If you want to learn more about us, you’re in the right place. Read to learn how we managed to grow our organization so fast.
Who We Are
Acquit International Foundation was founded by Odey Cecilia Echaka. Cecilia Odey, as a critical observer of issues in the Nigerian society, has so many experiences that spanned from elementary school to university education and even as a graduate. Her daily encounter with Nigerians made her realized that an average Nigerian is ignorant of his human rights. The law enforcement agents arrest people arbitrarily, accuse falsely and detain unlawfully Nigerians who are indigent and unaware of their rights. Cecilia noted that most law enforcement agents does not abide by the provisions of the Criminal Justice Acts, 2015. However, their excesses could be curb when more Nigerians become aware that such law exist. Ignorance of human rights she said, was one of the major reasons for human rights abuses in the society. It becomes absolutely difficulty for people to know that their rights have been infringed upon if they lack the knowledge of their fundamental Human rights.
Recalling her experience at Ketu police station in 2017 where she was once summoned, Cecilia said she was compelled and threatened by an officer of the Nigeria police force to write a statement of a matter she knew nothing about. Upon refusal, she was immediately released. She explained that many innocent people in such situations are not aware that they have the right to remain silent till after consultation with a lawyer or any other person of their choice. Hence, they become trapped in the statement they wrote themselves out of sheer ignorance.
After that experience, she made to visit Ketu police station and Ikoyi prison for chat with suspects in police custody and prison inmates respectively and discovered that many of them lack proper human rights education and access to good counsel to regain their freedom. She was also informed by some of the suspects that they do not know the reason they were arrested whereas, it is their right to know. It is disheartening to know that many of these suspects have absolutely no business being there. It was this lack of human rights education and access to good counsel that propelled miss Odey Cecilia Echaka to found an organization that will enlighten citizens on human rights education and provide access to free qualitative legal services for suspect in police custody and prison inmates.
Her passion led her into forming a movement called “Alliance For Emancipation International” in May, 2018 which later metamorphosed into Acquit International Foundation in October, 2018.
Through the movement, she educated students of secondary schools in her neighborhood on human rights, believing that teaching young people about human rights will make them become valuable advocates for peace and tolerance.