A Nigerian human rights lawyer, Adeola Austin Oyinlade, has been declared winner of the IBA Human Rights Award for the year 2018.
The prestigious award was presented to him at this year’s IBA Conference in Rome, Italy. Mr. Oyinlade emerged winner ahead of other finalists from many countries across the world.
Adeola Austin made this known on his Facebook page, where he wrote;
Dear Friends and distinguished colleagues,
I am so honoured to inform you that I have been declared winner of this year International Bar Association (IBA) Human Rights Award in Rome, Italy few hours ago (Friday 12, 2018). It is a great honour to be singled out among thousand of lawyers across the world for my human rights work. Aside hundreds of lawyers from many part of the world in the hall where the award was presented, Nigerian lawyers including Attorney Generals and Justices of the Nigerian High Court were also present in the hall including the leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association with loud ovation. I am grateful to everyone from many jurisdictions of the world for cheering me to honour. Members of the Nigerian Bar at the IBA conference told me they were happy to see the First Nigerian ever and second African win the award after Mr. Sizor from South Africa nominated by Nelson Mandela clinched it many years ago. I was overwhelmed by the show of love by everyone and the Nija vibes by Nigerian lawyers and ‘My Lords’ in the building.
This is emotional for me as the ceremony clashed with the burial of my dear mother In-law. My wife and in-laws after fantastic preparation all insisted i must go and bring the award to Nigeria as if they had known i would be declared winner despite being a mere finalist 😃. Indeed, I am happy that we all had something to cheer about in memory of my beloved mother in law who doubled as my own mother in her life time and whose life was an embodiment of equity and fairness.
I have every reason as I always believe not to underestimate friendship.I thank all friends and associates for honouring my invite to the funeral ceremony despite I was not in Nigeria. They said I should go and do Nigeria proud. While they did by coming from far and near to support my darling wife, I was favoured by God to bring the award to Nigeria. You are all friends in deed and in truth. I am honoured and highly indebted to you.
I thank all the beneficiaries and everyone who has supported my human rights work as a practicing a lawyer and our #KnowYourRightsNigeria initiative technically, morally and most especially our volunteers. Your immense support also contributed to this recognition.
I can only thank God Almighty who made this possible. This one is beyond “man know man” and i give him all the glory for his mercy, favour, this feat and many more that will come.
God bless you all. #IBARome