NEWSLETTER FOR 3RD-7TH SEPTEMBER 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.
3rd – 7th September 2018

“The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.”

— John F. Kennedy 

NEWS   

NHRC Inaugurates Probe Panel on SARS, Calls for Memoranda

The National Human Rights Commission has inaugurated a seven-man Special Investigative Panel to look into the activities of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police and make recommendations for its reform. In a statement on 4th September, the  Commission in Abuja said the investigative panel was inaugurated in line with a presidential directive. Read more

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India Gay Sex Ban Is Struck Down. ‘Indefensible,’ Court Says

India’s Supreme Court unanimously struck down one of the world’s oldest bans on consensual gay sex, a groundbreaking victory for gay rights that buried one of the most glaring vestiges of India’s colonial past. Read more

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UN Human Rights Expert to Assess Trafficking in Persons in Nigeria

The United Nations Special Rapporteur Maria Giammarinaro will assess the issue of trafficking in persons in Nigeria, during an official visit to the country. Read more

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National Human Rights Commission Says Human Trafficking Remains A Major Challenge
The Comment was made by the Director of Human Rights Education and Promotion, Nasir Ladan who represented  the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Tony Ojukwu during  a visit by a delegation of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights led by the Special Rapporteur on Trafficking, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro. Read more 

UK MP Joins Protest to Free Kidnapped Nigerian Schoolgirl
A British member of parliament launched a protest outside the Nigerian embassy in London to help free kidnapped school girl Leah Sharibu, who friends say is being held by terror group Boko Haram for refusing to renounce her Christian faith.
Read more

Amnesty International Commends Govt Over Boko Haram Suspects’ Trial

Amnesty International has commended the federal government over the trial of suspected Boko Haram terrorists, describing the ongoing trial as “good progress for the justice sector”. Read more

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Crisis in Lake Chad Region Persists – UN

Last February, meeting at a UN-backed conference in Oslo, Norway, donors pledged over $650 million towards emergency assistance programmes in 2017 and beyond. These resources helped achieve a significant scale-up in the humanitarian response, reaching more than six million people with assistance, and averting a famine in northeast Nigeria. Read more

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National Human Rights Commission Enters ‘FOI Hall of Shame’ for Violating Citizens’ Right to Information

On Monday, September 3, 2018, Media Rights Agenda (MRA) inducted the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) into its Freedom of Information (FOI) Hall of Shame, describing its failure to comply with key aspects of the FOI Act as “a disappointing violation of the rights of citizens to information by an institution established specifically to protect and defend their rights.” Read more

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Lagos AG Urges Prison Inmates to Embrace Plea Bargain

The Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adeniji Kazeem, has urged awaiting-trial inmates in the prisons to opt for plea bargain and reduced punishment for the offences alleged against them. He expressed worry that the prisons had remained congested owing to a huge number of inmates that are awaiting trial. Read more

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UN Expresses Concern Over Xenophobic Attacks In South Africa

The UN Refugee Agency has expressed its displeasure at the recent attacks against foreigners, including refugees, by South Africans during a deadly rally and looting on August 29. Read more

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Ozubulu Massacre: Rights Group Calls for Release of 94-Year-Old Priest, 5 Others

A civil society rights group, International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) has called on Anambra State Government and the police to unconditionally release and acquit a 94-year-old, Chief Priest of Ndiekwulu Deity, Ozubulu and five others arrested and remanded in prison custody since  last July. Read more

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Actionaid organizes Training for Journalists on Adoption of African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance 2007

Nigeria adopted the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG)in 2007 and ratified it in January 2012 but it has yet to implement the charter. A training for journalists entitled: “Mobilising Civil Society Support for the Implementation of AGA and ACDEG’’ organised by Actionaid Nigeria, a non-governmental organisation in Abuja recently was part of the steps toward ensuring implementation of the charter. Read more

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Detain Suspect Beyond 48 Hours, Risk Dismissal, IGP Warns FSARS

The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has told the Federal Special Anti Robbery Square across the country to respect people’s rights or risk being sanctioned. Idris who said membership of FSARS was voluntary asked those who felt they could not cope with the reforms in the unit to opt out. Read more

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A Demand for Their Rights

Four months after passage of the Disability Bill by both chambers of the National Assembly, the fate of the Bill is still hanging in the balance, as the President is yet to give his assent to legalise it.  Speaking recently at a one-day Stakeholders Forum on ‘Nigeria Disability Bill’ organized by the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) in Abuja, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, lamented the adverse effect of discrimination and exclusion on persons with disabilities in the country. Read more

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Pastors, Activists Debate Gay Rights in Nigeria

Recently, at a forum in Lagos, pastors selected from different churches sat down with gay rights activists from across Nigeria to discuss the role religion has played in people trying to express their sexual identities. This is an excerpt of the discussion. Read more

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NGO Advocates N100, 000 Minimum Wage for Police
An NGO, Advocacy for Better Welfare of Nigeria Police, has advocated for  a minimum wage of at least N100, 000 for the least officer in the Nigeria Police to ensure quality service delivery. Mr Solomon Bankole, the President of the group, who made the appeal in an interview with newsmen in Lagos, said that it had become imperative to sanitise and rebrand Nigeria Police through improved welfare. Read more

OPINION 

How to Identify Burnt Villages by Satellite Imagery  — Case-Studies from California, Nigeria and Myanmar

Evidence of human rights abuses often remains in some of the world’s most regional and unreachable parts. It is in these areas, where a view from satellite imagery above can be the sole method of visual evidence of bombings, attacks, and the destruction of communities. Read more

 

The Benefits Of Digital Rights And Freedom Bill 
“The bill is a legislation proposed to be an act to provide for the protection of human rights online and protect internet users in Nigeria from infringement of their fundamental freedom and also to guarantee application of human rights for users of digital platforms.” Read more

 

Confronting Human Rights Violations in Africa One Hashtag at a Time

“While countries like Uganda, Nigeria, and Rwanda have constitutions that technically guarantee rights such as freedom of association, speech, and assembly, these rights are often violated. Today, galvanised by increased connectivity, youthful pan-African online communities are using social media to speak out against this repression and support younger candidates vying for office in countries where leaders have clung to power for decades.” Read more

 

Is Nigeria Prepared for a Female President?

Nigeria had until that era, seen the prowess of Queen Amina of Zaria, the warrior who subdued states in the 14th century; Queen Luwoo, the female Ooni and Queen Idia, the first Queen Mother of the ancient Benin Kingdom. Since the colonial times till now, women who take charge of the helm of affairs, are, sometimes regarded by the society, as going against the fundamental norms of their communities. Read more

 

What Does It Take To Be A Responsible Jeweller?
Gold mining has been tainted by serious human rights abuses, including child labor, deadly working conditions, forced evictions, and harmful pollution. Human Rights Watch has documented such abuses in the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, and Eritrea. Read more

 

Africa’s Selective Approach to Human Rights

Despite research and historical accounts detailing homosexual behaviour in certain pre-colonial and traditional African societies, the idea that homosexuality is “un-African” persists. In Africa, it is frequently perceived as both a taboo and an import from the West. Read more

LEDAP@WORK 

LEDAP Secures Judgement in Favour of Victim of Police Brutality in 

Invitation to Stakeholders Round Table Dialogue against Torture

The Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) in partnership with United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) and National Committee againts Torture (NCaT) invites stakeholders to a roundtable dialogue aimed at reducing the incidences of Torture and improving redress for victims of torture and ill treatment which will be taking place in Abuja.
For live updates on the
Anti-Torture Project follow the project on Twitter, Facebook Instagram & our blog page and follow the conversation using #stoptorture9ja on all social media platforms.

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LEDAP Petitions the Presidency on behalf of 279 persons illegally detained by the Nigerian Army since 2015

The Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) has submitted a petition to the Secretary to the Presidential Panel on Review of Compliance of the Armed Forces with Human Rights Obligations and Rules of Engagement, demanding for a public hearing for 279 persons from Bama LGA detained by the Nigerian Army since 2015 on mere suspicion of being members of the dreaded Boko Haram sect.

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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.

From LEDAP’s Archives 

Launch of Model Police Statement Taking Room

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On the 22nd of July 2015, LEDAP with the Zonal Command, Nigeria Police Force Zone 2, Onikan Lagos launched the model police statement taking room with the support of Justice for All (J4A) Programme of the UK Department for International Development (DFID). This milestone reaffirmed LEDAP’s commitment in building capacity for improved criminal justice delivery in the country. Read more

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FREED: Two Juveniles on Death Row in Lagos Freed

After spending 10 years in prison and 5 years on death row, the Court of Appeal in Lagos, today discharged and acquitted Sopuruchi Obed and Otobong Sunday Edet who were convicted and sentenced to death for armed robbery by the Lagos State high court on 29 August 2009. Following the appeal against their conviction and sentence filed in 2011 by LEDAP – Legal Defence & Assistance Project, a panel of Justices of the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division unanimously allowed their separate appeals and set aside their conviction and sentence. Read more

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FREED: Home from Prison in Time for Christmas
As the Christmas approached, the gate of Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison was opened to Kingsley Akhabue, Ismail Fatoki and Fabian Matthew after being discharged and acquitted by the Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos.The trio was arrested on the 24th day of March, 2008 on allegations of Conspiracy to commit Armed Robbery and Armed Robbery and subsequently convicted and sentenced to death on 29th March, 2011 by the Lagos High Court.  Read more

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Adaobi Egboka, Executive Programmes Director, of Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) speaking at the Global Washington 2017
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Adaobi Egboka, Executive Programmes Director, of Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) speaking at the Global Washington 2017 Annual Conference titled Renewing Global Leadership held on November 29, 2017. She was speaking at a panel on “Authentic Leadership Development”. Read more

PeepIntoTheLaw   

Substituted Service Of Court Processes By Social Media Or Electronic Means (Case Study Of Mohammad Awwaldanlami, Esq. V Governor Of Taraba State & 24 Ors)

“Whilst the ruling of the Court in Mohammad Awwaldanlami, Esq. is a watershed on substituted service of court processes in Nigeria and therefore a very welcome development in our corpus juris, we contend that the Court should have indicated specific social medium (for instance, Whatsapp, Facebook, and Twitter) with a direction for tagging (where necessary) because ‘positing and sharing on social media’ is broad, generic and ambiguous’.” Read more

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Court Awards N1m to Farmer for Unlawful Arrest and Detention

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory sitting in Jabi has awarded a farmer Mr Samuel Dozo, 1 million Naira based on suit suing the police for an unlawful arrest and detention. Read more

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Court Dismisses Impeached Benue Speaker’s Case

A Makurdi High Court presided over by Justice Theresa Igoche, yesterday, dismissed the preliminary objection raised by the impeached Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Mr. Terkimbi Ikyange, challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit stopping him and two other former principal officers of the House from parading themselves as leaders of the House. Read more

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

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

EVENTS  

Report on Situation of Women Human Rights Defenders

The Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders, Mr. Michael Frost seeks the input of Nation states, NGOs on the situation of women human right defenders. Civil Society Organisations are encouraged to fill out this questionnaire here by 28th September 2018 to give their input.

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Call for Submissions: Women Deprived of Liberty

The Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice will present a thematic report on women deprived of liberty to the 41st session of the Human Rights Council in June 2019. In this regard, the Working Group would like to seek inputs from States and other stakeholders to inform the preparation of this report in line with its mandate to maintain a constructive approach and dialogue with States and other stakeholders to address discrimination against women in law and practice, and is thus seeking responses from all interested stakeholders to the questionnaire here. Questionnaire should be to wgdiscriminationwomen@ohchr.org to by 1st October 2018.

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2nd Lagos SDG Summit

The Civil Society Coalition on Sustainable Development will hold its second Sustainable Development Goal Summit on the Thursday 20th September 2018 at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Conference Exhibition Centre , Alausa, Ikeja. 

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NGO Meeting With UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet

OHCHR is pleased to invite non-governmental and civil society organizations to a meeting with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet. The meeting is scheduled to hold on Friday 14 September 2018 at Palais des Nations Room XXI, Geneva, Switzerland. Click here for more information.

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NEDIS 2018: Save The Date

The Education Partnership (TEP) Centre is pleased to invite you to save the date for the 2018 edition of its annual education conference, the Nigerian Education Innovation Summit (NEDIS).This year’s summit which is focused on Accountability and Transparency in the Education Sector. NEDIS IV is scheduled to hold on Thursday 18th & Friday 19th October 2018 in Lagos, Nigeria. Contact Akinwunmi Akowonjo at akinwunmi.akowonjo@tepcentre.com if you are interested in supporting NEDIS IV, exhibiting your products or services at the summit, or should you have any others questions.

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Call for Participation – Youth Civic Engagement for Youth, First Edition

The UNESCO Regional office in Abuja calls for Application in a Youth Civic Engagement initiative to promote Youth-led production of knowledge, design and implementation of innovative solutions to instill their participation in decision-making at the local, national and regional levels, for more inclusive and peaceful societies. Deadline for submission is 15 September 2018. Click here for more

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HR19 Call for Abstracts Now Open

Researchers, activists, campaigners, policymakers, people who use drugs, human rights experts, health professionals and sex workers are all encouraged to submit abstracts on their latest work in drug policy and harm reduction. Proposals can be for oral presentations, workshops, dialogue space and poster sessions. Deadline for submission is 28 September 2018. Click here for more information

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Call for submissions: Women deprived of liberty

The Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice will present a thematic report on women deprived of liberty to the 41st session of the Human Rights Council in June 2019. These submissions should be sent to wgdiscriminationwomen@ohchr.org.Deadline for submission is 1 October, 2018. Click here for more information

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Apply to be an Obama Foundation Fellow

Interested in becoming an Obama Foundation Fellow, applications for the 2019 Obama Foundation Fellowship is now opened. Deadline for application is 18th September 2019. Click here for more information.

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Voice Beyond the Incident: Nigeria Sudden Opportunity Grant

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

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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

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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

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