Fellow Since 2002
Development Initiative Network (DIN)
This profile was prepared when Bola Fajemirokun was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2002.
The New Idea
A lawyer with extensive experience in litigation, Bola sees an opportunity to improve Nigeria's judicial system dramatically by developing an online database that is efficient, transparent, and accessible to public officials, researchers, lawyers, and the public. Until now, all court proceedings in Nigeria have been recorded on paper, a system that lends itself to information being lost, catalogued incorrectly, or obscured through damage and deterioration of the paper. To address these problems, which conspire to slow an already chaotic system, Bola is introducing a database that offers an appealing alternative to the existing paper-based system of keeping court records. Using the public records that she has entered into her database, judges, litigants, legal advisers, and researchers can access court records and easily and quickly reference what precedents exist to inform their work. Bola sees this database as a first fundamental step in improving the management of court records–a step that is critical to ensuring a properly functioning legal system. In part because of her professional background, Bola is working initially in the area of Nigerian environmental law, but she is developing an approach and set of tools that she plans to apply more broadly to other fields of law and in other geographic areas.