ADVOCACY FOR THE SUPPORT OF PRISONERS AND INDIGENTS RIGHTS (ASPIR) is a Non Governmental and Nonprofit making Ministry with the mandate to fulfill her part Of Holistic development of man in line with the proclamation of the whole Gospel of Christ and the restoration of the whole person towards the image of God. We desire to achieve this through spiritual, legal and social services rendered to man.
ASPIR began as a burden which the CEO, Cecilia Joshua Tuwan, had concerning the pathetic condition of prisoners in Nigeria Prisons, where some will be kept without trial for as long as 2, 3, 4, up to even 10 years and above. This usually happened due to the poverty stricken nature of the prisoner who cannot afford to hire a lawyer to get him on bail nor to defend him on trial.
Indigents in the society are being oppressed by those that feel they have the instruments of coercion or most privileged or more exposed in the society, their oppressors will even take possession of the properties of indigents and boast to them that they can do nothing, since the indigents have no influence or economic strength to hire a lawyer. Indigents are mostly uneducated and their children grow up to be the same since their parents cannot sent them to school due to poverty, therefore the cycle of oppression continues.
The vision came to her by the inspiration in the Bible verse, which states thus, “open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the right of the poor and needy”… Proverb 31:8-9.
This instruction in Proverb 31:8-9 opened her heart to the needs in our prisons, police stations, Young Peoples Home (where the under aged suspects are kept). It is a fact that the number of prisoners under awaiting trial in prison, Young Peoples Home and people in police detention are more in number than the persons under trial and those convicted and are serving their terms.
Those that are convicted for offences that have options of fine spent long jail terms which would have been avoided if they could afford to pay their fines. The longer an inmate spent in prison, Young Peoples Home and police stations, the more criminal tendency the person develop as a result of what the person see, hear or experience.
This burden came while she was in law school; she decided that with the help of God she will support, represent and defend the rights of prisoners and indigents in future when she has reasonable resources.
When the Director completed law school she did private practice for 3 years and worked as a prosecutor with the Ministry of Justice Plateau State Nigeria from 2006, then ASPIR begin operation where the Director was using part of her monthly salary to aid a volunteering lawyer to represent prisoners and indigents in court and otherwise. In the process, Individuals and some churches became involved by supporting her with donations, these lead to the legal registration of ASPIR in 2008 with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) with the registration number 25252.
In 2009 she withdrew her services with the State Ministry of Justice as a prosecutor to be fully involved in ASPIR.
ASPIR staffs were mostly volunteers because of the inability to pay salaries; by the grace of God as funds improved we have both permanent employees and volunteers.