Read our weekly newsletter for 23rd-27th October 2017, below
Legal Defense Assistance Project (LEDAP) said it is creating a database with a number of organizations in South East Asia in order to determine the number of Nigerians in death row in those countries.
The national coordinator of the group, Mr. Chino Obiagwu said the plight of Nigerians in death row in those countries is a source of concern to him.
“The plight of Nigerians who are on death penalty abroad, especially South East Asia is an area of interest to us. We are trying to do a database with a number of organizations in Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines. We know that about 50 Nigerians are in death row in Vietnam, more than 200 in China and in total, it is estimated that there are about 650 Nigerians, either on death row or facing death penalty in South East Asia alone,” he disclosed while addressing newsmen in his Lagos office last Thursday.
His words: “Our concern is that most times, their trials are in foreign languages and there are no interpreters and there is no guarantee of fair trial. The last Nigerian that was executed was in July and frankly, there are obviously unfair trials because there are no interpreters when the cases were going on. We are going to pay great attention to that in addition to our position against the use of death penalty.”
Obiagwu said his organization is also seeking judicial intervention in stopping the bogus pension allowances being paid to former governors by different states across the country. “We have been in the court in Abuja fighting this cause since 2014,” he pointed.
The human rights lawyer also noted that his organization sued the ministry of education over the legality of free and compulsory primary education and junior secondary education in the country.
He said: “Under the Nigerian law as it is today, primary and junior secondary school is free and compulsory, it is a right. The reason is that the right to education is under chapter two of the 1999 constitution and they said that it is not justiciable, meaning that nobody can go to court to challenge that. But sections 17 and 18 say government should try and provide compulsory free primary education and free junior secondary education and so on and so forth.
“To that extent, it is not justiciable. But the national assembly went and enacted the Universal Basic Education Act, where they said that primary education is free and compulsory and junior secondary education is free.
Speaking while addressing the U.N. General Assembly for the first time under his new mandate, he promised to assist states in the process of the adoption of the Draft Declaration by the Human Rights Council and by the General Assembly.
Recognizing that resources are key to sustainable development, Okafor told the U.N. that the Draft Declaration builds on existing human rights law requiring states to mobilize resources for the realization of human rights, including through international cooperation and assistance, such as Article 2 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Article 4 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and Article 32 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
In his statement, he emphasized the human rights-based international cooperation and an approach to international finance agreements that is consistent with human rights standards.
Click here to read/download the full statement by Prof. Obiora Okafor at the 72nd Session of the General Assembly: https://papersmart.unmeetings.org/media2/16154001/2017-10-16-ie-solidarity-ga-72-statement-final-rev.pdf
Click here to watch the full video of Prof. Obiora Okafor giving his statement at the 72nd Session of the General Assembly (starts at 34:20 of the video and ends at 47:03)
Professor Okafor was appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council to develop, promote, and shepherd to adoption, a draft declaration on the right of peoples and individuals to international solidarity. The mandate of the independent expert on human rights and international solidarity was created in 2005 by the predecessor of the Council (the United Nations Commission on Human Rights) and in 2014, the Council extended the mandate for a further period of three years. In 2017, the Council further extended the mandate by another period of three years, and appointed Professor Obiora Okafor as the Independent Expert.
Professor Okafor is also the York Research Chair in International and Transnational Legal Studies (Senior Tier) and a tenured Full Professor of Law at the Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, Toronto, Canada. He is a former Chairperson of the UN Human Rights Council Advisory Committee. The General Editor of the international journal, the Transnational Human Rights Review, and editorial board member of a number of other academic journals around the world, he has held the Gani Fawehinmi Distinguished Chair in Human Rights Law at the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, and served as a Visiting Professor at a number of universities and institutes around the world. He was conferred the Award of Academic Excellence of the Canadian Association of Law Teachers in 2010 and the Gold Medal for Exceptional Research and Major Contributions to Jurisprudence of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in 2013.
Over four decades after the end of the Nigerian Civil War, the Nigerian government, on Monday, agreed to pay a compensatory package of N88 billion to the victims. The agreement followed the consent judgment of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court of Justice.
A majority of the sum, N50 billion, will be paid to the direct victims of the war in the 11 affected states in the South-East, South-South, and parts of the North-Central geopolitical zones.
In the judgment read by Justice Friday Nwoke, the Nigerian government is expected to pay N50 billion into an account (1018230076) operated by Noel Chukwukadibia at the United Bank for Africa Plc. Mr. Chukwukadibia is the war victims’ nominated counsel.
The remaining N38 billion will be devoted to the disarming of abandoned explosive devices and other lethal weapons and will fund the construction of schools, mosques, and churches, among other affected facilities. The sum is expected to be paid into the United Bank of Africa account (1016296801) operated by Deminers Concepts Nigeria Limited for R&B Holdings, who will evacuate abandoned bombs and other lethal weapons from farmlands, schools, mosques and churches belonging to the victims. The company will also carry out construction works in the affected communities.
The federal government will also set up a National Mine Action Centre in Owerri, Imo State, for victims of the war in the South-East.
To ensure transparency and accountability, the federal government will establish a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) consisting of all stakeholders in the settlement terms.
The judgment equally stated that medical experts hired by the federal government classified 685 persons as survivors, out of whom 493, including those who sued the federal government, were confirmed as victims of landmines and other lethal weapons and are therefore considered eligible to be compensated.
The judgment also acknowledged the recovery of 17,000 bombs in war-impacted communities, which were destroyed by Deminers Concepts. An additional 1,317 bombs remain stockpiled at the Mine Action Centre in Owerri and will be disarmed.
Both parties also agreed that RSB and Deminers Concepts, both adjudged to have adequately executed the task of evacuation and destruction of bombs, should be mobilized for the concluding phase of the de-mining efforts.
The case was filed in 2012 when representatives of the victims of the war, including the 493 pre-enumerated by the Federal Ministry of Defence, through their agents, took the federal government to the ECOWAS Court. They demanded a compensation of N100 billion and order directing the clearance of abandoned bombs and other weapons in their communities.
Aside from physical injuries incurred by the war, the petitioners sought compensation for their loss of farmlands and other facilities due to the presence of mines and other dangerous weapons in their communities.
The federal government opted for an out-of-court settlement, the reason for which the court adopted the terms of settlement as a consent judgment.
Prominent signatories to the terms of the settlement include Messrs. Chukwukadibia and Alex Williams for the applicants, while Messrs. Shola Egbeyinka, Femi Falana, Charles Uhuegbu and Solomon Chukwuocha represented government agencies. Messrs. Charles Onouha and Chukwuemeka signed for stakeholders.
Read the full terms of settlement below:
A human rights group, Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education (CHRICED), has accused the Nigeria Police Force of an attempt to cover up the rape of a 14-year old girl, Maryam Yusuf, by a Mobile Policeman, Corporal Barau Garba (Police Service Number: 275601).
The allegation was contained in a statement signed by Dr. Ibrahim Zikirullahi, the group’s Executive Director. In the statement, CHRICED said it has received credible information that the Corporal abducted Maryam and raped her repeatedly.
“According to information reaching us, the young Maryam, who lives with her parents at the Hausa Quarters in Asaba, Delta State, traveled to Onitsha to buy some items for her father. Unfortunately, Maryam lost the money for the items she was meant to purchase. It was while frantically searching for the vehicle she boarded in a bid to recover the money that Garba approached her,” said the group.
It added that Garba promised to help her find the money and show her the way back home. In desperate need of help and lured to think she was safe with a policeman, Maryam took the offer of assistance from the officer, who took her on his. motorcycle to his room at the Police Base.
“Pleas by the young girl to Garba to take her home to her parents fell on deaf ears. The bubble burst when the young girl was able to take her captor’s phone while he was asleep, and placed a call to her father to come and rescue her. Hospital tests subsequently showed that Maryam was raped with all brutality, and her vagina had been ruptured as a result of this dastardly act by a supposed officer of the law,” CHRICED said.
The group noted that despite the gravity of the infraction by Garba, his colleagues at the Okpoko Division of the Nigeria Police in Anambra State have been trying to cover it up.
CHRICED claimed that Maryam’s case is just one of many instances in which the Police have been unwilling to act when young girls have been violated. It reasoned that the failure of the Police to move against sex offenders has encouraged rapists across the country to get bolder with their hideous conduct.
CHRICED warned the Police against continuing with the cover-up effort and called on the Inspector-General of Police to order a transparent investigation into the matter so that Garba could face prosecution.
“It is not tenable that the nation’s law enforcement institution has to wait to be pressured before taking action over cases like Maryam Yusuf’s. The case offers an opportunity for the Police to prove its critics wrong; the public will be watching to see its next steps,” said the group.
The 35 Artillery Brigade Commander, Brig.-Gen. Bassey Adonkie, disclosed this while giving an appraisal of the exercise during the closing ceremony of the Crocodile Smile 2 at 192 Battalion, Ajilete, Ogun State.
He said the Crocodile Smile 2 was aimed at flushing out pipeline vandals, kidnapers and miscreants.
“The exercise led to the arrest of suspects including armed robbers, kidnappers and recovery of ammunition.
“So far, a total of 399 suspects were arrested for different offences across as the South-West region and handed over to various security agencies concerned.
“In addition, 20 assorted arms were recovered, while illicit drugs were also recovered and handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency,” he said.
The commander, who said over 1,000 officers participated in the exercise, added that criminal activities had reduced following the crackdown which denied the hoodlums freedom of action.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, who was represented by the Chief of Training and Operations, Maj.-Gen. David Ahmadu, said that the exercise leveraged on the gains of the Crocodile Smile 1.
“Experience drawn from the exercise conducted in 2016 revealed that criminals and miscreants do fled from areas of ongoing operations to seek safe haven and cause security menace in areas hitherto regarded as peaceful.
“It was in line with this development, that I deemed it necessary to extend the areas of coverage for this year’s exercise crocodile smile, to cover the South-West and South-South regions of the country,” he said.
He said that the closing ceremony should not be regarded as the end of the exercise and urged the men to sustain the tempo of the operation.
Date: 23rd – 27th October 2017
Venue: Lagos, Nigeria.
The 5-day workshop was an insight into Security Management. It explored the various work required by member staff and management of organizations in the area of physical and digital security. The function of the workshop was to identify various sources of threat to our work and measures required to reduce our vulnerability.
The workshop was also an exposition into information security. It identified the need to classify information based on security requirement and the various ways of protecting this information from unauthorized access or loss. During the training, participants were introduced and guided on how to use relevant software for information security management. These include the veracrypt software for data encryption, ccleaner for secure deletion and the GPG4usb for encryption of email communications.
Discussions at the workshop identified gap areas in information security, along with the need to move forward on:
- Understanding how adequate information security in an organization can help prevent unauthorized access to/ loss of information.
- The importance of digital security to ensure that our computer operates in a healthy environment and data is protected against viruses.
- Risk Assessment by which we review our organization’s security structure/ strategy, identify sources of threat and devise ways to manage them.
- Analyzing Stakeholders to identify our supporting and opposing forces, as well as their motivation to act.
- Networking with other partners who share similar interest.
The 4th Annual Conference of the International Law Association (Nigerian Branch) will hold at the International Centre for Arbitration and ADR, 1A Remi Olowude Close, Lekki, Lagos on Tuesday 31st October, 2017.
ILA Nigeria, under the leadership of Professor Fidelis Oditah, QC, SAN, provides a platform for all lawyers, non-lawyers in business and financial spheres, academics, advocates, practitioners and students interested in international law to examine salient issues in the development and practice of international law in Nigeria.
The International Law Association was founded in Brussels in 1873 with the aim of bringing together scholars, judges, lawyers, advocates and practitioners interested in public and private international law. It presently has over 3500 members globally and seeks to promote “the study, clarification and development of international law, both public and private, and the furtherance of international understanding and respect for international law”. The ILA has consultative status, as an international non-governmental organization, with a number of the United Nations specialized agencies.
Since its inauguration in 2014, the Nigerian Branch of the ILA has carried out its objectives through committee events and annual conferences. This year’s annual conference is being organised by the Young Members Committee of the Branch and is themed: “The Impact of International Law on Domestic Law and Practice”. Speaking recently on the upcoming conference, the Chairman of the Conference Organising Committee, Mofesomo Tayo-Oyetibo, said that “this year’s conference is seen as the emerging voices conference and is unique in its deliberate blend of panellists, which includes several highly experienced and emerging experts, who will be speaking on important topic issues, within the general theme of the conference.” On the objective of the Conference, Mr Tayo-Oyetibo stated that “part of the objectives of this year’s event includes providing an intellectual space where important issues and questions in International Business Transactions, International Disputes and Teaching International Law can be unearthed, analyzed and practically resolved.”
Some of the expected speakers include Branch President, Professor Fidelis Oditah, QC, SAN, Professor Gbolahan Elias, SAN, Uche Val Obi, SAN, Mrs Adedoyin Rhodes-Vivour, Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of Edo State, Professor Yinka Omorogbe, Professor Damilola S. Olawuyi, Dr Kubi Udofia, Lemea Abina and Mofesomo Tayo-Oyetibo.