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Senator, other Nigerians condemn NGO regulatory bill

A serving senator of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Shehu Sani, has kicked against the Non-Governmental Organisation, NGO regulatory bill which is currently before the House of Representatives.

The controversial bill seeks to set up a federal agency to be known as the NGO Regulatory Commission to regulate activities of NGO’s and civil society organisations, CSOs, across the country.

In a tweet from his official twitter handle, the senator vowed that he would fight against it when it comes to the Senate.

“The bill on NGOs will reinforce those with tyrannical tendencies and further stifle rights to freedom of speech and assembly. I’ll oppose it,” he tweeted.

Many Nigerians have also criticised the bill on different platforms, while others expressed support for it.

While critics see it as a way to silence civil society groups in the country, some other Nigerians see it as a way to regulate the sector.

Chidi Odinkalu, a former chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, has launched a campaign against the bill, saying the proposed law would affect religious bodies and humanitarian agencies and organisations. He also argued that the bill was unnecessary as there were already enough laws and institutions to regulate NGOs.

A twitter user, Shuaibu Mumuni, while responding to the leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, also opposed the bill.

“When we begin to over regulate everything including the CSOs on the pretext of terror we are gradually sliding into a police state,” he tweeted from his handle, @mumunishuaibu.

Mr. Gbajabiamila had in a series of tweets tried to justify the need for the controversial bill.

 

“NGOs cannot be above the laws of the land. They must be regulated,” the lawmaker tweeted from his twitter handle @femigbaja.

He asked those opposed to the bill to send their reservations to him, saying the reservations would be looked into “at the public hearing.”

In his reaction to the debate, another Nigerian, Bolaji Odunfa, @bolajiodunfa, said foreign donors already do their own form of vetting before assisting NGOS.

“Foreign donors don’t dash money! They monitor how their funds are spent and get reports from NGOs they support.”

However, some Nigerians called for more transparency in the running of NGOs

“I Don’t give a ***** about NGO bill but about time those collecting billions under the guise of NGO open their books for public scrutiny,” activist Kayode Ogundamisi tweeted on his handle @ogundamisi.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how the deputy leader of the House of Representatives, Umar Jibril, had earlier defended the bill.

Mr. Jibril, who sponsored the bill, argued that it is to ensure that there is transparency and accountability in the way NGOs collect funds from donors.

He also said the bill will not affect religious bodies and quasi-financial institutions.

The NGO regulatory agency, if established, would be headed by an Executive Secretary and a 17-member Governing Board to be appointed by the Nigerian President for a five-year tenure.

Its functions would, amongst others, be to issue licences to all NGOs, which would equire renewing such licences every two years. And if the agency’s board doesn’t renew an organisation’s license after the two years, such organisation will seize to exist; a clause many say would make NGOs function at the will of government.

An NGO would also have to receive permission from the regulator before it executes any project and the agency would also regulate how funds received from donors are spent.

culled from https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/244015-senator-nigerians-condemn-ngo-regulatory-bill.html

POLICY ADVOCACY WORKSHOP HELD ON THE 5TH – 9TH JUNE 2017 IN MOMBASA, KENYA

The workshop which held in Mombasa, Kenya was organized by Centre for Reproductive Right and it had in attendance representatives from five African countries; Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. The workshop was aimed at training participant on how to develop strong and effective policy advocacy strategy.

Read detailed report below

REPORT ON POLICY ADVOCACY WORKSHOP

UNILAG LAUNCHES HUMAN RIGHTS CLINIC

The University of Lagos (UNILAG) in patnership with Amnesty International, Nigeria, launched a human rights clinic on June 27, 2017. The launch which was hosted by the Law Faculty of the University showcased the 30 pioneer members of the clinic.

According to the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Prof. Ayodele Atsenuwa, the human rights clinic is aimed at ‘equipping students of the University of Lagos with knowledge and skills required for promoting and protecting human rights.’

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Cross section of panel discussant  at the university of Lagos state human rights clinic launch. from L-R Andrew W. Maki , executive director of  Justice empowerment Initiative,(JEI), Osai Ejigho , Executive Director Amnesty International Nigeria, Dean faculty of law unilag,prof Atsenuwa  Professor of Law Unilag, Naomi Emeka Associate LEDAP Nigeria and Abdul Tejan Cole Executive Director of OSIWA speaking on the role of youths in the promotion and protection of human rights in Nigeria.

CJN to Judges: it’s no Longer Business as Usual

TO say the outgoing year has been a turbulent one for the judiciary would be an understatement It is therefore proper that we look back on how we have fared, even in the face of the challenges, and the achievements recorded during the year.

In doing so, we are able to chart a new and improved course for the incoming legal year. This session is therefore a time to reflect and celebrate the new legal year, together with the distinguished legal practitioners who have been found worthy of honour by the conferment on them of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) by the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC).

The 2016/2017 legal year was an eventful one with the appointment of my humble self as Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) being the ultimate. I assumed office with faith, courage and hope for a better judiciary. I am humbled by the God-given privilege to lead Nigeria’s judiciary at this time in the history of our nation. By the special grace of God and your support, I am determined to put in my best in the service of our great nation.

The legal year under reference also marked the elevation of four brother justices to the apex court: Justices Amina Adamu Augie, Ejembi Eko, Paul Adamu Galinje and Sidi Dauda Bage.

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The Only Female Lawyer Denied SAN Rank

Ms Oluwatoyin Ajoke Bashoruns joy knew no bound on Wednesday July 5 2017 when her name appeared among 30 lawyers – all men except her – that were announced by the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC) as those to be awarded the Senior Advocate Of Nigeria (SAN) rank for the year 2017.

But her joy was cut short on Friday, September 16, 2017, when Mrs Hadizatu Uwani Mustafa, the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court who also doubles as the Secretary of LPPC, announced that her named has been dropped from those to be conferred with the rank of SAN on Monday, September 18 , 2017, based on some petitions against her which the body is still investigating .

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