Pretrial Detainees’ Law Clinics in Nigeria is a NULAI-Nigeria Project providing access to justice to indigent and vulnerable pretrial detainees in Nigeria. The project is in partnership with law clinics with pre-trial detainee units and include University of Abuja; NILE University; Baze University; University of Nigeria Nsukka; Ahmadu Bello University; Abia State University; Ebonyi State University; Nasarawa State University; Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba; University of Uyo; Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma; Olabisi Onabanjo University; University of Ilorin; Univeristy of Maiduguri; Usman Danfodion University, Sokoto; Nigerian Police Academy, Kano; and Nigerian Law School Yola campus & Kano Campuses. Law students working at these law clinics help provide paralegal human resources that fill the gap in providing services that help improve access to justice to indigent awaiting detainees. Such services include; access to legal representation/case referrals; bail; speeding of charge and commencement of trial; monitor detainees court appearances; helped to establish contact with family members; and advocacy for release to State Chief Judges and State Attorney Generals. It is important to note that in Nigeria, no institution has this advantage to mobilize the volume of persons with required capacity for this work as evidenced by law clinics.

Some highlights of Pre-trial detainee projects 

Reforming Pretrial Detention in Kuje Prison Project (Refrom Kuje) July 2018 – May 2020. This project is funded by Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, United States of America to support the Governement of Nigeria to achieve a significant reduction in the size of the pretrial detention population in Kuje prison. This will be accomplished by monitoring the implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) pre-trial detention provisions and using data to work collaboratively with justice sector actors to address gaps and bottlenecks obstructing implementation of the ACJA. The project is implemented by a consortium led by PartnersGlobal from the United States of America and led locally by NULAI Nigeria in partnership with New-Rule LLC, The Rule of Law and Empowerment Initiative, University of Maryland Carey School of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, University of Abuja Law Clinic, Nile University Law Clinic, and University of Baze Law clinic.  For more information see

Project Synopsis

Report of Stakeholders Workshop and Project Launch

Indicators and Monitoring Framework for Pre-trial Detention Provisions of the ACJA


Expanding Access to Justice to Pre-trial Detainees Across Nigeria December 2017 – March 2019: The project is funded by Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA). The project builds the capacity of law students and supports 14 Law Clinics to provide access to justice services to indigent pre-trial detainees and enhancing the capacity and effectiveness of law clinics in providing legal services and justice education.  Implementing Clinics: AAU Law Clinic; ABSU Law Clinic; ABU Law Clinic; Akungba Law Clinic; Bagauda Law Clinic; Caliphate Law Clinic; EBSU Law Clinic; Legal Aid Clinic Ilorin; OOU Law Clinic; POLAC Law Clinic; Nile Law Clinic; NSUK Law Clinic; UniAbuja Law Clinic and UniMaid Law Clinic. 754 Law students across 14 Law Clinics provide access to justice and legal aid services for 1650 pre-trial detainees in 23 prisons at Kaduna, Zaria, Kuje, Suleja, Okigwe, Umuahia, Aba, Abakaliki, Afikpo, Ubiaja, Mandala, Keffi Medium, Keffi Old, Lafia, Gusau, Sokoto, Birnin Kebbi, Maiduguri, Sagamu, Ijebu Ode, Owo, Olokuta, and Ijebu-Ode. For more information

Progress report on client services

Law Students reflections and stories 

Access to Justice for Pre-trial Detainees in Nigeria January 2014 – December 2014: In 2014 under NULAI Nigeria Prison pre-trial detainee project supported by Justice4All-DFID, 725 law students from 12 law clinics trained on prison pre-trial detention visited 19 prisons and provided access to justice services to 1,043 victims of prolonged pre-trial detention leading to 68 victims regaining their freedom through bail while 126 cases were disposed of through acquittals, convictions or cases struck out for want of diligent prosecution. This project developed an online case management system that was used by 12 law clinics to improve effective service delivery and enhance data collection on status of pre-trial detainees across Nigerian prisons. 

Final Report

Details of other interventions that have led to the development of pre-trial detention law clinics in Nigeria can be accessed through the underlisted links. 

All African Conference on Pre-trial and Criminal Justice

Prison Pre-trial Teacher Training Workshops supported by MacArthur Foundation

Law Clinics Pre-trial detainee in numbers

Pretrial Detainee Newsletter Vol 3

Pretrial Detainee Newsletter Vol 2

A Pretrial Detainee’s Diary