Prof. Bolanle Awe
Joy Ngozi Ezeilo
Mary Idris Abubakar
Prof. Obioma Nnaemeka
Clement Nwankwo
Justice Oby Nwodo

Joy Ngozi Ezeilo is a lawyer, feminist and scholar/activist. She earned a post graduate degree in law (LLM) from QueenMaryCollege, University of London, and a BL from the NigerianLawSchool. She is a Senior Lecturer and teaches law at the University of Nigeria (Enugu Campus). She attended the International Institute of Human Rights and the International Centre for University Teaching of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France. She holds a diploma in gender studies and also a diploma in peace studies and conflict resolution from CODESRIA, Dakar and the Uppsala University, Sweden.

Joy Ezeilo, was recently appointed the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, especially women and children (2008-2011). She has served Nigerian governments at both the state and federal levels in different capacities; notably as the Honourable Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, EnuguState (2003-2004), and a federal delegate to the National Political Reform Conference. Recently, she was appointed by the Honourable Attorney General and the Minister for Justice to chair the Committee drafting a Bill Elimination of Violence and by the Enugu State Governor as a member of the Governing Council of Citizen’s Rights and MediationCenter, Enugu. Joy Ezeilo is actively involved in the Civil Society Movement in Nigeria particularly in the areas of human rights, democracy and good governance. She is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Women’s Aid Collective (WACOL), a non-governmental organisation dedicated to promoting and protecting the human rights of women and young people. She is the Convener of the South East Women Network (SEWNET), and the founder and moderator of the West African Women Rights Coalition (WAWORC) and has under that mandate initiated the “Say No to Violence Against Women and Girls Campaign” among others.

Joy Ezeilo is a recipient of the prestigious British Chevening scholarship and a grantee of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Funds for Leadership Development. She has also received several national and international awards, including the International Visitors Award of the African Studies Association, USA (2001); Peace Service Award from the African Center for Peace & Conflict Resolution, California State University, Sacramento for her pro bono legal aid work for poor and vulnerable women and girl(April:2006); Community Service Awards from Rotary International, Soroptimist International, and the Rotaract Club; and the Outstanding Performance Award from the Ezeagu Local Government Council, Enugu State. In 2003, His Royal Highness Igwe G. Eko of Ihe installed her as Chief Ada Eji Eje Mba I of Ihe and in 2004, His Royal Highness Igwe J. Nnaji conferred on her the Ochendo title for her humanitarian work in Nigeria and beyond. She was invested with Peace Service Award by the California State University, Sacramento in April 2006. Recently, her LGA- Ezeagu (October 2006) honoured her with another Chieftaincy title- Nne Ezeagu.

In 1999, Joy Ezeilo was a Fellow-in-Residence at the Humanities Research Institute, University of California, Irvine and in 2001, she was invited to the University of California, Riverside, as a Regent Professor. She has served as a consultant/trainer in human rights, gender issues, governance and conflict resolution to many international and national organisations including Nigerian Judicial Institute (NJI), UNDP, UNIFEM, UNICEF, USAID, MACARTHUR FOUNDATION, UNFPA, Federal Ministry Of Health, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs (MDG Fund), CRLP (now Center for Reproductive Rights), OSIWA, CODESRIA, British Council, Global Rights, Partners for Justice (formerly International Human Rights Law Group, DFID: Security Justice & Growth (SJG), and Partnership For Transformation Of Health System (PATHS), SRIP/EU, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Abuja, Open Society Initiative For Southern Africa (OSISA), Center for Democracy and Development, West Africa (CDD) etc.

She pioneered the teaching of the course, “Women, Children and the Law,” at the University of Nigeria since 1997 and also the adoption of a curriculum and the teaching of Health Law/Reproductive Rights in Nigerian Universities through her organization WACOL. She has published extensively in the areas of human rights, women and children’s rights, Health Law including HIV and AIDS in Nigeria and Africa in general.

It was in recognition of her outstanding contributions to nation building in the area of legal scholarship, advocacy, civil society movement and community service that Joy Ezeilo popularly called Ochendo was conferred with the National honour of Officer of the Order of Niger (OON) by Mr. President Olusegun Obasanjo (GCFR) in December 2006.

Joy Ezeilo is married to a medical doctor, Augustine Ezenta Ezeilo, who is the Enugu State Director of Public Health. They have three children—Chidulue, Nnenna and Onyinye. Ezeilo’s hobbies include travelling, reading and dancing.

Contact Address: Joy Ngozi Ezeilo,
Executive Director, Women Aid Collective (WACOL),
9 Umuezebi Street New Haven, Enugu, P. O. Box 2718,
Enugu State
Phone: +234-42-256678
Fax: +234-42-256831
Website: Email: or


Ms. Mary Idris Abubakar
Ms. Abubakar earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (Nigeria) in 1983 and in 2001 received an M. A. from the University of East Anglia, Norwich (UK) in gender analysis and development. She is a founding member of Women in Nigeria (WIN) and served the organisation in various leadership positions including National Coordinating Secretary), Chairperson of the WIN/HBF Rural Women Cooperative Project, and Regional Director of Rural Women Empowerment (RUWEM), North-East. For over twenty years, she has worked tirelessly on women’s issues, particularly the reproductive health and rights of women.

Professor Bolanle Awe
Professor Awe was educated at the Girls’ School, Lagos; St. Anne’s School, Ibadan; Perse School for Girls, Cambridge (UK); and Oxford University (UK). She is currently the Pro-Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Professor Awe taught history and women’s studies at the University of Ibadan. She was a research professor of African history at the Institute of Africa Studies, and the founding director of the Women’s Research and Documentation Centre (WORDOC) at the University of Ibadan. For several years, she served as the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation representative in Nigeria. A highly respected authorityon Nigerian women, Professor Awe’s work has received national and international recognition, one of which was the 1999 Oodua Excellence Award for scholarship and public service. Although she has retired from university service, she continues to conduct research and serve her country in many capacities.

Professor Obioma Nnaemeka:
A multilingual, widely travelled scholar, cultural worker and social reformer, Dr. Obioma Nnaemeka is a full Professor of French, Women’s Studies, and African/African Diaspora Studies and Director of the Women’s Studies Programme (2000-2003) at Indiana University, Indianapolis. She studied at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (Nigeria), the former Université de Dakar (Senegal), Université de Grenoble (France), and the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) where she earned an M.A and a Ph. D with distinction. She is the founder and current President of the Association of African Women Scholars (AAWS) and the List Administration of an internet discussion group on gender issues in Africa and the African Diaspora (AFWOSCHO). Professor Nnaemeka has received numerous national and international awards and delivered over one hundred keynote addresses and lectures in over thirty countries. Author/editor of eleven books and over sixty scholarly articles, Professor Nnaemeka has published extensively in the following areas: women’s/gender studies, African studies, human rights, literature, cultural studies, and global studies.

Justice Regina Obiageli Nwodo
Justice Nwodo earned a Bachelor’s degree in law (LL.B Hons) from the University of Middlesex (UK) in 1982, and a Master’s degree in law (LLM) from the London School of Economics in 1990. She was appointed a magistrate in 1985 and has since then held several positions in the judiciary including Chief Magistrate Grade II, Deputy Chief Registrar (Enugu State High Court) and Judge of the Federal High Court (Port Harcourt). She has many law-related publications to her credit and belongs to numerous national and international organisations.

Ms. Joy Ukamaka Ogbazi
Joy Ogbazi studied in the 1980s at Iowa State University, Ames (USA), where she earned a B.Sc. degree in community and regional planning and an M.Sc. in international development. She is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Nigeria (Enugu Campus). Ms. Ogbazi has over fifty journal articles and chapters in books and conference proceedings. She is a grantee of the Fund for Leadership Development programme of John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. She is an honorary member of the Women’s Advisory Board of the American Biographical Institute.

Professor Cyprian Okechukwu Okonkwo, SAN
Professor Okonkwo is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and the longest serving law professor in the Nigerian university system. He is not only an accomplished scholar and a master teacher who has taught and mentored numerous law graduates but also one of the greatest legal minds in the country. His academic record is yet to be broken at his alma mater, the University of Manchester, where he earned an LLB (First Class Honours) and an LLM. His long list of excellent publications has benefited the legal profession where he is often cited and in universities where his works are required readings for law courses. He is currently a member of the Nigeria Law Reform Commission and also the SJG/ DFID, Chairperson of Justice SectorState Reform Team, Enugu State.

Dr. Jerry O. Ugwuanyi
Dr. Ugwuanyi holds a B.Sc. degree from the University of Nigeria (Nsukka). Armed with a Commonwealth scholarship, he continued his studies in the Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology at the University of Strathclyde, where he earned a Ph.D. Dr. Ugwuanyi is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Microbiology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He has published scholarly works on food microbiology and fermentation. Although a seasoned scientist, Dr. Ugwuanyi is well informed and actively engaged in discourses on political economy.