Paul Usoro Challenge

Paul Usoro pro bono Challenge contest which is a platform created to encourage young inspired, forward thinking members of the Nigerian bar to spark a movement and change the narrative in the Nigeria’s legal space, has just been concluded and winner emerged. Abasiodiong Ekpeyong, Esq is declared the winner out of the 9 entries after having satisfied the criteria stipulated in the competition

A total of 9 entries were received from lawyers between 1 to 5 years at the Bar practicing in Benue, Ebonyi, Kwara, Lagos, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, and Delta States. 4 geopolitical zones – North Central, South West, South South and South Eastern regions participated.A three-person Evaluation Committee, comprising of Prof. Fabian Ajogwu, SAN, Mrs. Abimbola Akeredolu, SAN and Mr. Essien Udom, was constituted to appraise and evaluate the entries and select the winners.

In evaluating the entries and ultimately determining the winners of the Challenge, the Committee considered the publicized criteria and guidelines for the Challenge, viz:
a) the participant must be between 1-10 years at the bar;
b) the participant must create a short video explaining his/her pro bono case;
c) the participant must forward supporting documents to designated email address;
d) the pro bono case must be at the trial stage; and
e) gender related cases, child abuse and humanitarian matters were to attract extra points.

Guided by the PU Challenge Criteria and Guidelines, the Evaluation Committee scored participants on:
• Entry inspires others or offers an opportunity that is appealing to other pro bono volunteers,
• Entry meets existing or emerging legal needs of low-income or less privileged,
• Displayed good advocacy skills,
• stood for a worthy cause; and
• audio-visual presentation of the pro bono matter.

Result of the Evaluation: Only one entry satisfied all the criteria for the Challenge. A good number of entries received did not meet the critical qualification criteria that the case must be at trial stage. Some participants did not provide sufficient documentary evidence in support of their entries. Other entries showed the applicants’ role in the matters was either very minimal, or merely a pro bono case handled by the law Firm but not the participant. Consequently, 8 entries were adjudged not compelling enough to win the Challenge.

We are delighted to announce the winner of the first edition of the Paul Usoro Challenge: Abasiodiong Ekpeyong, Esq, as determined by the Evaluation Committee. Abasiodiong Ekpenyong receives a prize of N100,000.00.

To ensure full transparency and independence of the process, PUC staff were not involved in the collation and evaluation process nor did they have visibility on the content or identity of participants.

The entire process was conducted and facilitated by DKK, an independent & leading Public Relations consultancy agency.

Many Thanks to DKK and every lawyer who responded to the Paul Usoro Challenge and I especially thank the eminent lawyers/evaluators for time and effort contributed pro bono to review all the videos and documents sent to them.

All the entrants will be encouraged with consolation prizes of N50,000.00 each for efforts. Ogechukwu Mary Ulasi; Emmanuel Nnamdi Offiah; Iniobong Sunday Udoh; Adam Muhammed Ndakudu, Dayo Majeed, Kelvin Lorzenda, Yusuf Olarewaju Afeez & Ogonnaya Ukachukwu will receive their prizes accordingly. We will make contact with all the participants individually.

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