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NEWSLETTER FOR 28TH May – 1ST June 2018


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.
21st–25th May 2018

“Human rights are not only violated by terrorism, repression or assassination, but also by unfair economic structures that creates huge inequalities.” – 

Pope Francis


LEDAP Seeks to Reduce Incidences of Torture, Training of Police officers
Buoyed by the desire to reduce the incidences of torturing suspects in Nigeria, the Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) has commenced the training of police officers in Lagos. The training, which is in partnership with the United Nations Democracy Funds (UNDF) and National Committee Against Torture (NCAT) is christened, ‘Community Mobilization Against Tortured’. Read more


LEDAP Warns Institutions against Post -UTME Screening, says Court Order Subsists

The Legal Defence and  Assistance Project (LEDAP) has warned managers of the nation’s tertiary institutions against conducting the Post – Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), warning that there’s a subsisting order of the court against the exercise. Read more


A Minute of Silence for Victims of Nigeria’s Epidemic of Violence

Nigerian civil society groups declared Monday, 28th May 2018 a national day of mourning and remembrance to honour the victims of violence across the country. The observation of a minute of silence  was to call attention to the inadequate response of Nigerian security agencies to the epidemic of violence, a response that’s been criticized for being  slow and inefficient. Read more 


Innocent Idibia, Oby Ezekwesili, others march against Violent Killings in Nigeria

Nigerian artiste, 2Face Idibia, former minister of education, Oby Ezekwesili and human rights lawyer, Chidi Odinkalu joined other Nigerians to march against violent killings across the country. The peaceful walk was organised by the  Civil Society Joint Nigeria Crisis Action Committee (JN-CAC) to honour and mourn those who have been killed in recent times in the country. Read more


Demand Justice for Abused Survivors of Boko Haram

Thousands of women and girls have survived Boko Haram only to face attacks and abuse from the Nigerian security forces who claim to be rescuing them. A group of displaced women called the Knifar Movement are campaigning for justice and for their husbands to be released. The group submitted detailed testimony to a Presidential Investigative Panel about the violations that they faced but the report is yet to be released. Amnesty International is calling on your support to put pressure on the president to release the report. To support the call for the release of the report, sign the petition here


Ireland Votes by Landslide to Legalise Abortion

Ireland has voted by a landslide to repeal its near-total ban on abortion, an extraordinary victory for women’s rights that seals the country’s transformation from bastion of religious conservatism to one of Europe’s most tolerant democracies. Read more


Gender Pay Gap Costs Global Economy $160tn, says World Bank study

Gender equality would enrich the global economy by an estimated $160tn (£120tn) if women were earning as much as men in the workplace, a study by the World Bank has found. Read more


Shiite Killings in Nigeria: U.S knocks FG over failure to act on report indicting troops

The United States in its International Religious Freedom Report for 2017 has faulted the Nigerian government for failing to act on a report indicting the Nigerian Army on the clash between soldiers and members of the Islamic Movement. The report was released on 29th May by the U.S Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labour. View the full report here


SERAP Secures Judgment Ordering President Muhammadu Buhari to Look into Allegations of Corruption

A judgement delivered on 27th May 2018 by Justice Mohammed Idris, following a mandamus with suit no: FHC/L/CS/1821/2017 brought by the  Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has ordered President Muhammadu Buhari to “urgently instruct security and anti-corruption agencies to forward to him reports of their investigations into allegations of budget padding and stealing of some N481 billion from the 2016 budget by some principal officers of the National Assembly.” Read more


Saudi Arabia Outlaws Sexual Harassment

Saudi Arabia has passed a new law to criminalise sexual harassment. The kingdom’s Shura Council, which advises the cabinet, passed a draft law on Monday which would introduce a prison term of up to five years and a maximum penalty of 300,000 riyals ($80,000). Read more


Nigerian Activists Warn IDPs of Human Trafficking Risk

Human rights activists say countless women and girls who were living in IDP camps in northeast Nigeria have been lured to other countries under false pretenses for sex work or slave labor. A new campaign is trying to educate women about the dangers. In Maiduguri, Chika Oduah went out with the campaigners and interviewed two women who were trafficked abroad and are now back in Nigeria. Watch here


Activists Create African Human Rights Media Network

Human rights activists based in Nigeria have established the African Human Rights Media Network, which promotes awareness and respect for the rights of minorities, including sexual minorities, throughout the continent. is the central website for the network. Read more


ICRC Partners Nigerian Police on Rights of Detainees

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says it is partnering the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) to evaluate how the legal system in Nigeria is handling the pre-trial of detainees. Read more


NHRC Seeks Partnership of Prisons on Human Right Protection

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sought partnership with Nigerian Prison Service (NPS) on human right protection. The newly appointed Cordinator of NHRC, Mr Nuhu Mohammed made the call when he paid a courtesy visit to the controller of prisons Niger state command, Baba Gana in his office. Read more


U.S. to Designate Nigeria ‘Country of Particular Concern’ Over Killings

Against the backdrop of incessant killings in Nigeria, particularly the predominantly Muslim herdsmen slaying Christian farmers, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has recommended to the US government that Nigeria should be designated as a “Country of Particular Concern”. Read more



Rethinking Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Nigeria: Why Abortion Laws Need Reform

“It is no news that many women around the world today are still being denied  key sexual and reproductive rights i.e. their right to enjoy control over and make decisions on their sexual and reproductive health without discrimination, coercion, detention, or violence. But perhaps nowhere is this more apparent than in Nigeria, where a woman cannot autonomously decide the number and timing of children she wishes to have.” Read more


18th Democracy Day: How Has Nigeria Fared?

“What Nigeria has become of in the last 19 years of democratic rule calls for reflections. Howbeit, with the gradual development witnessed over the years, Nigerians deserve to remember their past and celebrate a determined leadership now in place.” Read more


Rapper Falz’s ‘This is Nigeria’ video Holds up a Mirror for the Country

“While the concept for the ‘This is Nigeria,’ video isn’t original, what Falz did was internalize the message, pass it through his own artistic filter and bring it home to Nigeria to highlight the country’s numerous social ills.” Read more


How Journalism Can Help Beat Human Traffickers in Nigeria

Nigerian journalist and rights advocate, Philip Obaji Jr. describes what working with children displaced by Boko Haram has taught him both about the power of storytelling and the importance of education – and access to clean water – to protect children at risk of trafficking. Read more


Executed, Disappeared, Tortured: The risks of Defending Human Rights

According to the human rights organisation, Front Line Defenders, 312 human rights activists were murdered in 2017. Of those killed, 212 were from Latin America. In the climate of fear following the murder of activist Berta Cáceres in Honduras, Lucy Lamble talks to Ana Paula Hernández about her work supporting campaigners who fight to protect native lands. Listen to the podcast here


Community Development as if People Matter: Lessons from Nigeria

“The ways in which communities themselves foster sustainable development have not been adequately studied in most poor societies. Communities acting on the ground, of course, often must balance competing environmental, economic, and social equity demands.” Read more



LEDAP Writes Open Letter to Universities & Polytechnics on Post-UTME

Based on LEDAP’s recent court judgment obtained at the Federal High Court  in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/979/15 between: LEDAP and Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB)The Minister of Education and the National Universities Commission (NUC), wherein the court held that only the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) can conduct matriculation examinations and give admissions into tertiary institutions. LEDAP has written to inform Universities and Polytechnics that it would be in breach of the court order if they continue to conducting Post-UTME tests.  Read more


LEDAP Commences Anti-Torture Training for Police Officersin Adamawa

LEDAP’s training of police officers on torture begins in Adamawa State. LEDAP will commence training of officers at the Adamawa State Command from the 6th to 7th June 2018. Sixty middle and senior officers will be trained on torture prevention strategies, human rights and sexual and gender based violence norms.  The training is part of LEDAP’s  Torture Prevention Project Targeting Police in partnership with the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) and the National Committee against Torture. For live updates on the training, follow our twitter page @ledapnigeria


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



Proof Of Evidence, Preliminary Objections And The Recent Supreme Court Decision in UKIRI V. FRN

The Supreme Court in the recent case of  Ukiri Emonena Blessing v. Federal Republic of Nigeria (2018) LPELR-44213(SC) held that  the failure to attach proof of evidence with a charge will only be fatal if the defendant is misled by the error. Read more


Court Orders IGP, Police to Pay Delta Family N20m over Murder

The Federal High Court in Ibadan, on Thursday ordered the Nigerian Police Force to pay N10 million as compensation to the family of Alidu Hakeem, a commercial driver shot dead by a policeman at Saki. Hakeem was shot to death by a police inspector, Ifeayin Onynbu on March 9, 2016 along Saki-Okere International Market road in Saki. Read more


Copyright Infringment: Court awards N5m against Clarence Peters

The Federal High Court in Lagos has entered judgment against music video director, Clarence Peters, for alleged copyright infringement. The judgment delivered by Justice Mojisola Olatoregun was in favour of Uwana Victor and Akan Victor, trading under the name, Black Alliance. Read more



Proof Of Evidence, Preliminary Objections And The Recent Supreme Court Decision in UKIRI V. FRN

The Supreme Court in the recent case of  Ukiri Emonena Blessing v. Federal Republic of Nigeria (2018) LPELR-44213(SC) held that  the failure to attach proof of evidence with a charge will only be fatal if the defendant is misled by the error. Read more


Court Orders IGP, Police to Pay Delta Family N20m over Murder

The Federal High Court in Ibadan, on Thursday ordered the Nigerian Police Force to pay N10 million as compensation to the family of Alidu Hakeem, a commercial driver shot dead by a policeman at Saki. Hakeem was shot to death by a police inspector, Ifeayin Onynbu on March 9, 2016 along Saki-Okere International Market road in Saki. Read more


Copyright Infringment: Court awards N5m against Clarence Peters

The Federal High Court in Lagos has entered judgment against music video director, Clarence Peters, for alleged copyright infringement. The judgment delivered by Justice Mojisola Olatoregun was in favour of Uwana Victor and Akan Victor, trading under the name, Black Alliance. Read more



Call for Applications: Master’s degree in Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Africa

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria now offers a LLM/MPhil (Sexual & Reproductive Rights in Africa) degree. This two-year programme is offered as a blended learning course comprising of online interaction and residential block-weeks in Pretoria.  Up to 15 full scholarships are available for African students. Deadline for applications: 31 July 2018. Apply here


Nigerian National Human Rights Commission, Journal Call for Papers

The Editorial Committee of the Nigerian Human Rights Commission Journal, a publication of the National Human Rights Commission, invites scholarly full length articles, commentaries and notes on contemporary issues of human rights for the 8th edition of the Nigerian National Human Rights Commission Journal. Papers received on or before the 28th of July 2018 will be considered for publication.  Read more


IWMF Women’s Reporting Grants for Women’s Stories 2018
Applications are now open for the IWMF’s Reporting Grants for Women’s Stories, sponsored by The Secular Society. It is a new funding initiative supporting journalism produced by and about women. Applications close on the 29th of June 2018.  Read more


Countering Violent Extremism West Africa

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/West Africa Regional Peace and Governance Office (RPGO) seeks to award up to four (4) Cooperative Agreements to research and pilot Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) approaches in West Africa under this Annual Program Statement (APS). The APS will feature elements of co-creation that will provide direct engagement of USAID in the design of applications following the presentation of concept notes. The maximum award amount is not expected to exceed US$1,500,000 or duration of two years. Read more


Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders to the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly

In view of the upcoming 20th anniversary of the declaration of human rights defenders, the Special Rapporteur will be reporting on the situation of human rights defenders. To this end a questionnaire on the situation of human rights defenders has been prepared for civil society organisations to complete.The deadline for submission is 13th June 2018. Read more

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LEDAP’S Suit Against the Securities and Exchange Commission & 1 Other, Adjourned for Judgement

The Legal Defence and Assistance Project on the 20th of January, 2016 filed an action at the Investment and Securities Tribunal against the Security and Exchange Commission and The Nigerian Stock Exchange challenging the power of the Security and Exchange Commission in allowing states government raise bonds in the open market.

The reason for this action is that the Investment and Securities Act in section 224(3)(a) made clear provisions on the conditions any state government must fulfil before it is granted loan or credit or bond in the capital market and these conditions are strict and ought to be followed and complied with strictly.

The claims sought by LEDAP are as follows;

  1. That the Security and Exchange Commission and the Nigerian Stock Exchange are not to allow state governments float bonds and other security and raise money from the public as this is in violation of the investment and security Act
  2. That the provisions of section 222,223,224,225,226 and the entire provisions of the Investment And Security Act which allows the government to raise fund from the public is unconstitutional
  3. An order restraining the defendants from authorising or raising funds and other securities for any state government in the capital market.

At the last proceeding, which came up on the 27th of February, all parties adopted their applications before the tribunal. The matter has been adjourned to the 22nd of May for Judgment.




As the world marks the International women’s day, LEDAP lends its voice to that of the global activists, global governments, and women’s organizations to press for the progress of all women in all spheres of life and particularly for gender equality.

LEDAP recognizes the gains in women’s rights advocacy in the recent years ridden on the back of active campaigns for women’s progress. It is apparent that the eras where women were satisfied with being subjugated and subdued have phased out and a new dawn of free-expression and voicing-out against the oppression and tyranny of parochial society is at the horizon.

LEDAP particularly recognizes the active social media campaigns against sexual violence and abuse of women highlighted by the #MeToo and #Timesup movement, the involvement of several women in politics vying for the high offices which were hitherto inconceivable aspirations for women, the outcry against sexual violation of women in the work place and several other cases. LEDAP however admits that despite these pockets of achievements there is still much to be done for the actualization of gender equality in Nigeria.

LEDAP observes that in Nigeria several women especially those in the rural areas remain exploited, discriminated against and are unable to actualize their dreams due to illiteracy and lack of enabling environment. Many of these women do not get a fair opportunity for progress in politics, employment and have no access to reproductive health services. Women in the internally displaced camps have encountered all forms of sexual and gender based violence including sexual exploitation often in exchange for food and other necessities. These women exist in several societies as the voiceless women for whom the press for progress has remained largely illusive.

LEDAP expresses concern that in Nigeria the issues of women’s rights such as the need to create an enabling environment for women in the Nigerian society to receive expression and attain self actualization has not received much attention and many bills to address these grey areas have not been passed under the current President Buhari-led administration. LEDAP believes the confinement of women to the “kitchen” or “the other room” does not align with global trends and civilized existence and Nigeria Government has a major role to play in the emancipation of the Nigerian woman.

LEDAP beckons on the government to take immediate steps to ensure the domestication and implementation of the convention on the elimination of discrimination against women (CEDAW) and the protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of women in Africa.

LEDAP therefore uses the commemoration of this day to advocate for the voiceless women and girls who continue to live daily facing discrimination, violation and abuse. LEDAP calls on the Nigerian government at Federal and State level to create an enabling environment for women empowerment and ensure equal rights for all women in all spheres of life; access to education, access to reproductive services, equal pay for equal work as well as protection from all forms of violence.

FOR: Legal Defence & Assistance Project-LEDAP

Chino Obiagwu


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Int’l Human Rights Day: We must stand up for our rights—CSOs

The need for citizens of the world to rise up in defence of their fundamental human rights, was the trust of this year’s commemoration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UDHR.The United Nations General Assembly, 69 years ago adopted the UDHR as Resolution 217 at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris, France on December 10, 1948. Already, the United Nations has kicked off a year-long campaign to mark the upcoming 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The world body has started a campaign with hash tag #Stand Up 4HumanRights. According to the United Nations, UN, the UDHR is a document that proclaimed the inalienable rights which everyone is entitled to as a human being-regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Already, the document has been translated into more than 500 languages across the world. The document which was drafted by representatives of diverse legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, sets out universal values and a common standard of achievement for all people and nations. It establishes the equal dignity and worth of every person. The principles enshrined in the Declaration are as relevant today as they were in 1948. The campaign by the world body is that everyone needs “to stand up for our own rights and those of others.” The questions that still agitate citizens of the world, particularly Nigerians as he world mark the Day remains: “ Has the dignity of the people been uplifted and the foundation for a more just world been built?” The struggle for a just society and anticipation for a better living has become one of the major issues bordering the minds of every reasonable Nigerians. Vanguard Law and Human Rights got reactions of Nigerians and some civil society groups on this issue.  Let government implement socio-economic rights —NHRC Lagos zone Mr. Lucas Koyejo, Zonal Coordinator, Lagos zone National Human Rights Commission, NHRC said the body held a sensitization programme with pupils and students with the theme: “Our Rights, Our Freedom Always. “We should stand up for our rights all the time. Our focus is for the Federal Government to step up actions on the National Action Plan on Human Rights in ensuring that human rights of the citizenry are realised. “The rights are specifically based on social economic rights of the people. There is need for more action by the government to ensure that Nigerians enjoy the benefit of democracy by ensuring that the provisions in Chapter 2 of the 1999 are realisable, that is that the economic and social rights of Nigerians are achievable. “The message is that every person, especially, the youths should be made to know the provision of the UDHR. “The commemoration of the UDHR, established on December 10, 1948, is an event worthy of celebration every year. My advise is that every Nigerian should be active in the protection of his or her fundamental rights by holding the government and political office holders accountable for upholding the human rights of the citizenry.” Another rights group, Access to Justice, AJ in a statement by its Deputy Director, Dr. Adenike Aiyedun, said: “As the United Nations has said on several occasions, human rights are inalienable rights and every state is under an obligation to respect, promote, defend and protect the rule of law. The rule of law requires respect for the principles of supremacy of the law, equality before the law, accountability to the law, fairness in the application of the law, separation of powers, public participation in decision-making, legal certainty, avoidance of arbitrariness and procedural and legal transparency by all arms of government. Some of these precepts have, however, not been duly observed by the government of the day. “With the present state of affairs in the country, unfortunately, the significance of “human rights day” for Nigerians will be a pale one. Practical evidence shows that the Nigerian government regards the rule of law and human rights as expendable obligations and rights and will readily sacrifice these values for any cause of action it chooses to take, without due regard for the protection of the rights of its citizens. “With the recent activities of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, he has managed to re-create an era of imperial Presidency, where no one is able to hold off the powers of the State and no court can compel the State to respect its decisions. “The present administration has exhibited and continues to exhibit no regard for court orders, by willfully disobeying and flouting various court orders and rulings, thereby undermining the role of the judiciary. “Furthermore, some State security officers have exhibited excessive forms of brutality and on some occasions leading to death. Under President Buhari’s government, thousands of Nigerians have lost their lives to State violence perpetrated by forces of the State. “We hereby urges President Buhari to repair the huge damage done to the security and enjoyment of human rights of Nigerians, as well as, the rule of law in the country. In order to do this, we ask the President to lead by example and show more accountable leadership whenever there are human rights violations. We also implore him to respect the authority of courts, urgently reform the institutions of law enforcement and security, and bring to justice all those who have gravely violated the rights of others.” Also, Legal Defence and Assistance Project, LEDAP in a statement by its Executive Programmes Director, Adaobi Egboka, on the state of human rights in the country at present, said “LEDAP observes that Nigeria is at a critical stage where the questions of human rights and its priority in our national existence must be seriously regarded by the Nigerian Government. “LEDAP is greatly concerned over the frequent coercive interaction of law enforcement agencies, the military and other security agencies with civilians which brings to the fore the need for more to be done by the current President Buhari led administration in the area of human rights protection. “The recent end SARS campaign, the move by the federal legislators to regulate the NGOs, the widely reported cases of inhuman treatment of civilians by the soldiers in different forms of “dances” are but a few human rights questions in our recent past. “It is worrisome that despite Nigeria’s adoption of major International human rights instruments and the incorporation of human rights in the constitution, human rights protection in Nigeria remains appalling. “LEDAP recommends that proper training of law enforcement agencies on the imperative duty to respect human rights is necessary to reduce the unlawful infraction of human rights. “We also recommends legislative action and strongly advocates for the decriminalization of “petty offences” under Nigerian penal statutes as their criminalization has not served the end of justice or rehabilitation but have rather being a tool for wrongful arrests, increased criminality, illegal detention without proper trial, bribery and Human rights violations. “LEDAP therefore, calls on the government to uphold international legal obligations and incorporate constitutional and institutional reforms at all levels with the overall objective of advancing the cause of human rights.” Similarly, Human Rights Monitoring Agenda, HURMA’s Convener/Executive Director, Mr Buna Isiak, on the need for Nigerians to be mindful of their rights, attributed the frustration in the country to the breaches in the fundamental rights of many Nigerians. At a seminar to mark the day, he said “Today is an opportunity for us to know where we are in term of human rights. We see people leaving the country everyday, this is as a result of breaches in fundamental human rights. That is why HURMA is enlightening people about what constitutes their rights and we are encouraging them to fight for these rights.” A Lagos-based lawyer, Dr. Muiz Banire, SAN, attributed human rights breaches in the country, to the ignorance of Nigerians  to their rights, which he said contributed to the suffering of many in the country. The lawyer urged Nigerians “To go and learn more about their rights because there is too much ignorance about their rights, that is why the suffering in the land will continue.” A Lagos State House of Assembly member representing Shomolu Constituency 1, Emmanuel Olowo, called on Nigerians to be active in the electoral processes in the country, as it was their right, if they desire to be free from the burden of those who governing them. He said: “Nigerians should be active in choosing their leaders. They should choose leaders that will make them to achieve their purpose in life, choose the leaders that will make them achieve their hearty desires, choose leaders that will protect their welfare and provide security for them. All these can only be achieved by the power of their vote and if they know their rights.”

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Civil Rights Activist Cautions National Assembly On NGO Bill

Dr Chidi Odinkalu, a Civil Rights Activist, has cautioned the National Assembly against the passage of the bill seeking to regulate activities of Non Governmental Organisations (NGO) in the country.

Odinkalu, an Abuja based lawyer, and a former Chairman, Governing Council of National Human Rights Commission made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

He expressed fears that the bill, if passed would affect the rights of the people.

“This bill basically seeks to bring all of the Nigerian Civil Societies, NGOs and organisations that are not funded by government under state control.

“It means we no more own our country, we can’t organise in our neighbourhood those little things we do to help ourselves or any form of community development, the state will intrude into those little things,” Odinkalu said.

He said that the bill was proposed on the premise that some leaders of NGOs were misappropriating resources.

“Civil societies, churches and mosque they all have people who are not living up to standard.

“And there is no where we say stealing is right whether by a Pastor or Imam or an executive director masquerading as the saviour of the people.
“We have enough laws to deal with it, prosecute the persons, put them away and throw away the keys.

“We are not going to surrender our citizenship on the excuse that somehow, some people are thieves.

“If that is the case, then there should be no politician in the National Assembly because we know that some politicians do steal money too.

“So what do we do, legislate all politicians out of existence, that is why we are telling the politicians that this country belongs to us all so that the politicians will get it right,’’ he said.

The lawyer advised that the bill be thrown out “and let’s make the country work by applying the existing laws properly.’’

IG probes SARS over extra-judicial killings, misconduct

Concerned about allegations of extrajudicial killings and other acts of professional misconduct against officers and personnel of the Special Anti- Robbery Squad (SARS), the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, has ordered the reorganisation of the special unit. Apart from the squad’s reorganisation, the IGP also ordered investigation of complaints made against personnel.

The directives were contained in a statement signed yesterday by the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Mr. Jimoh Moshood, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP). The development came barely 24 after a sustained social media campaign (#ENDSARSNOW) against activities of the special police unit.

Before the Force Headquarters’ directive, there had been widespread reports of SARS’ operatives allegedly acting at variance with standard operation.

Though, SARS was established primarily to fight cases of armed robbery, there had been allegations of personnel dabbling into land/property dispute, relationships and other civil matters, which its mandate did not cover.

Among prominent personalities that had raised serious concerns over SARS’ alleged misconduct, is the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, who, on several occasions, had called for the redeployment of the Commander, Federal SARS in his state, CSP Akin Fakorode.

But, the Police, in a statement by Moshood, said the litany of complaints would be thoroughly investigated, with a view to bringing errant officers to deserved justice. As part of the reorganisation process, the FPRO said the Federal Squad would, henceforth, be brought under the control of a Commissioner of Police (CP), and domiciled in the Department of Operations, Force Headquarters Abuja.

Also, Zonal and State Commands, as well as Divisions, will operate “anticrime units” and other crime prevention squads. Moshood said: “The Nigeria Police Force has observed the recent trends of event in the Social Media on the #ENDSARSNOW and the controversy being generated by the innuendos from the allegations and other misconceptions as it concerns the operational roles and activities of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a detachment of the Nigeria Police Force.

“Undoubtedly, SARS has been doing very well in fighting violent crimes such as armed robbery, kidnappings and cattle rustling in the country in the recent time and this has resulted in drastic reduction of incidents of the mentioned violent crimes nationwide.

“However, the Inspector General of Police, concerned with public interest and the need to reposition SARS for more efficiency and effective service delivery to all Nigerians and ensure that SARS operates based on international core value of policing with integrity and make sure the rule of law prevails in the operations and activities of the outfit, has directed the immediate re-organization of SARS nationwide and instant investigation into all the allegations, complaints and infractions levelled against the personnel of SARS across the country by the IGP X-Squad of the Force.

“In the new arrangement, a Commissioner of Police is now the overall head of the Federal Anti- Robbery Squad nationwide under the Department of Operations, Force Headquarters Abuja.” This was as he added that zonal and state commanders of F-SARS, will be officers between the ranks of Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) and Superintendent of Police (SP).

His words: “The Police Zonal Commands, State Commands and Divisions will continue to operate anti-crime units/sections, crime prevention and control squads and teams, imperative to prevent and detect crimes and criminalities in their Area of Responsibilities, and other crack squads necessary to sustain law and order and protection of life and properties in their Area of Responsibilities (AOR).

“Federal Anti-Robbery Squad (F-SARS) will now exist and operate in the State and Zonal Commands under the Commissioner of Police (F-SARS) at the Force Headquarters. A Federal SARS Commander of a rank of Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) and not below Superintendent of Police (SP) will be in charge of F-SARS in State and Zonal Commands across the Country.

“All Commissioners of Police have been directed by the Inspector General of Police to comply with this directive with immediate effect and warn their personnel not to pose as SARS operatives.

The IGP XSquad has been mandated to go round the Commands and Police Formations nationwide to ensure strict compliance and apprehend any erring police officer.

“Furthermore, a new training programme to be organized by the Force, in collaboration with some Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), local and international NGOs, and other human rights organizations on core police duties, observant of human rights and handling, care and custody of suspects have been directed by the Inspector General of Police for all Federal SARS personnel nationwide with immediate effect.”


Nigeria’s #ENDSARS campaign at police brutality video


Nigeria’s police chief has ordered an immediate re-organisation of the anti-robbery unit after a social media outcry over alleged police brutality.

The campaign began when footage was shared allegedly showing the aftermath of the police killing of a young man.

Many Nigerians responded with their own accounts of their ordeals at the hands of officers from the Anti-Robbery Squad SARS, using the hash tag #ENDSARS.

Nigeria’s police has long been accused of human rights abuses and corruption.

On Sunday, a video was posted on Twitter showing an angry mob chasing after a black van, allegedly containing SARS officers fleeing the scene after killing a man.

An online petition was launched calling for SARS to be disbanded, while some shared graphic videos of alleged police brutality.

“The SARS here in Port Harcourt go about with cutlasses and axe, red ribbons and bandana around their arm or head. Sick something” @tickin_clocks tweeted.

“I was stopped at Iwo road by SARS, my bags and phones were searched and found nothing. Took all the chocolate I bought for my sis” @Dabidamioraye

Initially, the Nigerian Police Force tried to downplay the issue by tweeting: “If u’ve contact with SARS personnel and u’ve any complaints about deir actions or inactions, u’re at liberty 2 report deir conducts 2 various platforms provided by the NPF to deal with unprofessional conduct of members of the Force rather dan call 4 end SARS 08057000001”.

However, Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris later ordered an “instant investigation into all the allegations, complaints and infractions levelled against the personnel of the Special Anti Robbery Squad across the country”.

Segun Awosanya, who started the petition, told BBC Pidgin that there would be a protest to Aso Rock, seat of power of the Nigerian government in January, if the government does not disband SARS by the end of 2017.