Abasiodiong Ekpenyong has emerged the winner of the 2017 Paul Usoro Pro bono Challenge.
The winner was selected by a three-person Evaluation Committee, comprising of Prof. Fabian Ajogwu, SAN, Mrs. Abimbola Akeredolu, SAN and Mr. Essien Udom, constituted to appraise and evaluate the entries and select the winners.
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.
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.
According to the organizers of 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.”
Other participants who though did not meet the criteria were given consolation prizes of N50,000.00 each for their efforts. These are: Ogechukwu Mary Ulasi; Emmanuel Nnamdi Offiah; Iniobong Sunday Udoh; Adam Muhammed Ndakudu, Dayo Majeed, Kelvin Lorzenda, Yusuf Olarewaju Afeez & Ogonnaya Ukachukwu.
The organizers noted that these individuals would be contacted to redeem their prizes.