Megan Chapman, co-director
Megan' vision for JEI’s blend of legal empowerment and community mobilization was born in rural Cameroon and refined in South Africa’s townships, before it took root in Nigeria where she has worked since 2011. With a wide variety of international and domestic human rights and development organizations, Megan has helped to build community-based paralegal programs and supported strategic human rights litigation in Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In Nigeria, she is seeking sustainable ways to bring skills and resources directly to poor communities. Megan holds a J.D. from American University Washington College of Law (summa cum laude), where she was a Public Interest/Public Service scholar and the co-Editor-in-Chief of the Human Rights Brief. She holds a B.A. in history from University of Chicago (high distinction).
Andrew Maki, co-director
Andrew began his career working on international criminal justice in the Balkans and transitional justice in Uganda until recognizing the disconnect between these efforts and the everyday lives of victims. Since 2011, he has been working with the poor in urban slums and rural villages across Nigeria to defend and advance their rights, becoming ever more convinced that the recipe for meaningful social change amidst pervasive impunity lies in bringing the poor together to organize and lead their own struggles. Andrew holds a J.D. from American University Washington College of Law, where he was the co-Editor-in-Chief of the Human Rights Brief and earned the award for the highest number of pro bono hours. He has worked with the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, the American Bar Association – Rule of Law Initiative, and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
Anna Maitland, US liaison
Anna's career has centered on supporting vulnerable and marginalized populations to own and lead their struggles toward progressive and sustainable change. She has engaged in the Americas and Africa on statelessness, asylum, and sexual rights through work with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), and Heshima Kenya. In Nigeria, her work has focused on right to health and impacts of forced evictions. Anna holds a J.D. from American University Washington College of Law (cum laude), where she served as Managing Editor of the Human Rights Brief, and a M.A. from American University School of International Service, where she received scholarships from Meyers Society and the Women’s Law Association.
Chike Emerueh, port harcourt coordinator & community mediation officer
Chike is a social psychologist and a natural teacher with a passion for capacity building, alternative dispute resolution (ADR), and working with youth. Prior to joining JEI, he organized numerous youth-focused seminars and coordinated a call-in radio show for the National Youth Service Corps. He is trained in ADR and is a member of the Nigerian Institute of Management (chartered). Chike coordinates JEI's Port Harcourt office and projects. He is fluent in English, Igbo, and Pidgin English languages.
Ifeyinwa Nwabueze, staff attorney & researcher
Ifeyinwa is a human rights lawyer with practice experience across a wide variety of areas of law. Before joining JEI, Ifeyinwa worked as an Advocate/Solicitor in law firms in Abuja and Lagos handling cases of both civil and political disputes. Ifeyinwa obtained her Barrister at Law (BL) degree from the Nigerian Law School at Abuja, she is also a Chartered Secretary and Administrator, a Member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria. As Staff Attorney and Researcher, Ifeyinwa supports JEI's litigation and community-based paralegal training and supervision in Port Harcourt, as well as JEI's land tenure research. She is fluent in English, Igbo, and Pidgin English languages.
Joseph Kayode Aro, mapping & profiling data analyst
Joseph is a creative GIS analyst with several years of experience conducting remote sensing analysis, digital mapping, database design and administration, as well as spatial analysis. Joseph holds a Btech in Geography and an MSc in GIS and Environmental Management. With interests in mapping, data and sports, he has carried out numerous urban assessment analysis with focus on housing pattern, distribution and growth factors. He has worked with the University of Ilorin as a GIS Consultant and is the Director of GIS Cleric International. He is also a veteran radio and TV sports presenter and analyst. He is fluent in English, Yoruba, Hausa, and Pidgin English languages.
Sunny Aigbefo, access to health lead
Sunny is a public health professional and researcher. Prior to joining JEI, he worked with the Carter Center, Global 2000, PEPFAR, and APIN on various community health and research projects. He has expertise in community mobilization and education on issues of public health, as well as training and curriculum development. He is also Executive Director of K’arale, a community health organization focused on HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. He is fluent in English, Yoruba, and Pidgin English languages.
Rasheed Shittu, lagos coordinator
Abdul Rasheed Shittu is an accounting professional with demonstrated auditing and financial management experience gained from over eight years work in leading multinational organizations. In 2009, based on his passion for community development and social work, he transitioned to the non-profit sector. He now works with JEI to support the Lagos Federation to monitor savings groups across the state, to develop financial management systems, and to undertake citywide profiling. He also helps to coordinate other JEI support, including legal empowerment and training. A graduate of Kwara State Polytechnic, he has an associate membership with the Chartered Institute of Supply Chain Management and the Certified Institute of Warehousing and Material Management. He is fluent in the English, Yoruba, and Hausa languages.
Olusola Babalola, staff attorney
Olusola is a human rights lawyer with a passion for working to improve access to justice for poor and marginalized individuals. She has worked on a wide variety of cases from criminal defense to land disputes. Before joining JEI, Olusola worked as a legal/program officer at Justice Development and Peace Initiatives (JDPI) in Ekiti State, where she provided free legal services to indigent individuals in detention, trained traditional rulers in alternative dispute resolution (ADR), and taught human rights in secondary schools. She is also an active member of the International Federation of Female Lawyers (FIDA). As staff attorney, Olusola supports JEI's litigation and community-based paralegal training and supervision in Lagos. She is fluent in English and Yoruba languages.
Matthew Olunola, creative media officer
Matthew's passion for media motivated him to study mass communication at Moshood Abiola Polytechnic. He has spent over a decade practicing his trade with both government and private media firms handling varied notable productions from TV/radio shows to documentaries and commercials. Before joining JEI, he worked with BBC Media Action as a Producer Trainer where he went around the country training producers, reporters, and editors in content development, programme structuring and interactive media with health and governance themes. He's fluent in English, and Pidgin English.
Chioma F. Ngoka, staff attorney
Chioma is a lawyer dedicated to improving access to justice for the poor. Prior to joining JEI she worked with D.J. Fadere & Co., a general practice law firm. She obtained her Barrister at Law (BL) degree from the Nigerian Law School in Lagos where she developed a strong interest in criminal law and procedure. Chioma supports all of JEI’s legal work and research in Lagos. She is fluent in English, Igbo and Pidgin English languages.
Friday Oteikwu, staff attorney
Friday Oteikwu is a human rights lawyer and an advocate for the poor. Before joining JEI, he worked with Synergy Law Partnership, a general practice law firm in Lagos. Friday obtained his Bachelor of Law Degree from the University of Maiduguri and his Barrister at Law from the Nigeria Law School in Lagos where he developed interest in civil law and procedure, criminal law and procedure and property Law. He is fluent in English, Idoma, Hausa, and Pidgin Languages.
Enyo Oko, urban planner (NYSC)
directors & trustees
Abiodun Baiyewu, Abuja, Nigeria
Abiodun is the Nigeria Country Director for Global Rights and has extensive experience working in Nigerian civil society on issues around human rights, access to justice, and peace-building. Abi has worked with organizations in Nigeria including the Negotiation and Conflict Management Group, the Center for African Policy and Peace Strategy, and the American Center for International Labor Solidarity. Abi holds a Bachelor of Law from the Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Nigeria and a Masters of Law from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington D.C., where she was also a Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellow in the Leadership and Advocacy for Women in Africa Program. She is an accredited mediator, dispute resolution trainer, and an HIV/AIDS youth counselor. Abiodun is a member of the board of directors of JEI, and a trustee of CLSI.
Jack Makau, Nairobi, Kenya
Jack is a Country Program Officer at Slum/Shack Dwellers International, based in Kenya and providing support to slum dweller federations across Africa and around the world. He has worked with the Kenyan federation, Muungano wa Wanavijiji, since its founding, holding roles with Muungano Support Trust and Pamoja Trust. He is an expert in enumerations, slum profiling, and participatory urban planning. Jack is a member of the board of directors of JEI.
Libby Cook, Boulder, USA
Libby is founder and Executive Director of Philanthropiece, a foundation dedicated to catalyzing change at the grassroots in communities around the world. Libby is a teacher, a mentor and an innovator, all skills which help her to actively serve on Advisory Boards for the Center for the Advancement of Sustainable Enterprise (CASE) at Colorado State University (chairperson), the University of Colorado School of Law, Silicon Flatiron Centers’ Entrepreneurship Initiatives at the University of Colorado, and Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network. Dedicated to community empowerment projects in North and Central America, Libby has led Philanthropiece to be on the cutting edge of community based assistance, focusing on community education, awareness and ownership of projects that are sought and determined by the beneficiaries. This dedication to education and financial awareness has been acknowledged many times, as she is the recipient of numerous commendations and awards including the Alumni Award for Distinguished Achievement from the CU School of Law in 2000, the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 1998, the YWCA Hall of Fame Award for Entrepreneurship in 1995 and the Esprit Entrepreneur Award in 1992. Libby is a member of the board of directors of JEI.
Kalu Obuba, Abuja, Nigeria
Kalu is a lawyer with over two decades of practice experience before Nigerian courts on a broad array of cases, including housing rights (forced eviction), land grab, HIV-based discrimination, employment disputes, among others. He has litigated cases in Lagos State, Rivers State (Port Harcourt), and the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja), and numerous other jurisdictions. Kalu received his LL.B from the University of Benin, and his B.L. from Nigeria Law School, Lagos. He has his own chambers, Obuba & Obuba, in Abuja and serves as an independent senior legal advisor to JEI, as well as a trustee of CLSI.
Adewale Ajadi, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Adewale is Program Manager of Conflict Stabilisation Operations: Niger Delta Legacy Engagement at Stakeholder Democracy Network. He has over two decades of experience facilitating people-oriented change, developing adaptive solutions to emerging challenges, and educating leaders on inclusion. Adewale is a lawyer with practice experience before domestic courts in Nigeria. He additionally has an MSc in International Business Economics, and studied leadership education at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, as well as complex systems theory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's New England Complex Systems Institute. Adewale also works for the African Leadership Centre delivering training on leadership in peace operations across Africa and the rest of the world, including as part of programme for United Nations Institute for Training and Research. He is a successful playwright (Abyssinia) and co-author (Building Workplace Equality: Ethics, Diversity and Inclusion, and Croner's Managing Equality and Diversity). He is author of Omoluwabi 2.0 ‘A code of transformation in 21st Century Nigeria. Adewale is a member of the board of directors of JEI, and a trustee of CLSI.
Juan E. Mendez, Washington D.C., USA
Juan is Professor of Human Rights Law in Residence at the American University-Washington College of Law and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment since November 2010. He is the author – with Marjorie Wentworth – of Taking a Stand (New York: Palgrave-MacMillan, October 2011). He has been an advisor on crime prevention to the Prosecutor, International Criminal Court. In 2010 and 2011 he was also Co-Chair of the Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association. Until May 2009 he was the President of the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) and Scholar-in-Residence at the Ford Foundation in New York (summer 2009). Concurrent with his duties at ICTJ, he was Kofi Annan’s Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide (2004 to 2007). Between 2000 and 2003 he was a member of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States, and served as its President in 2002. He has taught international law and human rights at Oxford University (UK), Notre Dame Law School (USA), Georgetown and the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. He worked for Human Rights Watch in Washington and New York (1982-1996) and as Executive Director of the Inter-American Institute on Human Rights in San Jose, Costa Rica (1996-1999). Juan is a member of the board of directors of JEI.
Gbenga Austen Oladapo, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Austen is founder and Executive Director of the Initiative for Advancement of Humanity (IAH), a human rights NGO that provides legal and health services to vulnerable populations. He has practiced law for over nine years, and has experience in criminal defense, forced evictions and land grabs, and discrimination in access to health services, among others. Austen regularly volunteers his time and skills to support human rights cases and campaigns. He also has adept knowledge of organizational and project management/implementation. Austen is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association, an associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK), and a trustee of CLSI.