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Innocent Chukwuma Memorial

We must hold on to optimism ― Innocent Chukwuma by Okechukwu Nwanguma

12.39 pm, Saturday, 3rd April, 2021. That was when I last spoke with my friend, Innocent Chukwuma. My calling him was prompted by the disturbing information I just then received from Dr. Chidi Odinkalu that Innocent was unwell and that his condition appeared to be serious. I was alarmed and wasn’t sure if he was able to speak but I tried, reluctantly. I was glad he took my call, and I asked him if he was fine. He said he wasn’t quite well and I told him I was concerned about the information I received about his condition and hospitalisation. He responded in a shaky, distressed voice, betraying a man not in his normal state of wellness, and said ‘It’s actually a cause for concern, but, you know, we’re in the business of being optimistic’.. read more

Innocent Chukwuma was Nigeria’s most authoritative voice on policing —Olisa Agbakoba

I was founding president of Nigeria’s first and premier human rights organization and at the time the third busiest NGO in the world, Civil Liberties organisation, CLO, behind Amnesty International, AI, and Human Rights Watch, HRW. We started off in 1987 with a small team, not clear of the future direction until a bundle of talents arrived, brought along by the late Emma Ezeazu, successor secretary to co-founder of CLO, Clement Nwankwo. read more

Ayo Obe’s tribute to Innocent Chukwuma

Innocent Chukwuma has left an indelible record in the history of Nigeria’s human rights and pro-democracy activism, and in showing the role that civil society can – and must play – in promoting and supporting good governance. He set a sterling example in the transparent and sustainable management of non-governmental organisations. read more

Innocent Chukwuma Lived Well, But Departed Too Early, By Dr. Freedom C. Onuoha

Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another. Ernest Hemingway
I got to hear of Innocent Chukwuma from Prof Okechukwu Ibeanu back in 2005 when I was on my Master’s Degree program in the Political Science Department at the University of Nigeria. Prof. Ibeanu had directed me to apply for a job at CLEEN Foundation as a Research Assistant. read more

Innocent Chukwuma: The enduring legacy of a beacon of hope for every generation – Samson Itodo

Innocent was intentional about investing in people, especially young people. I was 25 and fresh out of Law School when Innocent invited me to join a high-level Civil Society Panel on Police Reforms established by CLEEN Foundation to perform a diagnostics on policing in Nigeria and to proffer recommendations for repositioning the Nigerian Police. read more

Innocent Chukwuma: When great souls die – Wole Ojewale

Like many friends, comrades and associates of Innocent Chukwuma, I received the cold message from my former colleague by 12:33am on Sunday morning about the shocking exit of a man considered by many as an iroko tree and a big masquerade in the organized civil society and democracy struggle in Nigeria. read more

Celebrating the Life and Times of Nigeria’s Impact Investment Hero, Innocent Chukwuma

Innocent Chukwuma was a father, a mentor, a brother, a friend, a pioneer, a giver and he believed in all of the possibilities of making Nigeria a superpower through the lens of Impact Investing. read more

Remembering Innocent – Prof Rainuka Dagar

The passing away of Innocent Chukwuma on the evening of third April was tragic; only 55 years of age and moments before he started treatment for the Acute Myeloid Leukaemia that was diagnosed a day earlier. He was a human rights warrior with a difference. read more

CISLAC mourns Chukwuma, says was renowned human rights activist

The Executive Director, CISLAC, Auwal Ibrahim Rafsanjani, in a statement described Chukwuma as an exemplary Civil Society leader and renowned human right activist with great sense of humour. read more

In Memoriam: Innocent Chukwuma By Sam Muller

Innocent was a long time friend, advocate, and collaborator with HiiL. He pioneered evidence-based working in the justice sector over 10 years ago and worked tirelessly to advance the cause of justice around the world. For us, Innocent was a pioneer amongst the pioneers. He provided HiiL with valuable advice in these challenging times and led by example as Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Law Enforcement Education in Nigeria (CLEEN Foundation).. read more

TRIBUTE: Lessons from Innocent Chukwuma by Nengak Daniel

I knew Innocent Chukwuma for about eight years, but it feels like much longer. As we mourn his sudden demise, I draw comfort from some of the lessons he taught me and I thought to share some here.. read more

Blown out like a candle in the wind: A tribute to Innocent Chukwuma by Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye 

I was a bit close to Innocent Chukwuma within the civil society and development agitation space. Long before Innocent became the Regional Director for West Africa Office of Ford Foundation our paths had crossed in a number of civil society projects including serving as joint consultants for DFID in 2008 to design one of its development intervention projects in Nigeria.. read more

Innocent Chukwuma was a thoroughbred activist by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

I was greatly saddened by the news of the passing of Innocent Chukwuma, a thoroughbred social activist, my friend and collaborator of many years. Innocent, then in CLEEN Foundation, was a crucial resource in Police reform in support of our justice reform efforts in Lagos State in my time as Attorney-General… read more

TRIBUTE: The Innocent Chukwuma I knew – Rommy Mom 

I cannot pretend to be of the Innocent Chukwuma breed that fought the military junta from campus to activism with badges and relics of what that generation of activists suffered or went through in birthing democracy… read more


And the patriot died… 

In the 55 short years that he lived, Chukwuma had made his impact on the system felt at the national and international levels. Starting as a student leader at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he studied Religion, his voice was heard above the din; marked out as one to watch in the future… read more

Remembering Innocent Chukwuma, a pioneer in Nigeria’s impact movement

From 2013 to 2021, Innocent served as Director of the Ford Foundation’s West Africa office, overseeing the Foundation’s grant-making activities while catalysing private and public cooperation in the region. Prior to that, he founded and led the CLEEN Foundation to promote public safety, security, and accessible justice in West Africa. CLEEN was the first African non-governmental organisation to receive the prestigious MacArthur Foundation Award for Creative and Effective Institutions… read more


Passing of Innocent Chukwuma

Innocent and CLEEN Foundation, the organization he established in 1998 have been an indelible part of OSIWA’s work from our inception. His innovative ideas around police and criminal justice reform made profound impact on our work across West Africa and influenced the activities and advocacy of many across Africa and the world… read more