NEWSLETTER FOR 30TH JULY- 3RD AUGUST 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.
16th-20th July 2018 2018

“Human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights.”

— Hillary Clinton

NEWS

Defected Senators Must Resign From Senate – LEDAP
The Legal Defence and Assistance Project in a Press Release, signed by the National Coordinator, Mr. Chino Obiagwu has stated that according to Section 68(1)(g) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, any Legislator defecting to another party, must resign, otherwise such legislator will be acting unlawfully and, has no right of vote at the National Assembly. Read more

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Gunmen Attack Mosque, Kill Four, Injure Eight in Zamfara

Some gunmen have attacked a mosque at Kawddi Village in Zamfara State, leaving four persons dead and eight others injured. According to Channels Television, the incident happened at about 8 pm in Zurmi Local Government Area of the State. Read more

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Group Petitions National Human Rights Commission over Alleged Soldiers’ Brutality

The Network of Police Reform in Nigeria has petitioned the National Human Rights Commission over the alleged infliction of physical injuries and extortion of five civilians by some soldiers in Aba, Abia State. Read more

k

Buhari, INEC Commit to Credible Poll

Delivering a keynote address at the 20th anniversary celebration of the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, Netherlands, July 17, Buhari said his administration would deploy every power within its reach to conduct free, fair and violence-free polls in 2019. Read more

l

Heads of United Nations Counter-Terrorism Bodies Conclude Joint Visit to Nigeria

Mr. Vladimir Voronkov, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), and Ms. Michèle Coninsx, Assistant Secretary-General and Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), concluded a joint visit to Nigeria at the invitation of the Government. Read more

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NHRC to Investigate Alleged Fraudulent Activities in IDP Camps

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) says it will investigate all genuine cases of sharp practices at Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in the country. Read more

Create Human Rights-Friendly Business Environment, Govt Urged

A National Business and Human Rights Round table on ‘The role of Governance Stakeholders Engagement on Business and Human Rights’, organised by the Global Rights, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) in partnership with National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), was held on the in a bid to discuss and avert business-related human rights infringement in Nigeria. Read more

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SERAP takes Senate to UN over Press Council Bill

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has petitioned Mr. David Kaye, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression to press the Senate President Bukola Saraki and the Nigerian Senate to withdraw a bill which “aims to undermine constitutionally and internationally recognized media freedom in the country”. Read more

Cameroon Violence Needs Urgent Investigation – UN Rights Chief

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Al Hussein, said persistent reports of grave human rights abuses in Cameroon must be investigated by the Cameroonian authorities urgently. Amid the backdrop of protests in the English-speaking north-west and south-west regions of the country that escalated in late 2017 into clashes between state military forces and armed groups, Zeid condemned an ambush on government motorcade that took place earlier this month. Read more

l

Nigerians Forced out by Boko Haram Return to Ruins and Continuing Risk

Thousands of people who fled Boko Haram have been sent to unsafe areas by a government trying to create the impression that it has returned security to Nigeria’s north-east, ahead of next year’s presidential election. Read more

k

UNHCR Releases Quarterly Report on Regional Refugee Response Plan

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee has released its refugee response plan for April to June 2018. The report highlights that the number of security incidents in the Lake Chad Basin in the first quarter did not increase in the second quarter, however, civilian causalities in the second quarter increased as compared to the first quarter. Read more

k

Anti-slavery App will Help Users Spot Potential Victims of Labour Exploitation

A leading anti-slavery charity is preparing to launch an app that will help users identify signs of modern-day slavery and report suspicions to a confidential helpline. Read more

k

Guterres Raises Alarm Over UN Cash Crunch

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Thursday of a serious cash shortfall at the United Nations, telling staff in a message that cost-cutting measures are in store. Guterres said the cash crunch was caused primarily by the failure of UN member states to pay their dues on time, adding that he had asked countries to quickly pay their share of the UN budget. Read more

 

A Report on the 2018 IPI World Congress

Under the title “Why Good Journalism Matters: Quality Media for Strong Societies”, the 2018 IPI World Congress was held in Abuja, Nigeria, from June 21 to 23, 2018. Read more

Nigeria Gets New Consul-General in New York

A new Consul-General, Benaoyagha Okoyen, has assumed duty at the Consulate-General office of Nigeria in New York. Read more

 

OPINION

The Death Penalty is an Abomination – Sajid Javid Must not Condone It

“You can’t be opposed in principle to the death penalty except when it turns out to be inconvenient; you can’t be in favour of human rights only so long as they apply to likable people.” Read more

Task of Ethiopia’s New Leader: End Torture

“Though the reforms he has introduced are promising, the prime minister has yet to tackle one of the biggest obstacles to lasting change — the lack of accountability for serious abuses, notably the widespread use of torture.” Read more

More than words: Why HIV Responses must put Human Rights Centre Stage

“Those who are most vulnerable to HIV infection stop accessing life-saving treatment or reporting human rights violations due to fear, stigma, discrimination and the possibility they may face prosecution.” Read more

 

Shall There Be Strings Attached to Humanitarian Aid?

“Following the ‘strings attached’ approach, the UK Government could do more to engage in a constructive dialogue with the Nigerian government to ensure that the Nigerian government does more to protect the affected communities. Read more

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Fundamental Human Rights Violation

The issue of human rights denial is not one that should be handled with kid gloves, it goes beyond condemning the acts that amount to such human rights breach, the law needs to go further to ensure that the fundamental human rights of her citizens are not violated. Read more

 

LEDAP@WORK

LEDAP Anti-Torture Project to Commence Training in Yobe State


Training of Police Officers in Yobe State on 31st July 2018.

The Anti-Torture Project will commenced the training of 60 police officers in Yobe State on torture prevention strategies, human rights and sexual and gender based violence norms. The training takes place from the 31st July to 1st August 2018. For live updates on the training follow the project on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and follow the conversation using #stoptorture9ja

LEDAP Takes Files Contempt Proceedings
Based on LEDAP’s recent court judgment gotten at the Federal High Court in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/979/15 between: LEDAP V 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 filed contempt proceedings at the Federal High Court against the defendants in this suit asking the Court to find the defendants guilty of contempt.

LEDAP Offers Technical Assistance to Yobe Judiciary on ACJ Bill

LEDAP recently held a 3 day technical workshop in Yobe state to provide assistance for the preparation and adoption of the Administration of Criminal Justice bill in order to implement the Administration of Criminal Justice Act in the State. Participants at the workshop included the Justice Reform Committee, the Chief Judge, Speaker and Members of the House of Assembly, Grand Kadis, Judges, Court Registrars, Magistrates, Police personnel, Prison Officers, and CSOs. The committee has prepared the final draft bill based on the output of the workshop. The draft was reviewed in Kaduna on 28th & 29th of July.

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.

PeepIntoTheLaw

Court Sentences killers of Benue Catholic priest, Fr. John Adeyi to Death by Hanging

Justice Aondover Kakaan of a Makurdi High Court on Wednesday, convicted and sentenced Suleiman Goma and Haruna Idi to death by hanging for the murder of Rev. Fr Alexandra Adeyi. Read more

Court Orders Dangote To Pay 157.5 Million For Refusal To Honour Term Of Settlement Agreement

A High Court sitting at Onitsha presided over by Hon. Justice MNO Okonkwo has delivered a Landmark Judgment wherein it ordered Dangote Cement Plc to pay 157.5 Million Naira as cumulative judgment sum for refusal to honour term of settlement agreement voluntarily entered into by it. Read more

Free Basic Education is an Enforceable Right: Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) GTE & LTD V Federal Ministry of Education & Anor

In the instant case of LEDAP v Federal PMinistry of Education & Anor, the Federal High Court sitting at Abuja held that that failure to adopt and implement free, compulsory and Universal Primary education and free junior secondary education is a breach of the constitutional obligation of the government. Read the full judgement on the Nigerialii website here.

 

EVENTS

Paris Peace Forum – Participate in the call for projects

The Paris Peace Forum is a platform for discussion and debate, the Forum will be a place for sharing experiences and innovative solutions bringing together all governance stakeholders The aim is to drive forward governance projects by showcasing them, using them as a basis for debates in various formats and promoting networking between project developers and relevant decision makers. If you wish to put forward a governance project, the Paris Peace Forum will be a unique opportunity to present and drive forward your initiative. For a chance to be one of the 150 projects chosen by the selection committee submit your project online: https://parispeaceforum.org/project-leaders/. Submissions close on 30 August.

2018 PALU ANNUAL CONFERENCE AND GENERAL ASSEMBLY

The Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU) is holding its 9thAnnual Conference in Tunis, Tunisia from 27 to 29 September, 2018. To register for the conference contact the PALU Secretariat at secretariat@lawyersofafrica.org, or via telephone +255 (27) 254-3192.

 

Call for Reports For 29th session of the Committee for the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (CMW)

The Committee is calling on representatives of national and international CSOs to provide country-specific information on issues relevant to the implementation of the Convention by the State parties under consideration. Deadline for submission is 13th August 2018. Read more

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

The 10th session of the committee has been rescheduled and will hold from the 8th to 19th of October 2018 in Geneva. Read more

The Social Forum of the Human Rights Council

The Social Forum is an annual three-day meeting convened by the Human Rights Council. It is a unique space for open and interactive dialogue between civil society actors, representatives of Member States, and intergovernmental organizations, on a theme chosen by the Council each year. This year’s Social Forum will hold from the 1st to 3rd October 2018 in Geneva. Read more

Legal Empowerment Leadership Course 2018


Applications are now open for the 4th edition of the annual Legal Empowerment Leadership Course. The course is a collaboration between the CEU’s School of Public Policy, the Open Society Justice Initiative,Namati, and the Robert L. Bernstein Institute for Human Rights at New York University School of Law. The course will hold from the 2nd to 7th of December. Find out more here

IDRC Research Awards 2018 for Research Internships

The International Development Research Center Research award recipients will join IDRC for a one-year paid program to undertake research on the topic they have submitted, and will receive hands-on experience in research and program management and support, grant administration. The award is open to Canadians, permanent residents of Canada, and citizens of developing countries pursuing a master’s or a doctoral degree at a recognized university OR who have completed a master’s or a doctoral degree at a recognized university. The deadline is 5th Spetember 2018. Read more

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NEWSLETTER FOR 23RD JULY- 27TH JULY 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.
16th-20th July 2018 2018

“It is in your hands to make the world a better place.” 

—Nelson Mandela

NEWS   

Defected Senators Must Resign From Senate – LEDAP
The Legal Defence and Assistance Project in a Press Release, signed by the National Coordinator, Mr. Chino Obiagwu has stated that according to Section 68(1)(g) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, any Legislator defecting to another party, must resign, otherwise such legislator will be acting unlawfully and, has no right of vote at the National Assembly. Read more

k

Gunmen Attack Mosque, Kill Four, Injure Eight in Zamfara

Some gunmen have attacked a mosque at Kawddi Village in Zamfara State, leaving four persons dead and eight others injured. According to Channels Television, the incident happened at about 8 pm in Zurmi Local Government Area of the State. Read more

l

Group Petitions National Human Rights Commission over Alleged Soldiers’ Brutality

The Network of Police Reform in Nigeria has petitioned the National Human Rights Commission over the alleged infliction of physical injuries and extortion of five civilians by some soldiers in Aba, Abia State. Read more

k

Buhari, INEC Commit to Credible Poll

Delivering a keynote address at the 20th anniversary celebration of the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, Netherlands, July 17, Buhari said his administration would deploy every power within its reach to conduct free, fair and violence-free polls in 2019. Read more

l

Heads of United Nations Counter-Terrorism Bodies Conclude Joint Visit to Nigeria

Mr. Vladimir Voronkov, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), and Ms. Michèle Coninsx, Assistant Secretary-General and Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), concluded a joint visit to Nigeria at the invitation of the Government. Read more

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NHRC to Investigate Alleged Fraudulent Activities in IDP Camps

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) says it will investigate all genuine cases of sharp practices at Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in the country. Read more

Create Human Rights-Friendly Business Environment, Govt Urged

A National Business and Human Rights Round table on ‘The role of Governance Stakeholders Engagement on Business and Human Rights’, organised by the Global Rights, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) in partnership with National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), was held on the  in a bid to discuss and avert business-related human rights infringement in Nigeria. Read more

k

SERAP takes Senate to UN over Press Council Bill

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has petitioned Mr. David Kaye, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression to press the Senate President Bukola Saraki and the Nigerian Senate to withdraw a bill which “aims to undermine constitutionally and internationally recognized media freedom in the country”. Read more

Cameroon Violence Needs Urgent Investigation – UN Rights Chief

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Al Hussein, said persistent reports of grave human rights abuses in Cameroon must be investigated by the Cameroonian authorities urgently. Amid the backdrop of protests in the English-speaking north-west and south-west regions of the country that escalated in late 2017 into clashes between state military forces and armed groups, Zeid condemned an ambush on government motorcade that took place earlier this month. Read more

l

Nigerians Forced out by Boko Haram Return to Ruins and Continuing Risk

Thousands of people who fled Boko Haram have been sent to unsafe areas by a government trying to create the impression that it has returned security to Nigeria’s north-east, ahead of next year’s presidential election. Read more

k

UNHCR Releases Quarterly Report on Regional Refugee Response Plan 

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee has released its refugee response plan for April to June 2018. The report highlights that the number of security incidents in the Lake Chad Basin in the first quarter did not increase in the second quarter, however, civilian causalities in the second quarter increased as compared to the first quarter. Read more

k

Anti-slavery App will Help Users Spot Potential Victims of Labour Exploitation

A leading anti-slavery charity is preparing to launch an app that will help users identify signs of modern-day slavery and report suspicions to a confidential helpline. Read more

k

Guterres Raises Alarm Over UN Cash Crunch

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Thursday of a serious cash shortfall at the United Nations, telling staff in a message that cost-cutting measures are in store. Guterres said the cash crunch was caused primarily by the failure of UN member states to pay their dues on time, adding that he had asked countries to quickly pay their share of the UN budget. Read more

 

A Report on the 2018 IPI World Congress

Under the title “Why Good Journalism Matters: Quality Media for Strong Societies”, the 2018 IPI World Congress was held in Abuja, Nigeria, from June 21 to 23, 2018. Read more

Nigeria Gets New Consul-General in New York

A new Consul-General, Benaoyagha Okoyen, has assumed duty at the Consulate-General office of Nigeria in New York. Read more

 

OPINION 

The Death Penalty is an Abomination – Sajid Javid Must not Condone It

“You can’t be opposed in principle to the death penalty except when it turns out to be inconvenient; you can’t be in favour of human rights only so long as they apply to likable people.” Read more

Task of Ethiopia’s New Leader: End Torture

“Though the reforms he has introduced are promising, the prime minister has yet to tackle one of the biggest obstacles to lasting change — the lack of accountability for serious abuses, notably the widespread use of torture.” Read more

More than words: Why HIV Responses must put Human Rights Centre Stage

“Those who are most vulnerable to HIV infection stop accessing life-saving treatment or reporting human rights violations due to fear, stigma, discrimination and the possibility they may face prosecution.” Read more

 

Shall There Be Strings Attached to Humanitarian Aid?

“Following the ‘strings attached’ approach, the UK Government could do more to engage in a constructive dialogue with the Nigerian government to ensure that the Nigerian government does more to protect the affected communities. Read more

k

Fundamental Human Rights Violation

The issue of human rights denial is not one that should be handled with kid gloves, it goes beyond condemning the acts that amount to such human rights breach, the law needs to go further to ensure that the fundamental human rights of her citizens are not violated. Read more

 

LEDAP@WORK 

LEDAP Anti-Torture Project to Commence Training in Yobe State


Training of Police Officers in Yobe State on 31st July 2018.

The Anti-Torture Project will commenced the training of 60 police officers in Yobe State on torture prevention strategies, human rights and sexual and gender based violence norms. The training takes place from the 31st July to 1st August 2018. For live updates on the training follow the project on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and follow the conversation using #stoptorture9ja

LEDAP Takes Files Contempt Proceedings
Based on LEDAP’s recent court judgment gotten at the Federal High Court  in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/979/15 between: LEDAP V 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 filed contempt proceedings at the Federal High Court against the defendants in this suit asking the Court to find the defendants guilty of contempt.

LEDAP Offers Technical Assistance to Yobe Judiciary on ACJ Bill

LEDAP recently held a 3 day technical workshop in Yobe state to provide assistance for the preparation and adoption of the  Administration of Criminal Justice  bill in order to implement the Administration of Criminal Justice Act in the State. Participants at the workshop included the Justice Reform Committee, the Chief Judge, Speaker and Members of the House of Assembly, Grand Kadis, Judges, Court Registrars, Magistrates, Police personnel, Prison Officers, and CSOs. The committee has prepared the final draft bill based on the output of the workshop. The draft was reviewed in Kaduna on 28th & 29th of July.

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.

PeepIntoTheLaw   

Court Sentences killers of Benue Catholic priest, Fr. John Adeyi to Death by Hanging

Justice Aondover Kakaan of a Makurdi High Court on Wednesday, convicted and sentenced Suleiman Goma and Haruna Idi to death by hanging for the murder of Rev. Fr Alexandra Adeyi. Read more

Court Orders Dangote To Pay 157.5 Million For Refusal To Honour Term Of Settlement Agreement

A High Court sitting at Onitsha presided over by Hon. Justice MNO Okonkwo has delivered a Landmark Judgment wherein it ordered Dangote Cement Plc to pay 157.5 Million Naira as cumulative judgment sum for refusal to honour term of settlement agreement voluntarily entered into by it. Read more

Free Basic Education is an Enforceable Right: Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) GTE & LTD V Federal Ministry of Education & Anor

In the instant case of LEDAP v Federal PMinistry of Education & Anor, the Federal High Court sitting at Abuja held that that failure to adopt and implement free, compulsory and Universal Primary education and free junior secondary education is a breach of the constitutional obligation of the government. Read the full judgement  on the Nigerialii website here.

 

EVENTS  

Paris Peace Forum – Participate in the call for projects

The Paris Peace Forum is a platform for discussion and debate, the Forum will be a place for sharing experiences and innovative solutions bringing together all governance stakeholders The aim is to drive forward governance projects by showcasing them, using them as a basis for debates in various formats and promoting networking between project developers and relevant decision makers. If you wish to put forward a governance project, the Paris Peace Forum will be a unique opportunity to present and drive forward your initiative. For a chance to be one of the 150 projects chosen by the selection committee submit your project online: https://parispeaceforum.org/project-leaders/. Submissions close on 30 August.

2018 PALU ANNUAL CONFERENCE AND GENERAL ASSEMBLY

The Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU) is holding its 9thAnnual Conference in Tunis, Tunisia from 27 to 29 September, 2018. To register for the conference contact the PALU Secretariat at secretariat@lawyersofafrica.org, or via telephone +255 (27) 254-3192.

 

Call for Reports For 29th session of the Committee for the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (CMW)

The Committee is calling on representatives of national and international CSOs to provide country-specific information on issues relevant to the implementation of the Convention by the State parties under consideration. Deadline for submission is 13th August 2018. Read more

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

The 10th session of the committee has been rescheduled and will hold from the 8th to 19th of October 2018 in Geneva. Read more

The Social Forum of the Human Rights Council

The Social Forum is an annual three-day meeting convened by the Human Rights Council. It is a unique space for open and interactive dialogue between civil society actors, representatives of Member States, and intergovernmental organizations, on a theme chosen by the Council each year. This year’s Social Forum will hold from the 1st to 3rd October 2018 in Geneva. Read more

Legal Empowerment Leadership Course 2018


Applications are now open for the 4th edition of the annual Legal Empowerment Leadership Course. The course is a collaboration between the CEU’s School of Public Policy, the Open Society Justice Initiative,Namati, and the Robert L. Bernstein Institute for Human Rights  at New York University School of Law. The course will hold from the 2nd to 7th of December. Find out more here

IDRC Research Awards 2018 for Research Internships

The International Development Research Center Research award recipients will join IDRC for a one-year paid program to undertake research on the topic they have submitted, and will receive hands-on experience in research and program management and support, grant administration. The award is open to Canadians, permanent residents of Canada, and citizens of developing countries pursuing a master’s or a doctoral degree at a recognized university OR who have completed a master’s or a doctoral degree at a recognized university. The deadline is 5th Spetember 2018Read more

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LEDAP INSTITUTES CONTEMPT PROCEEDINGS

Based on the  judgment delivered at the Federal High Court by Justice J.T. Tsoho  in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/979/15 between: LEDAP V Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), The Minister of Education and the National Universities Commission (NUC), wherein the court ruled in favour of LEDAP and held that only the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) can conduct matriculation examinations and give admissions into tertiary institutions. The court also gave an order restraining all universities, polytechnics  and colleges of Education in Nigeria from further imposition or conduct of Post-Unified Matriculation Examination (Post-UTME) or any other form of admission screening tests in Nigeria. The defendants have failed to comply with the Judgment, hence, LEDAP has filed contempt proceedings against them at the Federal High Court asking the court to find the defendants  guilty of contempt.

 

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LEDAP THREATENS SUIT AGAINST NATIONAL ASSEMBLY DEFECTORS

The Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) has threatened to sue 15 members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) senators in National Assembly who defected to Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), if they fail to resign.

In a statement signed by the National Coordinator, LEDAP, Mr. Chinonye Obiagwu, the group said its position is informed by the provisions of section 68 (1)(g) of the 1999 constitution of Nigeria, as amended.

The section provides that any legislator who defects from the party, which sponsored his election to the National Assembly, where there was no division in the party, must vacate his seat in the National Assembly.

“The Supreme Court has acknowledged this section of the constitution in the case of Hon. Ifedayo Abegunde v. the Ondo state house of assembly SC.643/2014.

“The principles enunciated by the Court in the Fedeco v Goni supra and AG Federation v Abubakar (supra), are to the effect that only such fractionalization, fragmentation, splintering or “division” that makes it impossible or impracticable for a political party to function as such will, by virtue of the proviso to Section 68(1) (g), justify a person’s defection to another party and the retention of his seat for the unexpired term in the house in spite of the defection,” the group said.

Therefore LEDAP insisted that any legislator defecting to another party, must resign, otherwise such legislator will be acting unlawfully and, has no right of vote at the National Assembly.

His words: “Thus, all motions or bills passed by the National Assembly in which such legislator participated in the debate or voted in the passage are null and void.

“The National Assembly as the lawmakers of the nation must obey the law. If these legislators fail to resign, LEDAP will seek legal action to nullify their continued sitting in the upper chambers and to nullify all bills and motions in which they participated or voted.

 

Culled from TheGuardianNewspaper

PRESS RELEASE: DEFECTED SENATORS MUST RESIGN FROM THE SENATE

News reports from the National Assembly today indicate that fifteen senators have defected from the All Progressive Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). We note that under Section 68 (1)(g) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), any legislator who defects from the party which sponsored his election to the National Assembly, where there was no division in the party, must vacate his seat in the National Assembly.

The Supreme Court has affirmed this position in a number of cases.  In the case of HON. IFEDAYO ABEGUNDE V. THE ONDO STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY-SC.643/2014, the apex court stated thus, “The principles enunciated by this Court in the two cases, Fedeco v Goni supra and AG Federation v Abubakar (supra), is to the effect that only such factionalisation, fragmentation, splintering or “division” that makes it impossible or impracticable for a political party to function as such will, by virtue of the proviso to Section 68(1) (g), justify a person’s defection to another party and the retention of his seat for the unexpired term in the house inspite of the defection. Otherwise, as rightly held by the courts below, the defector automatically looses his seat.”

It must be recalled that in this 8th assembly of the National Assembly, there have been a number of defections from one party to another, even though there has not been division in the APC or PDP to legally warrant or justify the defections. The National Assembly as the law makers of the nation must obey the law.

Section 68(1)(g) of the Constitution clearly provides that,  A member of the Senate or of the House of Representatives shall vacate his seat in the House of which he is a member if, being a person whose election to the House was sponsored by a political party, he becomes a member of another political party before the expiration of the period for which that House was elected, Provided that his membership of the latter political party is not as a result of a division in the political party of which he was previously a member or of a merger of two or more political parties or factions by one of which he was previously sponsored”. Therefore any Legislator defecting to another party, must resign, otherwise such legislator will be acting unlawfully and, has no right of vote at the National Assembly. Thus, all Motions or Bills passed by the National Assembly in which such legislator participated in the debate or voted in the passage are null and void.

The Legal Defence and Assistance Project-LEDAP will, if these legislators fail to resign, seek legal action to nullify their continued sitting in the upper chambers and to nullify all Bills and Motions in which they participated or voted.

For: LEDAP – Legal Defence and Assistance Project

 Chino Obiagwu Esq.

fundamental-rights1

FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION

Fundamental Human rights are natural and inherent in all human beings regardless of their nation, location, language, religion, ethnic origin or any other status. These rights are embedded in our laws to avoid mankind living barbaric and animalistic way of live, where the strong survive, and the weak eliminated.

To further buttress the essence of fundamental rights, the countries of the world came together under the General Assembly of the United Nations and  proclaimed the universal declaration of human rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

Chapter {IV} of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria {As amended} provides for Right to life, Right to dignity of human person, Right to personal liberty, Right to fair hearing, Right to private and family life, Right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, Right to freedom of expression and the press, Right to peaceful assembly and association, Right to freedom of movement, Right to freedom from discrimination, Right to acquire and own immovable property anywhere in Nigeria, for the purpose of protecting the rights and freedom of other persons.

Sadly, even the custodians of the law, and officers in the temple of justice have their fundamental human rights denied various government agencies, not too long in the legal scene, legal professionals were bewildered with a video of a lawyer employed to the law firm of Oluyomi Olawore LLP being slapped, and manhandled by members of the Nigerian Police Force, with no consequence for such breach of a citizen’s fundamental human rights.

There is a reason why we have the judicial sector where grievances of aggrieved members of the society can be addressed in accordance with the laid down provisions of our several laws of the Federation, but rather the country prefer to sit and watch as other citizens’ fundamental human rights are being breached with no regard to the law of the land.

The issue of human rights denial is not one that should be handled with kid gloves, it goes beyond condemning the acts that amount to such human rights breach, the law need go further to ensure that the fundamental human rights of her citizens are not violated.

Truth be told, not many Nigerians are fully aware of their fundamental human rights as provided by the constitution. During our street interview with Nigerians of various status in the society, one would discover that those the law seeks to protect are not conscious or aware of their rights, a major reason why the breach has grown to an outrageous figure that it is gradually becoming a norm in our society for citizens’ right to be breached without remedy.

To curb the increase in fundamental human rights violation, the country and its relevant institutions ought to toughen up its measures to fight against individuals, and group of persons that promote such human rights violation in the country; court orders should be respected by all irrespective of position, damages/compensation awarded for breach of fundamental human rights should be enforced, aggrieved members should feel protected by the law, while offending members of the society should feel the full wrath of the law.

A society that encourages human rights violation is giving way to anarchy, and chaos in an era of civilization, a country where citizens’ rights are not respected or protected is a grooming ground for communal crisis, and violence. Citizens’ lives would be at the mercy of those courageous enough to take up arms and violate the rights of another citizen.

In sum, the Federal Government of Nigeria owes it as an obligation to its citizens to ensure that everyone is equal before the law, and citizens’ rights, life, and property shall be protected adequately by the Government.

God speed!

By Daniel Bulusson culled from the Daily Trust Newspaper

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VARSITY ADMISSIONS & ILLEGALITY

It is, indeed, very disturbing that against the background of the recent verdict of a Federal High Court in Abuja outlawing the conduct of post-University Tertiary Matriculation Examination (post-UTME) in the country, the Federal Government is still talking about conducting the test for this year’s admission exercise into tertiary institutions. This is unacceptable in a democracy where the rule of law should be sacrosanct.

What example is the government setting by standing the law on its head every now and then? What hope is there when the rule of law is trampled upon? Government should learn to obey court orders to save this country from turning into a banana republic where lawlessness is the norm.

Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, recently announced the conduct of this year’s post-UTME against all legal injunctions. The announcement was made during this year’s Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) Policy Meeting on Admissions into Tertiary Institutions at Gbongan, Osun State.

Adamu also cautioned the tertiary institutions against illegal admissions. But how the minister could be disobeying a court order on one hand and at the same time advocating compliance with legality on another hand is ridiculous and amounts to double standards.

Whereas the institutions are being forced to follow laid down rules, the minister should do also likewise.

Besides, warning the institutions against charging more than N2000 for the post-UTME examination is uncalled for as the cost of living is not the same across the country. The point is that there should be no post-UTME in the first place.

A lot has been said about the flaws inherent in the post-UTME exercise. That the institutions are using it to make money rather than ensuring quality is well known. Aside from being a burden on parents and guardians, many candidates have lost their lives in fatal accidents travelling to take the test.

A Federal High Court in Abuja had, last March, declared the post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (Post-UTME) conducted by universities, polytechnics and colleges of education in Nigeria illegal, saying there was no extant law authorising the exercise.

The judgment was delivered following a suit filed by the Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) against the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB, the Minister of Education and the National Universities Commission (NUC).

Justice John Tsoho held that the defendants have no power to allow or direct tertiary institutions to conduct further screening of candidates after they had taken the examination required by law for admission into universities.

Furthermore, the court held that only the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board could conduct matriculation examinations and give admissions into tertiary institutions by virtue of Section 5 (1) (2) of the JAMB Act.

The court then issued a perpetual injunction restraining all tertiary institutions in the country from conducting the Post-UTME or any other form of admission screening tests.

JAMB, in opposing the suit argued that the Legal Defence and Assistance Project had no locus standi to institute the action but the court rejected the objection and held that a registered non-governmental organisation (NGO) or an activist lawyer is allowed by law to pursue in court, the right of the largely ignorant members of the society.

LEDAP had submitted that Section 5 (1) (2) of the JAMB Act provides that the body should conduct matriculation examinations for admissions into all tertiary institutions.

Subsection (2) (3) provides thus: “JAMB shall be responsible for determining matriculation requirements and conducting examinations leading to undergraduate admissions and also for admission to National Diploma and the Nigerian Certificate in Education courses.”

The plaintiff noted that since 2005, tertiary institutions nationwide had been illegally conducting tests and screening candidates seeking admission in violation of Section 5 (10) (2) of the JAMB Act.

The court agreed with the plaintiff and further held that the defendants had the responsibility to ensure compliance with the JAMB Act and that the imposition of the post-UTME on candidates seeking admission was illegal and unlawful.

It is, however, curious that JAMB, whose mandate and credibility is being protected by the judgment, opposed such.

Given the subsisting judgment, which has not been vacated by any court of law, of what essence is the proposal to conduct another post-UTME?

Why are Nigerians still talking about post-UTME since neither JAMB nor the National Universities Commission (NUC) nor any tertiary institution is known to have appealed the case. Unless vacated, the verdict has to be obeyed whether any institution likes it or not. The institutions should therefore be allowed to carry out their admission exercises using JAMB scores and other academic criteria recognised by the law.

Government, of course, should not be disobeying court orders. Disobeying the courts is contemptuous of the judiciary, undermines the rule of law and erodes the foundation of democracy.

Culled from The Guardian Nigeria 

NEWSLETTER FOR 16TH JULY- 20TH JULY 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.
16th-20th July 2018 2018

“It is in your hands to make the world a better place.” 

—Nelson Mandela

NEWS   

LPPC Confers SAN Rank on 31 Senior Lawyers

The Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee, LPPC, on 11th July 2018, elevated 31 senior lawyers to the rank of Senior Advocates of Nigeria, among them, National Coordinator, Legal Defence and Assistance Project, LEDAP, Mr Chinonye Obiagwu; Vice Chancellor of Lagos State University, Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun and Attorneys General of Lagos and Ondo States, Mosediq Kazeem and Adekola Olawole. Read more

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House Committee in Partnership with NCICC Hold Public Hearing

Nigeria’s House of Representatives’ Committee on Treaties, Protocols, and Agreement on Wednesday in Abuja began a public hearing on a “bill for an act to provide for enforcement and punishment of crimes against humanity, war crimes, genocide and for other related offences.” Read more
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Group Asks ICC to Tackle Buhari on Middle Belt Killing

The Nigerian Coalition for the International Criminal Court (NCICC) has called on  the court prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, to engage President Muhammadu Buhari on the continued killings in the North-central and North-eastern parts of the country. Read more

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Ekiti Governorship Election Credible – Observers

A coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) based in Ekiti State on Monday affirmed that the July 14 governorship election won by the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, reflected the wishes of the electorate. The three groups – New Initiative for Social Development (NISD), Centre for Social Justice, Good Health and Community Development (CENSJHOD) and International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) – condemned vote buying at the poll. Read more

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Iceland Replaces US on Human Rights Council

Iceland has for the first time been elected to the Human Rights Council, filling the seat vacated by the US, which withdrew from the body in June, citing bias. The UN General Assembly elected Iceland to serve on the Geneva-based global rights body effective immediately, through to the end of 2019. Read more

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International Criminal Court Treaty Turns 20
Last week was the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute, the treaty that led to the creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague. The court, with its mandate to prosecute atrocity crimes, has a more crucial role than ever. Read more

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FG Orders AGF To Fast-track Decongestion Of Prisons In Nigeria

The Federal Government has directed the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, (AGF), Abubakar Malami to fast-track the decongestion of prisons and set up a stakeholders committee to that effect.  Read more

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Stop Paying Lip Service to Prison Congestion – CURE-Nigeria Tells Federal Government

Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants, CURE-Nigeria has accused the Federal Government of paying lip service to the nagging issue of prison congestion in Nigeria. Read more
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Cameroon Unrest Drives 180,000 from Their Homes

Human Rights Watch on Thursday blamed Cameroon’s government forces and separatists for worsening violence in the country’s anglophone regions which has left scores dead and displaced over 180,000 people. Read more

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UN, AU to come to Nigeria & other Conflict Areas in Africa

The UN Security Council and the Africa Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) have agreed to embark on a joint visit to conflict areas in Africa. The members of the two councils held their 12th annual joint consultative meeting in New York and issued a joint communique. Read more

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UN Raises Alarm over Herdsmen killings, warns Nigeria

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, says the conflicts between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria are becoming more sophisticated and deadlier. Chambas,in a report presented to the UN Security Council, said the violence was a major security threat in the region, warning that it risks changing into terrorist attacks. Read more

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UN Cautions Nigerian Media Against Conflict Promotion

The United Nations has called on the media in Nigeria to stop promoting conflicts in the interest of peace and justice, adding that it must facilitate informed debates with opportunities for all citizens to express their views. Read more

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Nigeria Committed To Better Environment, Human Rights — Speaker Dogara

Speaker of the Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has reaffirmed the commitment of the green chamber to prioritising issues related to human rights and protection of the environment. Read more
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UNESCO Advocates Global Priotization of Press Freedom
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has called on governments across the globe to create policies that promote freedom of the press. UNESCO on its website said “the free-flow of ideas, words and pictures is a catalyst for freedom of expression and sustainability of global peace. Read more
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UN Celebrates Mandela

The UN is to mark the 100th anniversary of former South African President Nelson Mandela in recognition for his global contribution to the culture of peace and freedom. Read more

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Nigeria Believes in the Respect for Human Rights, President tells ICC

President Muhammadu Buhari has told the International Criminal Court that Nigeria cooperates fully with the court because it is a firm believer in the respect for the rule of law and human rights. Read more
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“ACJA’s domestication will Guarantee Speedy Justice Delivery, Rule of Law”
The domestication and implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) will quicken the dispensation of justice and observance to human rights in Nigeria, the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) has said. Read more

 

OPINION 


Ensuring that the ICC Rises to the Challenge

“This sad situation is a far cry from the summer of 1998, when many governments with the support of nongovernmental organizations came together in Rome to create the ICC.” Read more
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“These Killings Can Be Stopped”

Abuses by Government and Separatist Groups in Cameroon’s Anglophone Regions

Cameroon, a bilingual and multicultural country known for its stability and its strong alliances with France and the US, is slipping into a protracted human rights crisis in the largely Anglophone North-West and South-West regions that border Nigeria. Read more

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Make Everyday A Mandela Day
Mandela Day is a global call to action that celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world, the ability to make an impact. It is. not meant as a public holiday, but as a day to honour the legacy of Nelson Mandela. Read more
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Countering Rape Culture In Nigeria

There are cultural practices that society engages in that excuse or otherwise tolerate sexual assault. These practices are counterproductive to eliminating sexual violence from our society, begging the questions about what rape culture really entails and how it presents itself. Read more

 

LEDAP@WORK 

LEDAP Joins Kimpact Development Initiative (KDI) for “Vote Not Fight” Workshop

LEDAP’s, Zonal Coordinator for Osun State, Mr. Dare Adeoye was at the “Vote Not Fight” workshop organised by the Kimpact Developmemt Initiative to educate and mobilise stakeholers on the upcoming 2018 Governorship Gubernatorial Elections. Read more
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LEDAP Anti-Torture Project to Commence Training in Yobe State


The Anti-Torture Project will commence the training of 6o police officers in Yobe State on torture prevention strategies, human rights and sexual and gender based violence norms. The training will take place from the 31st July to 1st August 2018. For live updates on the training follow the project on T
witter, Facebook and Instagram and follow the conversation using #stoptorture9ja
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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.

PeepIntoTheLaw   

Free Basic Education is an Enforceable Right: Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) GTE & LTD V Federal Ministry of Education & Anor

In the instant case of LEDAP v Federal Ministry of Education & Anor, the Federal High Court sitting at Abuja held that that failure to adopt and implement free, compulsory and Universal Primary education and free junior secondary education is a breach of the constitutional obligation of the government. Read the full judgement  on the Nigerialii website here.

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Locking Up A Customer For Failure To Pay Debt Is False Imprisonment, Court Rules

A High Court of Anambra State presided over by Hon. Justice Okuma, has ruled that the act of Corporate Institutions, especially, Hospitals locking up their customers/clients from exiting their premises on the guise that they must complete payment amounts to false imprisonment. Read more

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Afam Osigwe V NBA President & Ors: Court Orders That Defendants Be Put On Notice

Justice Chukwudi. C. Okaa of Nnewi High Court in Anambra State has ordered that the Incorporated trustee of the NBA and other defendants in the suit brought against them by Mazi Afam Osigwe, be put on notice before the court can hear the Ex-parte application filed. Read more

 

EVENTS  

Strategy and Advocacy Meeting of African Civil Society Network on International Justice

The African Civil Society Network on International Justice, will meet on the 31st to 1st August in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.The purpose of the meeting is to consolidate and strengthen the Network as a platform for Civil Society Organisations working on international justice in Africa.
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NHRC Public Hearing on SARS Complaints

In light of the numerous complaints against the Special Anti Robbery Squad around the country, the National Human Rights Commission will be holding public hearings across the country. The first hearing, will hold in the South East Geopolitical Zone of the country from the 31st July to 2nd August 2018 at the Federal High Court, Enugu.
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Call for Reports For 29th session of the Committee for the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (CMW)
The Committee is calling on representatives of national and international CSOs to provide country-specific information on issues relevant to the implementation of the Convention by the State parties under consideration. Deadline for submission is 13th August 2018. Read more

Tenth Session of Ad Hoc Committee of the Human Rights Council on the Elaboration of Complementary Standards
The 10th session of the committee has been rescheduled and will hold from the 8th to 19th of October 2018 in Geneva. Read more

The Social Forum of the Human Rights Council

The Social Forum is an annual three-day meeting convened by the Human Rights Council. It is a unique space for open and interactive dialogue between civil society actors, representatives of Member States, and intergovernmental organizations, on a theme chosen by the Council each year. This year’s Social Forum will hold from the 1st to 3rd October 2018 in Geneva. Read more

Legal Empowerment Leadership Course 2018


Applications are now open for the 4th edition of the annual Legal Empowerment Leadership Course. The course is a collaboration between the CEU’s School of Public Policy, the Open Society Justice Initiative,Namati, and the Robert L. Bernstein Institute for Human Rights  at New York University School of Law. The course will hold from the 2nd to 7th of December. Find out more here

Nominations for the Bob Hepple Equality Award 

Nominations for the Bob Hepple Equality Award 2018 are open. Do you know of somebody who has made a significant contribution to combating discrimination or advancing equality, but who has not yet received the credit they deserve? If so, please nominate them for the fourth annual Bob Hepple Equality Award. Deadline for application is 31st July 2018. Read more

IDRC Research Awards 2018 for Research Internships

The International Development Research Center Research award recipients will join IDRC for a one-year paid program to undertake research on the topic they have submitted, and will receive hands-on experience in research and program management and support, grant administration. The award is open to Canadians, permanent residents of Canada, and citizens of developing countries pursuing a master’s or a doctoral degree at a recognized university OR who have completed a master’s or a doctoral degree at a recognized university. The deadline is 5th Spetember 2018Read more

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