Meet Harrison Emefiena Gwamnishu: Champion of Human Rights and Social Justice

Early Life and Background

Harrison Emefiena Gwamnishu was born on July 17, 1989, in Ubulu Uku, Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria. From a young age, Harrison exhibited a strong sense of justice and a passion for advocating for the rights of the oppressed. These qualities would later define his life's work and make him a notable figure in the realm of human rights activism and social justice.

Education and Professional Endeavors

Harrison is also committed to education and professional development. He studied Civic Leadership at the prestigious Rutgers University in the USA and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Peace and Conflict Resolution from Afriford University, Cotonou. Additionally, he earned a Diploma in Computer Science from Lagos State University.

Apart from his human rights work, Harrison is the founder of HarryTech Processing and HarryTech Security, showcasing his entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to creating opportunities for others.

Path to Activism

Harrison's journey into activism was shaped by personal experiences of injustice. In 2011, he was wrongfully imprisoned, spending four years in Nigerian prisons. His ordeal included two years at Kirikiri Medium Prison in Lagos State and another two years at Ogwashi Uku Prison in Delta State. Despite being innocent of the crime he was accused of, Harrison faced the harsh realities of the Nigerian prison system, including overcrowding, lack of medical facilities, and inhumane living conditions.

In November 2015, he was discharged and acquitted by a Delta State High Court. Rather than allowing his experience to embitter him, Harrison used it as a catalyst for change. Determined to fight for the rights of others who found themselves in similar predicaments, he dedicated his life to human rights activism.

Advocacy and Achievements

Since his release, Harrison has been a relentless advocate for human rights in Nigeria. He has taken a stand against police brutality, extortion, and arbitrary arrests, successfully retrieving over Sixty Million Naira (N60,000,000) and Seventy Two Thousand Dollars (USD 72,000) from rogue police officers. His advocacy extends to fighting underage marriages, sexual abuse, domestic violence, rape, and child abuse.

In 2017, Harrison founded the Behind Bars Human Rights Foundation. The organization focuses on connecting legal practitioners with indigent prisoners, working for the welfare of prison inmates, and providing alternatives to crime through reformation, rehabilitation, and reintegration into society. Through the efforts of the foundation and its committed volunteers across various states in Nigeria, over 3000 wrongfully detained individuals have regained their freedom.

Leadership and Recognition

Harrison's leadership and dedication to human rights have earned him several notable appointments. He has served as a Committee Member of the Delta State Justice Sector Reform Team (2017), Youth Representative on the Delta State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Police Brutality and Extra Judicial Killings (2020), and a Committee Member of the Delta State Human Rights Protection Committee (2021). In 2023, he contested for an elective position to represent the Aniocha South Constituency under the Labour Party platform.

Personal Life

Harrison Gwamnishu resides in Asaba, Delta State. He is a divorcee and continues to dedicate his life to advocating for the rights and welfare of prisoners and the oppressed. His work with organizations like the Chris Haywood Foundation International and the Stephen and Solomon Foundation further exemplifies his commitment to human rights and social justice.

Harrison Emefiena Gwamnishu's life story is a testament to the power of resilience, dedication, and the pursuit of justice. From his own experience of wrongful imprisonment to his tireless advocacy for others, Harrison has made significant strides in promoting and protecting human rights in Nigeria. His work continues to inspire and create positive change, ensuring that the voices of the oppressed are heard and their rights upheld.