-house lawyers’ meetings towards devising strategies to better serve our target groups.

• Prison Decongestion – We secured the release of about 50 persons from various Correctional Service Centers across the Country. This was achieved through partner lawyers under the Coalition of Lawyers for Human Rights, other partners who are quite passionate about the justice system and the vulnerable in the society and owing to the various projects aimed at prison decongestion.

• Lawyers Alert partnered with Equal Access International in the “Securing Nigerian Communities” Project. Three local government areas of Benue State that are most prone to high violent conflicts and other crime-related issues were mapped out, including Agatu, Guma, and Gwer West local government areas. LA carried out mapping, identification, and mobilization of stakeholders, women, and youths of these communities where focus group discussions were held and a consensus was reached on how women and youths can be included in the security networks of the areas concerned.

• Public/Strategic Impact Litigation – In 2021, Lawyers Alert filed a suit against the Benue State Government. This is a fundamental rights suit built on the grounds of the ban and destruction of bikes in Kastina – Ala Local Government and environs in Benue State Nigeria.

• Vagrancy Laws and Petty Offences – Lawyers Alert in line with its mandate and movement on decriminalization of vagrancy laws and petty offences in Nigeria filed an action in LA V Federal Republic of Nigeria before the Community Court of ECOWAS in Abuja, FCT. By the action, Lawyers Alert seeks the interpretation of Sections 405, 406, and 407 of the Penal Code of Nigeria, Cap. 89, Laws of Northern Nigeria, 1963 and seeks the court’s pronouncement on the sections as vagrancy laws that should have no place in our statute books. The suit further seeks the court determination of the compatibility of the aforesaid sections with the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) and other International Human Rights Instruments applicable in Nigeria. Whichever way the judgment goes, a positive outcome will go a long way to strengthening the position of the vulnerable populations. It is even more strategic that the matter is being heard by the Community Court of ECOWAS. A positive outcome will impact the lives of every vulnerable person and help to decriminalize certain vagrancy laws.

• In the case of LA V Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) & 2 Ors, Lawyers Alert recently instituted an action against the Abuja Environmental Protection Board and 3 Others. The action hinges on the incessant reports on violations of the rights of women by the Abuja Environmental Board (AEPB) and its cohorts. The suit seeks the interpretation of sections 6 and 35 of the AEPB Act and a declaration that the provisions of sections 6 and 35 of the AEPB Act, 1997 or any other provision for that matter do not give the AEPB powers to arrest women suspected to be Sex Workers. This suit further seeks a declaration that the functions of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) do not include the harassment, arrest, and raid of women in Abuja. It is believed that the suit will broaden the frontiers of the law by seeking decriminalization of petty offenses in the context of female sex workers in Nigeria and protect the rights of women from violations.

• On Human trafficking, COP vs. Savior Dabo was moved to the High Court from the lower court. The matter is still ongoing, it was instituted in the year 2018 at the Magistrate Court.

• In the year 2021, Lawyers Alert facilitated the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs)/ Police Service Commission (PSC) Accountability forum. This was towards having coordinated and informed interventions by CSOs with regard to the PSC and security in Nigeria.

• Lawyers Alert in the year 2021 instituted thirteen cases at the Judicial Panel of Inquiry sitting in Benue, Abia, and the FCT. This is following the establishment of Judicial Panels of Inquiry at National and State levels which arose from the #ENDSARS protests on Human Rights violations committed by the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). Six out of the thirteen cases Lawyers Alert are representing victims of police brutality (#ENDSARS), were concluded and cases were closed for Judicial Panel’s recommendation. The women are now awaiting their financial compensation from the State, following the recommendations from the Judicial Panel.

Memoranda on National Security: In the year 2021, Lawyers Alert facilitated brainstorming sessions for CSOs to discuss the way forward concerning the nation's security challenges. This was in line with the call for the submission of solutions-driven memoranda from experts, members of the public, community groups, and CSOs, by the National Assembly Special Committee on National Security. A memorandum on local and community level security and non-military and non-kinetic security options and solutions was prepared and submitted. See link.

Lawyers Alert envisions a world where the marginalized population participates in governance, the government is open and accountable to citizens, and resources are used judiciously and equitably for all.
Interventions carried out in the year 2021 under this program aligned with the overall goals and objectives of the organization. These include;
 In 2021, Lawyers Alert’s intervention in this thematic area was basically through literacy sessions, which touched on issue-based voting, discussed as a topic on our weekly Thursdays’ Facebook live streaming series.
 It also looked that good governance from the angle of petty offenses, where a radio program tagged “petty offenses and the Nigerian situation” was aired on the Federal Radio Station, Harvest FM, Makurdi, Benue State, as conversations centered on the susceptibility of the poor and vulnerable to offenses like hawking, alms-begging, commercial sex work, etc. The need for the Government to decriminalize and declassify petty offenses and/or have offenders commit to community services or any other form of punishment that is in accordance with international best practices. This is principally because most of the offenders are economically disadvantaged owing to the paucity of social and economic development in the State and Nigeria at large and not because they chose such informal businesses.
 In the pursuit for citizens’ participation and inclusion in governance, Lawyers Alert as the chairperson, Steering Committee of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), Benue State Chapter and Secretariat was represented at the State Ministerial budget defence organized by the State Planning Commission towards interrogating the various State Agency budgets to advocate for, and factor in the concerns of the vulnerable and marginalized persons in the State.


In 2021, Lawyers Alert took a different approach to Staff Capacity building. This approach employed the expertise of HR experts in facilitating weekly capacity-building sessions on various fields or areas of development for members of staff. This approach led to over 30 capacity-building sessions held for the staff of Lawyers Alert even amidst the pandemic. In the last quarter of the year also, Lawyers Alert’s work with Equal Access International paved way for the two staff members working on the “Securing Nigerian Communities” project the opportunity to be trained on conflict management and peacebuilding in line with international best practice.


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