Category: JUSTICE & HUMAN RIGHTS IN NIGERIA

Court Stops NLC, TUC’s Planned Strike

The National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) sitting in Abuja has restrained the organised labour from proceeding on its planned nationwide indefinite industrial action.

Justice Sanusi Kado gave the order on Friday while delivering a ruling on an ex-parte application restraining the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) from embarking on the strike scheduled to commence on November 6.

The judge granted the application pending the determination of the substantive suit filed by the Federal Government and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) against both unions.

Justice Sanusi also restrained the NLC, the TUC and the Incorporated Trustees of the Nigerian Governors Forum (listed as the first, second, and third defendants) from taking steps capable of destroying the subject of the dispute.

He said he was moved to granting the ex-parte application argued by the Solicitor General of the Federation (SGF), Dayo Apata, because of the likely devastating effect of the strike on the nation, its economy and the people.

The hearing of the main suit has been fixed for November 8.

The organised labour is demanding N30,000 as a new minimum wage for workers in the country, as against the existing N18,000.

Following a series of negotiations and meetings between the government and labour leaders which ended in a deadlock, the NLC and TUC threatened to embark on a fresh nationwide strike on Tuesday next week.

The unions had explained that the decision was necessary following what they described as the government’s unwillingness to implement a new minimum wage for workers in the country.

Reacting to the new minimum wage demanded by the workers, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum said most states lacked the capacity to pay such an amount.

The governors who said some of their colleagues were still struggling to pay the existing N18,000, however, agreed to pay N22,500.

This was strongly rejected by labour leaders who had insisted that there was no going back on their decision.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read original article here

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Police Ordered to Pay N1m to Magistrate for Violation of Human Rights

A Kano State High Court, on Wednesday, October 31, ordered the Nigerian Police Force to pay N1 million as compensation to a magistrate, Hajara Hamza, for violating her fundamental rights.

The Judge, Justice Ibrahim Karaye, gave the order in his ruling on the case instituted on March 8, 2018.

Hamza had prayed the court to order the police to offer her public apology and pay restitution for violating her dignity and right to personal liberty as guaranteed under section 34(1) and 35(1) of Nigeria’s Constitution.

Joined in the suit were the Kano State Commissioner of Police, the DPO Naibawa police station and one Sgt. Umar of Naibawa police station.

Counsel to the complainant, Haruna Saleh, had told the court that his client, on Dec.10, 2017 boarded a commercial vehicle from Abuja to Kano and “while they were on their way, a lady in the vehicle complained that her phone was missing.”

He added that a police woman in the vehicle who was also a passenger searched everyone in the vehicle including his client and nothing was found on her.

Karaye also said that on reaching Kano the vehicle headed straight to Naibawa police station, where the first respondent, Sgt. Umar, asked his client to identify herself, which she did.

He further told the court that in spite of that, the police still went ahead to detain her, thereby, violating her right to freedom.

However, throughout the trial, the police did not make an appearance before the court, even though the proof of service on them were presented to the court.

The judge, therefore, ordered the three respondents to pay the complainant N1 million for the violation of her fundamental human right.

ochanya-ogbaje

Nigerians Demand Justice for 13-yr-old Ochanya Ogbaje Allegedly Raped to Death by Father and Son in Benue

Nigerians, particularly human rights activists, have demanded for justice over the death of a 13-year-old Elizabeth Ochanya Ogbaje.

Ochanya had battled Vesicovaginal fistula (VVF) and other health complications at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi after being allegedly severely abused by one Andrew Ogbuja, Head of Department, Catering and Hotel Management at the Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo, Benue State, and his son, Victor Inalegwu Ogbuja, a final year student of Animal Production at the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi.

The duo consistently molested little Ochanya, a student of Federal Government Girls’ College, Gboko since she was 9 to age 13.

An Upper Area Court One in Makurdi, Benue, presided over by Justice S. D. Kwen had in August remanded Mr. Ogbuja in prison custody for criminal conspiracy and rape of the teenager.

The prosecution had told the court that on August 8, 2018, at about 12:00 noon, the body of women lawyers (FIDA) in Benue State had in company of one Mrs Rose Abah of Ogene Amadu Edumoga reported the matter to the police.

The First Information Report (FIR), indicated that the complainant, Mrs Abah told the police that sometimes in February 2018, when her daughter, Elizabeth, was sick and admitted at FMC Makurdi, she told her that, when she was staying with her cousin sister, Felicia Ogbuja, between 2013 and 2015, the son of the same cousin sister by name Victor Ogbuja, had canal knowledge of her.

The court further heard that the husband to the cousin sister, Andrew Ogbuja, also had canal knowledge of the teenager and that during police investigation, the said accused, Andrew was arrested for committing the offence while his son, Victor, is at large.

But, the accused, pleaded with the judge to temper justice with mercy and grant him bail to enable him go back home and resolve the matter amicably considering his status.

Justice S. D. Kwen, however, rejected the plea and consequently sent the lecturer to Makurdi Federal Prison pending the determination of the matter.

Sadly, molested and sodomized Ochanya, during the weekend, lost the battle and took her last breath.

This is also as the suspect was allegedly granted bail without the family’s knowledge and is said to be on the run.

Irked by the ugly and sad development, Nigerians are demanding for justice for the late infant.

Condemning the barbaric act, Federal Government Girls’ College Gboko Old Students’ Association has planned to stage a protest over the ugly incident.

The association in a statement issued on Monday, called on the federal government and the relevant authorities to bring the suspect and his son to book.

“This is an outrage to FGGC Gboko, all female children, all women, Benue State, Nigeria and indeed the World. The advent of social media has brought to the fore the raging menace of child abuse and rape within our homes, communities, and nations. It is time that social media is also used to stop this menace.

“As a body, we demand that the perpetrators, indeed murderers, be called to justice and severely punished. Mr. Andrew Ogbuja and Victor Inalegwu Ogbuja should be arrested for homicide and charged with first degree murder. They should be made to feel the full wrath of Lady Justice. They should bear the brunt of the Law in quantum measures. It was not enough for them to hurt young Ochanya from age 8; they had to repeat the barbaric sessions within a 6-year period. We can only describe such tendencies as animalistic, with special apologies to animals. As such, they deserve jungle justice. No mercy.” It stated.

Also, speaking on the development, the Councilor Representing Eke Ward in Benue, Hon Dan Atayi, called on all Benue sons and daughters as well as well-meaning Nigerians, particularly the women folks to join their voices so the culprits would be forced to face the law.

“The act is a devilish omen that has appeared and happened in our land of birth! We condemn it in totality, we detest it with fierce rejection and we call on our trado-cultural Custodians (Och’Idoma, The Ede of Edumoga, the Idoga of Ugbokolo, the Ad’Okpokwu) to perform a cleansing rite of these ugly menace before the fate of the spirits of vengeance visit our land.

“The struggle for justice for the late young Ochanya should encompass beyond politics and religious affiliations. What is right in our society should be pressured to be in equity regardless of how highly connected we are. We call on the government of Benue State, Okpokwu and all notable stakeholders across party lines to demonstrate and show concern against this alienation and barbaric act.

“We eschew bitterness and animosity; we eschew witch hunts and negative suspicions as we drive this quest for justice for the soul of Ochanya Elizabeth Ogbanje to rest in peace,” he said.

Also adding her voice, human rights activist and blogger, Mimi Atedze, insisted that the perpetrators must be brought to book without delay.

She said, “The serial rapists must be punished for this act…the Child’s Right act 2003 states clearly that “Nobody should engage in any unlawful sexual intercourse with a child. #JusticeForOchanya.”

On her part, human rights activist and Executive director, Cee-Hope Nigeria, Betty Abah condemn the release of the suspect without the family’s consent.

According to her, “As at the last hearing on Sept. 24, the accused was not in court. He had been released from prison without the knowledge of the victim’s family, even when he wasn’t granted bail at the earlier sitting.

“His co-accused son, Victor Ogbuja, a student at the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue State, remains on the run.
Rape by father and son, anal and vagina, started when she went to stay with the family at age 8 (wife is her aunt) in order to be able to go to school.

“She died October 18, 2018 at the General Hospital, Otukpo from the complications and was buried Oct. 21, 2018 in her village in Benue State, following an autopsy.

“Now, the question: who released the accused from prison custody in Makurdi without the court’s and girl’s family knowledge, and when he had not been granted bail?”

When contacted, the Benue State Police Command said the case was no longer in its custody.

“This case has been on for long, why are they trying to politicize it? We did our job by arresting the suspect and subsequently charged him to a law court. If the said suspect was granted bail, the question should be directed to the judge and not the police,” said the state PRO, Moses Yamu on Monday.

Court

Court Orders Police to Pay N10m to Businessman Over Violation of Human Rights

The Federal High Court, Maitama Abuja, on Monday ordered the Nigeria Police Force, to pay N10million as compensation to one Aondofa Shenge, for violating his fundamental human rights.

The judge, Justice John Tsoho, in his judgment, also restrained the police from further arrest and detention of Shenge.

Tsoho upheld the prayers of the counsel to the applicant, Mr Matthew Onoja, and dismissed the preliminary objection raised by counsel to the police, Mr Matthew Omosun.

Onoja had earlier told the court that his client was arrested by some police officers in Makurdi in August 2017, and held in detention for more than a year without charges.

Onoja said his client who is a businessman, was arrested and detained in the NPF Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) office in Makurdi, until January 2018 when he was formally transferred to Abuja.

He said when the police failed to release the applicant on bail, the matter was taken to the court.

Onoja said the case of fundamental human rights abuse was formally filed in April 2018.

The lawyer maintained that the case was filed to challenge the Inspector General of Police and his deputy on arrest and detention of the applicant from August 2017 until date.

He said the matter first came up on April 20, before the court went on vacation, and the respondent did not file any process, even after the vacation.

Onoja said this further led to adjourning the case until Oct. 3 for hearing.

“On that date, we indicated our interest to go on with the matter since we had already filed our processes but counsel to the NPF said he was not ready,’’ Onoja said.

He also said that counsel to the police, Omosun told the court that he was yet to file his processes, working behind the scene to ensure that the applicant was granted bail.

He said that as the case progressed, counsel to the police later filed application for preliminary objection; which the court dismissed on point of law.

CHARLY BOY

Court Orders Police to Pay Charly Boy N50m Damages

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday ordered the Nigeria Police Force to pay to the popular entertainer, Mr Charles Oputa, also known as Charly Boy, the sum of N50m as compensation for violation of his rights during the ‘Resume or Resign’ protest which he convened on August 8, 2018.

Charly Boy had convened the protest to ask President Muhammadu Buhari, who was then on a protracted medical vacation in London, the United Kingdom, to either resume or resign from office.

Alleging that the police violated his rights during the protest, Charly Boy said policemen used tear gas canisters, water cannon and wild police dogs to harass and disperse him and his fellow protesters during the peaceful demonstration at the Unity Fountain in Maitama, Abuja.

He said he collapsed and was rushed to the hospital after the alleged harassment by the police.

Oputa, through his lawyer, Mr  Inibehe Effiong, filed the fundamental human rights enforcement suit against the police in March 2018, urging the court to hold that the treatment meted out to him was unjustifiable, illegal, and unconstitutional.

He urged the court to hold that the treatment by the police constituted a breach of his fundamental human rights to the dignity of the human person, freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association and contrary to Sections 34, 39 and 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

He maintained that it also violated his rights as enshrined under Articles 5, 9, 10 and 11 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Cap. A9, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.”

Delivering judgment in the suit on Monday, Justice John Tsoho ordered the Nigeria Police Force, along with the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, and the Commissioner of Police, the Federal Capital Territory Command, to pay the sum of N50m to Oputa and apologise to him in two national newspapers.

The judge held that there was no evidence that miscreants hijacked the premises of the protest as alleged by the police.

He ruled that the applicant was entitled to stage the protest which he ruled was his constitutionally guaranteed right provided it was a peaceful procession.

The judge added even if miscreants were on the scene to hijack the protest, the police should have deployed the appropriate security measures to dislodge such persons and maintain law and order.

The judge ruled, “Relief 4 is granted and the respondents are ordered to publish an apology to the applicant in two national newspapers for violating his fundamental rights.

“The sum of N50m is awarded against the respondents as general and exemplary damages.’’

The court also ordered a perpetual injunction restraining the respondents from violating the fundamental rights to dignity of the human person, freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and association.

NEWSLETTER 8TH-12TH OCTOBER 2018

 

HELLO,
Welcome to another edition LEDAP Nigeria’s Weekly Newsletter which keeps you up to date on the latest Human Rights News and updates in the law, What we are up to and Upcoming Events.
8th-12th October 2018

“Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave.”

— Frederick Douglass

NEWS

Defection: Court summons Saraki, Dogara, Akpabio, 52 others

The court, in a suit initiated by an advocacy group—the Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) said Saraki and 55 others must appear before it to explain why they would not forfeit their seats in accordance with Section 68 following their defection to other political parties. Read more

Nigeria’s 100-Year-Old Death-Row Inmate Seeking Pardon

Death-row inmate Celestine Egbunuche has been dubbed Nigeria’s “oldest prisoner” amid a campaign calling for his release. He is 100-years-old and has spent 18 years in jail after being found guilty of organising a murder. Read more

Nigerian lawyer, Adeola Oyinlade, wins International Bar Association’s Human Rights Award 2018

A Nigerian human rights lawyer, Mr. Adeola Austin Oyinlade, has been declared winner of the International Bar Association’s Award for Outstanding Contribution by a Legal Practitioner to Human Rights for 2018. This was contained in a press statement by Constitutional Rights Nigeria, CRALI. Read more

Human rights violation getting worse in Nigeria, others – CSOs

Human rights violation in Nigeria and other African countries is not abating, rather perpetrators have become more daring as they violate the rights of citizens, civil society organisations from West and Central African countries have said. Read more

No More Justification for Death Sentence in Nigeria – Group

An advocacy group, Human Rights Law Service (HURILAWS) has said there is no longer any justification for Nigerian judges to continue to pass death sentence on convicts in the country. Read more

Nigeria Not Practising Women Equality-Prof. Ezeilo

Prof. Joy Ezeilo, says Nigeria is not practicing women equality in terms of justice and opportunity as stipulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR 1948). Ezeilo, the Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Nigeria, made the disclosure in Enugu on Thursday while delivering the 144th Inaugural Lecture of the University. Read more

Probe of Rights Abuses in Nigeria Ends Soon, Says ICC
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has said its investigation of human rights violation in Nigeria would end soon.
It stated that investigators would in no time submit their findings on the inquiries initiated against the country over alleged gross abuse of citizens’ rights. Read more

Group Seeks Ends to Death Penalty

A Lagos-based human rights group, Legal Defence & Assistance Project (LEDAP), yesterday urged the federal and state governments to put an end to death penalty in the country. In statement signed by its Senior Legal Officer, Pamela Okoroigwe, to commemorate the 16th World Day against the Use of the Death Penalty Read more

Group Decries Incessant Violation of Human Rights in Nigeria

A Pan-African group, PANAF has decried incessant abuse of human rights in the country and Africa at large. The Coordinator, PANAF Project on Consolidating Civil Society Participation in translating African Human Rights Standards to Practice, Prof. Solomon Ebobrah, said undue detention of people despite court orders have been on increase. Read more

NHRC Expresses Concerns Over Lack of Awareness on Freedom of Information Act

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has raised concern over lack of awareness on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) among Nigerians. Mr Tony Ojukwu, Executive Secretary of the commission said this on Monday in Abuja, when he received the visiting AU envoy and Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information, Mr Lawrence Mute in Abuja. Read more

Nigeria: Rights Commission to Check Violation in 2019 Elections
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) is partnering with Human Rights Advancement and Advocacy Centre, an NGO to check human rights violations before, during and after the 2019 general elections. Read more

OPINION

Is Education a Future Investment?
Education was adopted as a basic human right since the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Right (UDHR). In Nigeria, education policies and operations are overseen by the Ministry of Education. The state of the education in a given country is a determinant of growth Read more

Addressing The Culture Of Impunity In Nigeria

The observation made recently by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onoghen, that it would be impossible to stage a successful anti-corruption war in the country without a corresponding fight against the culture of impunity is alarming. Read more

The Need to Reform the Justice Sector in Nigeria

Stakeholders present at the CLEEN foundation 1st Kaduna State quarterly working group meeting on the Administration of Criminal Justice on 25th of September, 2018 unanimously agreed that the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice indeed intends to fasten up criminal proceedings in Nigeria… Read more

Judiciary Still in Search of Solution to Delayed Justice
As shown by the statistics supplied annually by various courts, the best efforts of the judges can hardly reduce the backlog of court cases which continues to impede speedy and effective justice administration in Nigeria and prepare the ground for judicial corruption. Read more

LEDAP@WORK

LEDAP to Nigerian Government: Abolish Death Penalty Now!

Over the years, LEDAP has consistently campaigned for the abolition of the death penalty by providing direct free legal assistance to death row inmates, supporting legislative enactment on moratorium, conducting public poll survey on the use of death penalty and the inhumane living conditions of death row inmates. Read more

LEDAP Sues Saraki, Others for Defecting to PDP

The Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), has sued Senate President Bukola Saraki and other lawmakers who defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). It is praying the Federal High Court in Abuja to declare that they are no longer members of the National Assembly by virtue of their defections from the political parties that sponsored their election. Read more

LEDAP Holds Interactive Session on Twitter to Commemorate World Day Against The Death Penalty

On 10 October 2018, LEDAP held a live, interactive chat on twitter with Collins Okeke, Senior Legal Officer at HURILAWS, in commemoration of the 16th World Day Against The Death Penalty. The theme of this year’s World Day Against the Death Penalty is Dignity For All: Living Conditions of Death Row Inmates. Click here to view the conversation.

 

Invitation to Stakeholders Round Table Dialogue against Torture

The Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) in partnership with the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) and National Committee against Torture (NCOT) invites stakeholders to a round-table dialogue aimed at reducing the incidences of Torture and improving redress for victims of torture and ill treatment which will be taking place in Abuja. For live updates on the Anti-Torture Project follow the project on Twitter, Facebook Instagram & blog page and follow the conversation using #stoptorturein9ja on all social media platforms.

LEDAP, National Judicial Institute, and AfricaLii commence Nigeria Legal Information Institute(NigeriaLii)

Nigeria Legal Information Institute(NigeriaLii) is aimed at bringing legal materials, all laws and case decisions in Nigeria free of charge to the public. The official launch is coming up soon but the NigeriaLii portal currently contains several thousands of case decisions, statutes, rules of court, and other legal materials. Visit the NigeriaLii website here to read the most recent court judgments.

From LEDAP’s Archives

One-Day Strategic Roundtable And Training On The Moratorium Of The Death Penalty In Nigeria

group asaba

Nigeria anti-Death Penalty Group (NDEPELG) held a one-day strategic roundtable on evaluating and revising the punitive aspects of justice administration in Delta State on the 12th of November 2015. LEDAP, a member of the group, has in the past 10years implemented projects on improvement of criminal justice administration in Nigeria through trainings and introduction of good practices in criminal case management. Read more

Workshop For the Magistracy on the Effective Implementation of the Lagos State Administration of Criminal Justice Law, 2011
LEDAP, in conjunction with the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, organized a workshop for the Magistracy on the effective implementation of the Lagos State Administration of Criminal Justice Law, 2011 at the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of Lagos, Akoka on Friday 17 June, 2016. Read more

LEDAP Commends President Goodluck Jonathan For Signing The Administration Of Criminal Justice Bill (ACJ Bill) To Law
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LEDAP today May 27, 2015, laud the President’s landmark act of signing the Administration of Criminal Justice Bill (ACJ Bill) into law. The Law will no doubt significantly tackle the challenges in our Criminal Justice Administration in Nigeria. Read more

PeepIntoTheLaw

Agreements in Nigeria Do Not Require Signatures of Notaries Public or Magistrates or Court Staff to be Legal and Binding

Legality of agreement is not based on stamping or singing of agreement by a court staff magistrate Notary Public. Agreement will be legal where parties who are adults and sane have agreed on a lawful transaction. Even where there is an illiterate in the agreement the person writing the agreement can state so and does not need to go to court for Magistrate or any court staff. Read more

Court strikes out suit against Buhari, others over Judges’ arrest

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday struck out the suit filed against President Muhammadu Buhari and five others, challenging the October 8, 2016, arrest and detention of two Justices of the Supreme Court and four others by the operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS). Read more

Court Sentences Man to 10 Years for Stabbing Brother to Death

Justice Raliat Adebiyi sentenced the convict after finding him guilty of a one count charge of involuntary manslaughter, stabbing his younger brother, Chibuke Abakwe to death. The convict was arraigned in 2013 for murder and he pleaded not guilty to the charge brought against him by the state government. Read more

Court Rules That NBA’s Consent Is Not Necessary To Register A Lawyers’ Association At The CAC
Justice Babs O. Kuewunmi of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos state has declared that consent of the Nigerian Bar Association is not a constitutional condition precedent to the formation of an association of specialist lawyers in Nigeria. Read more

Renewal of Writ: Michael Kolawole v Pezzani Alberto (1989) 1 NWLR (Pt.98). 2

The Supreme Court held in the famous case of Kolawole v Alberto that a writ can renewed even after its expiration.
Want to read the full case? Click
here to read the full case on the Nigerialii website.

EVENTS

ICJ Annual Jurist Conference 2018

The Annual Jurist Conference powered by International Criminal Justice (ICJ) Kenya is scheduled to hold from 20 – 24 November 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa. The theme of this year is “The State of Judicial Independence in Africa: Threats, Challenges and Opportunities”. You can register here and click here fore more information.

Invitation to 2nd session of the Forum on Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law

The second session of the Forum on Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law will hold at Palais des Nations Room XVII, Geneva, Switzerland from 22 to 23 November 2018 with the theme “Parliaments as promoters of human rights, democracy and the rule of law” Register here. Deadline is 16 November, 2018. Click here for more information.

Tenth Session of Ad Hoc Committee of the Human Rights Council on the Elaboration of Complementary Standards Postponed

The 10th session of the committee has been rescheduled. It will now take place from 8 – 19 April 2019 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. Register by email registry@ohchr.org Click here for more information

World Peace Initiative: Community Awareness Grant for Young Leaders and Entrepreneurs

The World Peace Initiative Foundation (WPI) has announced its Community Awareness Grant for Young Leaders and Entrepreneurs to support projects that bring positive change in society and promote mindfulness and meditation as tools to improve the quality of life of people. Deadline for submission is 20 October, 2018. Click here for more information

Call for Proposal: Voice’s Empower Beyond Borders! Global Empowerment Grant

Voice is now accepting proposals with “out of the box” project ideas that promote cross-country learning and focus on underrepresented groups within several voice focus region for empowerment grants. These grants are available from €5.000 to € 75.000 for minimum of 12 to maximum of 24 months. Closing date is 9 November, 2018. Click here for more information

Invitation to the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law Conference 2019
Invitations are open to the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law 2019 conference themed Bribery & Corruption: Modern Approaches to an Eternal Problem. The conference will be held in Brisbane, Australia from 9-12 July 2019. Click here for more information.

2018 Nigerian Education Innovation Summit (NEDIS IV)
Registration is ongoing for the 2018 Nigerian Education Innovation Summit (NEDIS IV). The two-day conference themed “Accountability & Transparency in the Education Sector: Issues Challenges and Opportunities” is scheduled to hold on Thursday 18th & Friday 19th October 2018 in Lagos, Nigeria. Register here or send an email to nedis@tepcentre.com. Click here for more information


Voice Beyond the Incident: Nigeria Sudden Opportunity Grant

Are there sudden manifestations or situation of injustice against person/persons/community? If your answer is yes, apply for the Sudden Opportunity Grant to voice beyond the incident. Deadline for application is 31 December 2018. Click here to find out more

To get your human rights and law related news and events in the LEDAP Newsletter, or to send us your comments and feedback send us an email at info@ledapnigeria.org

LEDAP LAUNCHES TORTURE PROJECT IN PARTNERSHIP WITH UNDEF

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In partnership with the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) and the National Committee against Torture, LEDAP has launched a project to tackle torture and ill treatment in policing. The project will be located Lagos, Adamawa , Yobe States, as well as at the Federal Capital Territory.

PROJECT SUMMARY
The use of torture and sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) in law enforcement has remained a major human rights challenge in Nigeria and has further increased with the current counter-terrorism operations of the police and military. Torture and other forms of ill treatment are widely used by police to obtain information and confessions from suspects, to intimidate, exploit, and to exert dominance and superiority over the weak. Also, women detainees are raped within the first hours of detention. In all these violations, most survivors are unable to report or seek redress and perpetrators are rarely punished. The Nigerian criminal and penal codes fail to explicitly criminalize the use of torture to extract information. As such, everyday law enforcement practices are in many cases inconsistent with the constitutional provision prohibiting torture.

This project seeks to address the increasing incidents of torture and SGBV committed by the police in Nigeria especially in the context of the on-going fight against terrorism and the introduction of Shari’a laws in 12 northern states including two target states of the project; Adamawa and Yobe state. The strategy is to address the specific problems of both the supply and demand sides in torture prevention. It will address the police’s poor anti-torture knowledge and attitudes (supply side), and at the same time empower the civil society and the public to monitor and demand for accountability wherever torture occurs (demand side).

The overall objective is to move Nigeria towards effective prevention and reduction of incidences of torture. This will be achieved by improving the understanding of police personnel and encouraging a human rights centered approach towards the treatment of suspects by police personnel. Also, by providing capacity for civil society organisations and victims of torture to demand for accountability. Particularly, this project is designed to increase knowledge and improve the attitude of over 7,300 police staff in Nigeria (supply side) towards torture prevention, and empower the demand side of human rights (330 representatives of CSOs (180), lawyers (50), journalists (20), Paralegals (80)) to report and support survivors and victims of torture and SGBV to assert and defend their rights to freedom from torture and ill treatment. The project will give assistance to 120 victims, including providing direct legal support to at least 20 cases (including 5 high impact cases) to improve jurisprudence in the area.

Furthermore, the project advocates for policy change and legal reform including engaging in dialogue with key actors, adopting a national policy on torture prevention and advocating for passing into law of the anti-torture bill, which is pending in the parliament. If successfully implemented, the project will build a sustainable pilot that addresses the needs and capacity of both the supply and demand sides of the prevention of torture and ill treatment, which could be replicated to all police formations and other law enforcement institutions in the country.