Tag: Human Rights

Nigerian Court Rejects Bail for Pro-Iranian Shiite Cleric

KANO, Nigeria — A Nigerian court on Wednesday, 7th Nov. refused to release a Shiite Muslim cleric who has been in custody since 2015 following deadly clashes between troops and his supporters, his lawyer said.

Ibrahim Zakzaky, who leads the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), and his wife, Zeenat, are standing trial on charges of culpable homicide and unlawful assembly.

At the state high court in the northern city of Kaduna, soldiers were on guard, barring access to both the media and the public in a move denounced by his lawyer Maxwell Kyon.

“We find that to be quite troubling because the definition of free trial should include access to the courtroom by the public,” Kyon said after the hearing.

“My client was in court today. The court refused to grant him bail.”

His legal team had called for his release on health grounds, saying he needed urgent medical care abroad but the court denied the request.

“The court is of the view that we were not able to establish that he is sick, and that even if he is sick the (intelligence services) can provide the medical attention he needs,” he said.

The judge acknowledged the defendant had been kept in custody for nearly three years but pledged a “speedy trial” would take place, Kyon added.

Zakzaky was remanded in custody until a further hearing on Jan. 22.

The pro-Iranian cleric’s court appearance comes after fresh unrest involving the IMN last week, which human rights groups said left at least 45 people dead.

Soldiers and police allegedly opened fire on demonstrators calling for Zakzaky’s release in Abuja. The army put the death toll at six with 400 IMN supporters arrested.

Zakzaky, who is in his mid-sixties, has been at loggerheads for decades with Nigeria’s secular authorities because of his call for an Iranian-style Islamic revolution.

He lost the sight in one eye during the 2015 clashes in the northern city of Zaria, during which soldiers killed more than 300 IMN supporters and buried them in mass graves.

Northern Nigeria is mainly Sunni Muslim with Shia in the minority. — AFP

AJ, NOPRIN request UN Gen Sec to Visit Nigeria Over Rights Violations

Two civil society groups, Access to Justice,AJ and the Network on Police Reforms in Nigeria, NOPRIN, have requested the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. António Guterres to visit Nigeria as well as intervene in the alleged human rights violation in the country. The groups in a joint letters addressed to the UN, stated the visit of the Secretary General become imperative owing to deteriorating human rights situation and wave of killings of Shiites members by soldiers of the Nigerian Army.

According to them, “if the UN and the international community fail to act on these matters, Nigeria’s already grave human rights and security situation may worsen calamitously, putting planned elections early next year in some jeopardy.” The letter informed the world body that Nigeria’s military forces, have, “over the last four years, committed widespread and massive atrocities against civilian populations and members of minority religious and political organizations and that these atrocities are continuing and intensifying occasioning much bloodshed and deaths of many people each time they occur.” The letter recounted the latest clashes between the Army and members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN, on October 27 and 29 respectively, in the FCT Abuja, citing Amnesty International’s assessment, that “.. the horrific use of excessive force by soldiers and police led to the killing of at least 45 supporters of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) over two days…” It further talked about past atrocities committed by Nigeria’s military forces against members of the Shiites between 2014-2018 and said the military has killed over one thousand members of IMN within this period.
It deplored the Nigerian government’s consistent failure to hold military officials accountable for the atrocities they allegedly commit, as well as its national and international responsibility to investigate civilian deaths caused by military forces, saying this failure “has emboldened the military, amplified the culture of impunity within it, and ostensibly encouraged the military to expand and deepen its violent crackdown against members of the IMN.” To this end, the groups requested the UN to among other things place the situation of Nigeria’s military Forces’ killings of Shiite members before the Security Council of the United Nations and demand that the government of Nigeria takes urgent and specific steps to end the impunity of its security forces, particularly “to demand that its military forces refrain from using deadly, and disproportionate force against peaceful protesters.” They also requested for “a resolution of the Security Council urging the International Criminal Court to expedite its investigation of allegations of war crimes and genocide against Nigerian military forces, in order to bring those responsible to justice and accountability as well as refer the deteriorating human rights situation in Nigeria to other mechanisms within the United Nations.

Giving past instances of the atrocities committed against the Shiites, the letter recalled the Judicial Panel of Inquiry Report into the 2015 clashes between the Army and the Shiites over the barricading of the road being used by the Chief of Army Staff. The letter informs the UNSG that the Judicial Panel of Inquiry had recommended prosecutions of persons who were implicated in the deaths of both a Soldier and over 348 Shiites killed in the clashes.
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Okorocha, IGP Battle in Court Over Alleged Breach of Fundamental Rights

6/11/2018
Gov Rochas Okorocha of Imo has sued the Inspector General of Police (IGP) over alleged breach of his fundamental human rights following an “invasion and ransacking” of his house in Jos. The governor, who filed his case before Justice Musa Kurya of the Jos Federal High Court, is demanding for N1.25 billion as general damages for the action.

Joined in the suit are Commissioner of Police Plateau, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice as 2nd, 3rd and 4th respondents.

Okorocha, through his counsel, Mr Markus Saleh (SAN), had told the court that on May 3, the respondents had invaded his home in Jos and held his family members and staff hostage in a search conducted without any court warrant. He prayed the court to declare the action as “illegal, null and void’’ as there was no valid court warrant for such an exercise. Okorocha also prayed the court for a perpetual injunction restraining the respondents from further doing anything as such in his homes across the country. He further sought for an order declaring that only the Imo State House of Assembly had the constitutional rights and power to supervise, monitor, legislate, appropriate and demand accounting of public funds of Imo State from him. Consequently, he asked the court to order the respondents to pay him the one billion Naira as general damages and N25 million as cost of instituting the case. When the case came up for hearing on Tuesday, Saleh told the court that he had an amended statement of claim and further affidavit, which he intended to move as deemed duly filed and served on all the respondents. The counsel to the respondents, Mr Wale Adesola (SAN), was not in court and no reason for his absence was given.

“My Lord, I am surprised that the respondents are not in court today even though they have been duly served with the notices and amended statement of claim and further affidavit. “I wish to move it, since they are all aware of it in accordance with the rule of this court, ’’ he prayed the court. The Judge, Justice Kurya, however, allowed him to move the motion after ruling on the application. Nonetheless, the motion, Saleh asked for a date to enable the respondents to respond to his amended statement and for him to also reply after their responses. “I also wish to apply that we should be allowed, on the next resumption, to file our final adoption of our written addresses, ’’ he solicited. Kurya, who granted the prayers, then adjourned the case to Jan. 24, 2019 for adoption of final written addresses by all parties in the case.

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Nigerian Human Rights Defenders Lobby Governments to Help End Deadly Conflict

GENEVA | 6/11/2018

LCCN and civil society groups seek intervention on human rights’ violations in Numan Federation

(LWI) – Representatives of a Nigerian civil society coalition from the Numan Federation have called on United Nations (UN) member states to exert more pressure on the government to end deadly attacks between farming communities and armed Fulani herdsmen.

The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is hosting the delegation whose members are drawn from the Adamawa United Forum (AUF) and the Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria (LCCN). Today, the group will attend the universal periodic review (UPR) of Nigeria at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The Nigerian government faces allegations of failing to protect farmers in the country’s northern and central regions. The long-standing conflict pits the nomadic Fulani herders against the indigenous people of the Numan Federation.

Led by LCCN Bishop Dr Peter Bartimawus, the delegation includes former LWF Council member and AUF coordinator Titi Malik, lawyer Leonard Nzadon, historian Dr Giscard Norris Stanley and LCCN staff member Felix Samari.

In the last two years, attacks by Fulani herdsmen have escalated. Stanley said he lost 26 members of his family in February and Nzadon lost two brothers. Since 2016, Over 500 people have been killed from both sides, the most recent being 30 in Lamurde area in October.
Impunity to perpetrators

Adamawa State has a population of 4.3 million people, out of whom 123,000 live in the ethnically diverse Numan Federation, where many of the attacks take place, and where LCCN has its headquarters. The delegation said the government’s response is biased in favor of Fulani herdsmen and accuse the authorities of offering impunity to perpetrators.

Were it not for the church, human suffering would be much higher. “The government gives sanctuary to the Fulanis [mostly Muslim] but the indigenous people rely on the church. Church organizations provide the greatest response,” Nzadon added.

According to the delegation, the herdsmen are supported by groups from other countries and are heavily armed. They seek water spots for cattle but as the encroaching Sahara Desert dries up pastoral land, they seize land from farmers, often killing and raping women in the process. The harvesting is interrupted, and consequently food shortages loom.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has described the crisis in Nigeria’s northeast as one of the most severe in the world, with 7.7 million people needing humanitarian assistance in 2018 in the worst-affected states including Adamawa.
“Let the government be governed by the law”

In Geneva, members of the civil society coalition visited missions of governments that provide development support to Nigeria, asking them to insist the country obey its own rules.

“Let the government, which established the law, be governed by the law. Let the law be respected and engender confidence in the populace,” Nzadon said. One of the issues raised during their advocacy meetings was Nigeria’s obligation to fulfil its federal constitution. They gave the example of appointments to public decision-making bodies and security forces, saying the government does not abide by the requirement that members of such entities represent all states and ethnic groups.
Traumatic impact on women and girls

They noted churches were the single largest group providing support to victims of violence in the area. The LCCN gives relief materials to cushion the effects of suffering brought about by the crisis, Malik said. “When the herders attack villages, many women become widows and children orphans as a result. It’s the church that first comes to give support and assistance. As there is no protection, the women, who are also farmers, are sexually abused. Some are abducted and some are still missing. Many have died. Some are still going through trauma today.”

She said girls are abducted on their way to school, with some kidnappers demanding ransom before releasing them. Some girls are killed, however, and some die as a result of the sexual abuse meted out on them, she added.

Samari said five dioceses of the Lutheran church are affected, with the entire Todi Diocese worst hit. “If you hear of anyone injured in that diocese or killed, if you hear of any church being destroyed, they will be LCCN. LCCN bears the brunt of these clashes,” he noted.
Prophetic voice

The people of Numan are now faced with a food shortage as farmers have been unable to plant. Host communities are also suffering.

Malik called upon the Lutheran communion for prayer. “It is good that the members of the communion and the church have not relented or given up as a body of Christ and have continued to pray and work for peace in the area.”

The church provides relief to both Muslims and Christians affected by the conflict. “Despite the fact that the church has borne the brunt of this, it has extended the hand of friendship and prophetic voice that we must be our brothers’ keeper. This has not changed. In prayers, we must make sure those suffering do not feel isolated,” Malik added.

The LWF Council issued a resolution condemning the violence, at its meeting in July.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nigeria: Still no accountability for human rights violations — Amnesty International

The Amnesty International has said that, despite overwhelming evidence of human rights violations, Nigerian authorities are fueling impunity across the country by failing to ensure accountability.

In a report published by the body on Wednesday, the Amnesty Internationa said, as Nigeria was reviewed at the 31st session of the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group, concerns were raised about restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly and continued imposition of the death penalty.

The report reads: “It is clear that Nigeria is not making progress in terms of bringing human rights violators to justice. We consistently called for accountability but government hardly takes concrete steps to tame the tide of impunity across the country by making sure those responsible for human rights violations are brought to justice,” said Osai Ojigho Director Amnesty International Nigeria.

“In its previous review in 2013 Nigeria pledged to commit to criminalizing torture, prevent and reduce human rights violations by the security forces, strengthening accountability mechanisms, addressing communal violence, improve economic, social and cultural rights implementation, and protect women’s rights. But none of these has happened,” said Osai Ojigho.

“Across Nigeria there is increasing concern over human rights violations by security forces. Despite efforts by the government, through the army-led Special Board of Inquiry and the Presidential Investigative Panel, to review compliance by the armed forces with human rights, the authorities are yet to hold them accountable for gross human rights violations.

“The Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill which is still pending before the National Assembly, contains provisions to prohibit discrimination against women and would override current discriminatory laws, policies, rules, directives and customs, and also sets out provisions to address harmful cultural practices that violate the rights of widows.

“In its previous review Nigeria accepted three recommendations on access to adequate housing and ending forced evictions. However, thousands of people continue to be at risk of forced evictions across the country with very few laws and safeguards in place to stipulate the process for lawful evictions.

“Between 2015 and 2017, about 40,000 poor urban dwellers were forcibly evicted in Lagos State. In some instances, the state authorities ignored court orders declaring forced evictions unlawful. By contrast, in February 2017, the FCT authorities respected a court judgment to stop the eviction of hundreds of thousands of people in the Mpape community,” said Osai Ojigho.

Things are not getting better

“Amnesty International continues to document unlawful killings and extrajudicial executions, including in the context of the armed conflict in the northeast and law enforcement operations conducted by the military in other parts of the country. The government’s decision to deploy the military to control internal public order situations has seriously undermined the role of the police and has led to unnecessary loss of lives.

“Between August 2015 and October 2016, the security forces killed more than 150 IPOB members and supporters during non-violent gatherings. Amnesty International documented 11 such incidents, including in May 2016 when at least 60 people were killed when the security forces opened fire on IPOB supporters in several locations in the southeast.

“In Zaria, Kaduna state, soldiers killed more than 350 supporters of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), between 12 and 14 December 2015. The state authorities later admitted to a judicial Commission of inquiry that they had buried 347 bodies in a mass grave two days after the massacre.

“The Commission recommended that the members of the military suspected of unlawful killings should be prosecuted, however, the Kaduna state government’s white paper rejected most of its recommendations.

“Since 2014, the armed group Boko Haram has committed war crimes and crimes against humanity, killing at least 9,000 civilians, abducting thousands of women and girls and destroying towns and villages.

“The military continues to unlawfully detain thousands of civilians. By April 2017, at least 4,900 people were detained at Giwa barracks. All detainees, including children, are held incommunicado without access to their relatives held in other cells in the same barracks.

“Violent clashes between nomadic herders and local farmers, often followed by reprisal killings, have resulted in hundreds of deaths across the country, with 549 dead in 2017 alone. Amnesty international considers the authorities’ response to communal violence totally inadequate, and in some cases unlawful.

“Every year hundreds of oil spills occur in the Niger Delta, caused by oil company equipment, operational faults and poor maintenance, as well as by sabotage and oil theft. The spills damage the environment, destroy the livelihoods of people living there and impact on the rights to health, food and clean water.

“The security forces continue to threaten, arrest and detain journalists, bloggers and human rights defenders. Since 2016, Amnesty International has documented at least 12 cases across Nigeria in which the security forces have arrested and detained journalists and bloggers merely for expressing critical opinions on both conventional and social media platforms.

Recommendations:

“Amnesty International recommends amending the Constitution to guarantee economic, social and cultural rights as human rights and to make them enforceable in court. To end violence against women measures should be made to ensure that Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act passed by the National Assembly in 2015, is applicable in all 36 states.

“A moratorium should be established on mass evictions until adequate legal and procedural safeguards are in place to ensure that all evictions comply with international human rights standards, including through the adoption of legislation to explicitly prohibit forced evictions and guidelines to ensure that evictions are carried out in compliance with the UN Basic Principles and Guidelines on Development-Based Evictions and Displacement.

“There is need for the implementation of safeguards against human rights violations by the security forces, including arbitrary arrest, incommunicado and arbitrary detentions, rape and other forms of torture and other ill-treatment, enforced disappearance, and extrajudicial executions and other unlawful killings.

“Authorities should close the detention centre at Giwa barracks and ensure that all detainees are held in legal, sanitary and humane conditions, in line with The Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment.

“Investigate, with a view to prosecution, Shell’s potential involvement in crimes linked to human rights violations committed by the Nigerian security forces in Ogoniland in the 1990.”

NEWSLETTER 28TH OCTOBER – 2ND NOVEMBER 2018

 

 

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HELLO,
Welcome to LEDAP Nigeria Newsletter
28th October – 2nd November 2018

“Human rights rest on human dignity. The dignity of a man is an ideal worth fighting for, and worth dying for.
—Robert C. Maynard

NEWS

Nigerian Army Establishes Human Rights Desk
The 82 Division of the Nigerian Army in Enugu State says it has established human rights desks in all its formations to address alleged rights abuses. Read more

CJN, Justice, Onnoghen Approves Processes For The Appointment Of 20 Additional Judges For National Industrial Court

The Hon. Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice W.S.N Onnoghen, GCON has given his approval for the commencement of the processes that will lead to the appointment of twenty additional judges to the National Industrial Court. Read more

Court Stops NLC, TUC’s Planned Strike
The National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) sitting in Abuja has restrained the organised labour from proceeding on its planned nationwide indefinite industrial action. Read more

ECOWAS Court Seeks Better Funding
Ahead of its resumption of hearings today October 30, judges and workers of the Community Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) met for several days to work out ways of enhancing its operations. Read more

Anxiety as NHRC Probes Rights’ abuse by SARS
Rising to its statutory mandate in a view to address the outcry of victims of SARS’s excesses, the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC has embarked on nationwide investigation of rights abuses and other activities of the squad. Read more

FG Pledges to Abide by Human Rights Obligations
The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) has pledged the commitment of the Federal Government to live up to her international obligations on human rights. Read more

Nigerian Police Open Fire at Shi’ite Muslim Protesters in Abuja
Police opened fire at Shi’ite Muslim protesters demanding the release of their leader in the Nigerian capital Abuja on Tuesday, October 30, in a second straight day of violence, a Reuters witness said. Read more

Falana to NGOS – Mobilise Masses to Demand Accountability
Falana challenged Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Africa to lead the battle against corruption in each of their countries when he delivered a keynote statement at the African NGO Forum held in Banjul, Gambia. Read more

World Summit Brings Surge of New Commitments to Protect Human Rights Defenders
Human rights defenders from across all corners of the world gathered in Paris for the Human Rights Defenders World Summit, to develop a plan of action for how to protect and promote the work of activists fighting for rights, 20 years on from the first UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. Read more

OPINION

Do Nigerians Still Have Right To Life?
Specifically, the UN Human Rights Charter which is considered one of the most significant documents of the 20th century specifically states that human life is the foundation of all other rights. Read more

Is Industrial Court Bound by Sheriffs and Civil Process Act?
There is currently a legal logjam as to whether the Sheriffs and Civil Process Act, specifically Section 97, applies to a writ issued by the National Industrial Court of Nigeria. Read more

The Wasteful Practice of Affixing Two NBA Seals to a Motion
There is the need to curb the wasteful requirement of affixing more than one seal on a Motion before it is accepted for filing in our Court Registries. Read more

Curbing Increasing Evil of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a violation of the human rights of individuals. In recent times, domestic violence has been on the rise, but unfortunately, some argue that the law also allows domestic violence, noting that under the provision of the Penal Code Read more

Between Rule of Law and Corruption

What is the rule of law, we may ask? It is the prevention or ‘restriction of the arbitrary exercise of power by subordinating it to well-defined and established laws.’ Read more

LEDAP@WORK

LEDAP Demands Justice for Anita Akapson

The Legal Defence and Assistance Project-LEDAP extends its heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of late Ms. Anita Akapson, and urge them to be strong in this trying time. Read more

LEDAP to Nigerian Government: Abolish Death Penalty Now!

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

LEDAP Sues Saraki, Others for Defecting to PDP

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

Invitation to Stakeholders Round Table Dialogue against Torture

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

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

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

From LEDAP’s Archives

LEDAP, the Lagos State Secretariat of the NCAA, Revamps Its Campaign on the Passage of the Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill (GEOB)

As part of its Women’s Rights initiative, LEDAP, the Lagos State branch of the National Coalition for Affirmative Action (NCAA) in partnership LASGAT and SAVI, has renewed its efforts to ensure the smooth passage of the Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill (GEOB). Read more

LEDAP Condemns Senate’s Decision To Summon Judges
LEDAP’s National Coordinator, Mr Chino Obiagwu, in a statement, noted that the legislature has no oversight power over judicial officers under the constitutional principle of separation of powers in sections 4, 5 and 6 of the 1999 Constitution. Read more

 

LEDAP Sues DSS, AFG Over Arrest of Judges, Seeks Injuction to Stop Their Arraignment
Lagos October 24, 2016: Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) has asked the Federal High Court Abuja to declare as unlawful the raid and arrest of judges by the State Security Services, and an order of injunction stopping the planned charge and arraignment in court of some of the arrested judges. Read more

Training Of Trainers (TOT) On The Administration Of Criminal Justice Law In Anambra State
Group Anambra
LEDAP holds Anambra Training of Trainers (TOT) on the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Anambra State. The training was held at the state command Awka for 20 selected high level officers of the police force. Read more

PeepIntoTheLaw

Police Ordered to Pay N1m to Magistrate for Violation of Human Rights
A Kano State High Court, on Wednesday, October 31, ordered the Nigerian Police Force to pay N1 million as compensation to a magistrate, Hajara Hamza, for violating her fundamental rights. Read more

Court of Appeal Sacks Benue Lawmaker, Orders Refund of 3 Years’ Salary
After three years of legal battle over a legislative seat in the Benue House of Assembly, the Appeal Court in Makurdi, on Friday, November 2, gave judgment in favour of Joseph Boko and ordered the immediate sack of Benjamin Nungwa, the occupant of the seat. Read more

Court Remands Benue Lecturer in Custody for Rape of 13-year-old
Miss Ochanya was raped and sodomized by her aunt’s husband Andrew Ogbuja and son Victor from age 8 till 13, when she died of complications of VVF. a Makurdi Chief Magistrate Court has remanded 51-year-old lecturer, Mr. Ogbuja, in prison custody. Read more

Army to Pay Actress N1.25m for Assault
A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt on Friday, October 26, ordered the Nigerian Army to pay the sum of N1, 250,000 and publish a written apology in at least two national dailies to a Nollywood actress, Ebere Ohakwe, as compensation after she was beaten up by men of the Nigerian Army in February 2017. Read more

Court Orders Police to Pay N10m to Businessman Over Violation of Human Rights
The Federal High Court, Maitama Abuja, on Monday, October 22, ordered the Nigeria Police Force, to pay N10 million as compensation to one Aondofa Shenge, for violating his fundamental human rights. Read more

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

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

OPPORTUNITIES/EVENTS

NBA Lagos Annual Dinner, 2018

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Lagos branch has scheduled its annual black tie dinner for December 13th, 2018. Visit the website for more detailsCall for Written Submissions – Visit by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions to the Federal Republic of NigeriaThe Special Rapporteur invites all interested individuals and organizations working on issues related to the right to life in Nigeria, including representatives of civil society organizations, experts and academics, to provide input for the preparation of the foreseen visit (dates pending confirmation). Please send your submissions to: eje@ohchr.org by 3 December 2018. Click here for more information.
African Regional Conference on the Environment
This conference presented by the IBA Environment, Health and Safety Law Committee of the Energy, Environment, Natural Resources and Infrastructure Law Section (SEERIL) African Regional Conference on the Environment will hold on 28–30 November 2018 at Radisson Blu Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa. Click here for more information

Impact Fund Grants Program: Advancing Human Rights, Environmental Justice and Poverty Law
Applications are open for the Impact Fund grants program for the Spring 2019, awarding grants to legal services nonprofits, private attorneys, and/or small law firms who seek to advance justice in the areas of civil and human rights, environmental justice, and/or poverty law. Deadline is January 8, 2019. Click here for more information

Irish Aid Casement Fellowship Program in Human Rights 2019

Applications are open for Casement Fellowship in Human Rights to provide talented candidates with the opportunity to pursue advanced education and professional development in Ireland in order to contribute to the future development of Nigeria. Deadline is November 30, 2018. Click here for more information.

Women of Impact: Global Leaders Creating Positive Change
The Women of Impact: Global Leaders Creating Positive Change panel discussion will focus on women in leadership roles around the world who are agents of change in their communities and countries. It will take place on November 13, 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda. Click here for more information.

Eleventh Session of the UN Forum on Minority Issues

Registration now open for the Eleventh Session of the UN Forum on Minority Issue with the theme “Statelessness: A Minority Issue” scheduled to take place from 29 – 30 November 2018 at Palais des Nations, XVII Geneva, Switzerland. Register here Deadline is November 23, 2018. Click here for more information.

Call for Inputs
The Human Rights Council Advisory Committee requests inputs on the following mandates of the Advisory Committee: “The negative effects of terrorism on the enjoyment of human rights”, “Negative impact of the non-repatriation of funds of illicit origin on the enjoyment of human rights” and “The role of technical assistance and capacity-building in fostering mutually beneficial cooperation in promoting and protecting human rights.” Deadline is November 30, 2018. Click here for more information.

Invitation to 7th United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights
OHCR is pleased to civil societies to the 7th United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights themed “Business respect for human rights – building on what works” which will take place from November 26 – 28, 2018 at Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland. Deadline is November 28, 2018 .Click here for more information.

2020 Martin Ennals Award: Inviting Human Rights Defenders around the World
Nominations are open for 2020 Martin Ennals Award that is an annual prize for human rights defenders. Deadline: 26 March 2019. Click here to get more information and to nominate a candidate.

International Criminal Justice (ICJ) Annual Jurist Conference 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Voice Beyond the Incident: Nigeria Sudden Opportunity Grant

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

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

Legal Defence & Assistance Project is a non-profit organisation limited by guarantee in Nigeria, engaged in the legal protection and promotion of human rights, the rule of law and good governance in Africa. It has observer status with the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, and is the West Africa Focal Point for the Coalition for the Effective African Court on Human and Peoples Rights. LEDAP is winner of 2008 MacArthur Award for effective and innovative institution, and 2005 Nigerian Prison Service excellence service award among others. It was founded in 1997 as a network of human rights lawyers defending victims and political prisoners under the then military regime. It currently has its national office in Lagos and zonal offices in Abuja, Yola, Port Harcourt, Oshogbo and Jos. You can find us at ledapnigeria.org

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To join LEDAP as a member, download the membership form from the website or send email to info@ledapnigeria.org or call +234(0)1 291 4123 or (0)9 290 1589.

Our mailing address is:
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NEWSLETTER 21st – 27th OCTOBER 2018

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HELLO,
Welcome to LEDAP Nigeria Newsletter
21st – 27th October 2018

“Human rights is a universal standard. It is a component of every religion and every civilization.
—Shirin Ebadi

NEWS

FG Committed to Human Rights Treaties – AGF

The federal government has reiterated its commitment to Human Rights treaties to which Nigeria was a signatory. The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami made this disclosure yesterday in Abuja. Read more

NHRC Commences Investigation On SARS Activities

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), has commenced Public Sitting of the Presidential Investigative Panel on the Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force for the North-central Geo-political Zone, Monday, at the FCT High Court Premises, Abuja. Read more

Citizens Take FG to ECOWAS Court Over High Cost of Nomination Forms
Some Nigerian citizens have dragged the federal government of Nigeria before the ECOWAS Court of Justice over high cost of nomination forms. Read more

Buhari’s Commitment to Human Rights Unparalleled – Minister
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mr. Abubakar Malami, has described President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to respect to human rights and entrenching rule of law in Nigeria as unparalleled. Read more

UN, NHRC Decry Incessant Sexual Abuse in IDPs Camps
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the United Nations High Commission For Refugees (UNHCR) have yesterday, October 21, expressed worry over rampant sexual and gender-based violence in most Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in Borno and therefore called for an end to the menace. Read more

Kano Ranks Top Among States with Awaiting Trial Inmates, says CURE-Nigeria
Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants, (CURE-Nigeria), a non-governmental organization yesterday declared Kano state as the state with the highest number of pre-trial detainees languishing in prisons. Read more

SAN Seeks Equal Application as Lawyer Backs Executive Order 6

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Mr. Jibrin Okutepa (SAN) has welcomed the Executive Order 6 issued by President Muhammadu Buhari. He urged law enforcement agencies to ensure its equal application without fear, favour or ill-will. Read more

Nigeria Must Protect and Promote Women’s Participation in Politics-UN
GENEVA (22 October 2018) – UN human rights experts are urging Nigeria to take immediate steps to remedy deliberate attempts to exclude women candidates from recent party primary elections for seats in state and national legislatures. Read more

Malabu Scandal: Witness Tells Court OPL 245 Deal Not in Nigeria’s Interest
A founding director of ‘corruption watch dog’, Global Witness, Simon Taylor told a court in Italy that corruption in Nigeria’s oil sector facilitated human rights abuses. Read more

OPINION

How to Strengthen ECOWAS Court – Experts
President of the Community Court of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS Court), Justice Edward Asante (from Ghana), said the court is underfunded, leading to lack of adequate facilities and personnel. Read more

What NBA can Learn from IBA
Mr. Paul Usoro (SAN) is Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President. He was at the International Bar Association (IBA) conference in Rome. He unveils the impact of the conference on him and how he intends to improve the well-being of Nigerian lawyers. Read more

Nigerians Swim in Unreliable, Expensive Broadband Internet
This is as the Human Rights Council of the United Nations General Assembly recently declared access to the Internet a basic human right which enables individuals to “exercise their right to freedom of opinion and expression”. Read more

Human Trafficking: Atrocities Against Victims and the Nigerian Challenge

Trafficking in human beings touches on many issues: human rights, inequality, discrimination, the rule of law, crime control, law enforcement, corruption, economic deprivation and migration. Read more

The Pandora’s Box of Awaiting Trial in Nigeria

It was reported some weeks back in the media that 70% of inmates in Nigerian prisons are those awaiting trial, while the remaining 30% are inmates already convicted by a court of law in the country. Which begs the question, how did Nigeria open this Pandora’s box of awaiting trial bedeviling our rehabilitation centres? Read more

Protecting Freedom of Expression in Nigeria
Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right guaranteed in the Nigerian Constitution, African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other relevant international treaties. Read more

LEDAP@WORK

LEDAP Demands Justice for Anita Akapson

The Legal Defence and Assistance Project-LEDAP extends its heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of late Ms. Anita Akapson, and urge them to be strong in this trying time. Read more

LEDAP to Nigerian Government: Abolish Death Penalty Now!

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

Invitation to Stakeholders Round Table Dialogue against Torture

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

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

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

From LEDAP’s Archives

LEDAP Condemns Senate’s Decision To Summon Judges
LEDAP’s National Coordinator, Mr Chino Obiagwu, in a statement on Sunday, notes that the legislature has no oversight power over judicial officers under the constitutional principle of separation of powers in sections 4, 5 and 6 of the 1999 Constitution. Read more

LEDAP Sues DSS, AFG Over Arrest of Judges, Seeks Injuction to Stop Their Arraignment
Lagos October 24, 2016: Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) has asked the Federal High Court Abuja to declare as unlawful the raid and arrest of judges by the State Security Services, and an order of injunction stopping the planned charge and arraignment in court of some of the arrested judges. Read more

IHRDA, LEDAP train Nigerian Lawyers, CSOs on Litigating Women’s Rights

IHRDA and local partner LEDAP are organizing a training workshop in Nigeria from 22-23 March 2017 on advancing women’s rights using international legal instruments. Read more

Training Of Trainers (TOT) On The Administration Of Criminal Justice Law In Anambra State
Group Anambra
LEDAP holds Anambra Training of Trainers (TOT) on the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Anambra State. The training was held at the state command Awka for 20 selected high level officers of the police force. Read more

PeepIntoTheLaw

Court Remands Benue Lecturer in Custody for Rape of 13-year-old
Miss Ochanya was raped and sodomized by her aunt’s husband Andrew Ogbuja and son Victor from age 8 till 13, when she died of complications of VVF. a Makurdi Chief Magistrate Court has remanded 51-year-old lecturer, Mr. Ogbuja, in prison custody. Read more

Ozubulu Killings: Court Grants Nonagenarian Native Doctor, Others Bail

An Ozubulu Magistrate’s court has granted bail to a 94 year-old native doctor and high priest of the dreaded Ndekwulu deity in the community and five others, charged following their alleged involvement in gruesome killings of some sons and daughters of Ozubulu at home and in the Diaspora. Read more

Court Orders Police to Pay Charly Boy N50m Damages

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

Court Orders Police to Pay N10m to Businessman Over Violation of Human Rights
The Federal High Court, Maitama Abuja, on Monday ordered the Nigeria Police Force, to pay N10million as compensation to one Aondofa Shenge, for violating his fundamental human rights. Read more

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

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

OPPORTUNITIES/EVENTS

Impact Fund Grants Program: Advancing Human Rights, Environmental Justice and Poverty Law
Applications are open for the Impact Fund
grants program for the Spring 2019, awarding grants to legal services nonprofits, private attorneys, and/or small law firms who seek to advance justice in the areas of civil and human rights, environmental justice, and/or poverty law. Deadline is January 8, 2019.
Click here for more information

Irish Aid Casement Fellowship Program in Human Rights 2019

Applications are open for Casement Fellowship in Human Rights to provide talented candidates with the opportunity to pursue advanced education and professional development in Ireland in order to contribute to the future development of Nigeria. Deadline is November 30, 2018. Click here for more information.

2020 Martin Ennals Award: Inviting Human Rights Defenders around the World
Nominations are open for 2020 Martin Ennals Award that is an annual prize for human rights defenders. Deadline: 26 March 2019. Click here to get more information and to nominate a candidate.

International Criminal Justice (ICJ) Annual Jurist Conference 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Voice Beyond the Incident: Nigeria Sudden Opportunity Grant

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

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

Legal Defence & Assistance Project is a non-profit organisation limited by guarantee in Nigeria, engaged in the legal protection and promotion of human rights, the rule of law and good governance in Africa. It has observer status with the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, and is the West Africa Focal Point for the Coalition for the Effective African Court on Human and Peoples Rights. LEDAP is winner of 2008 MacArthur Award for effective and innovative institution, and 2005 Nigerian Prison Service excellence service award among others. It was founded in 1997 as a network of human rights lawyers defending victims and political prisoners under the then military regime. It currently has its national office in Lagos and zonal offices in Abuja, Yola, Port Harcourt, Oshogbo and Jos. You can find us at ledapnigeria.org

Copyright © 2018, LEDAP NIGERIA All rights reserved.
To join LEDAP as a member, download the membership form from the website or send email to info@ledapnigeria.org or call +234(0)1 291 4123 or (0)9 290 1589.

Our mailing address is:
11B, Christ Avenue off Admiralty Way, Lekki Phase 1. Lagos, Nigeria

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Shiites: Groups seek UN Intervention

An advocacy group, Access to Justice (A2J) and the Network on Police Reforms in Nigeria (NOPRIN) yesterday, November 4, requested the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, to visit Nigeria, saying the nation’s human rights and security situation may jeopardise 2019 elections.

The groups asked the UN to act fast to stem what they called Nigeria’s deteriorating human rights situation, following the recent killings of members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Shiites, members by soldiers.

They alleged that the military had, over the last four years, committed widespread and massive atrocities against civilian populations as well as members of minority religious and political organizations.

The groups also accused the Federal Government of Nigeria of failing to hold military officials accountable for the atrocities allegedly committed.

“This failure has emboldened the military, amplified the culture of impunity within it, and ostensibly encouraged the military to expand and deepen its violent crackdown against members of the IMN,” they said.

The groups, in their letter to the UN Secretary-General, reminded him that Boko Haram was once a “fringe, low-lying religious group in Nigeria that subsequently radicalized into a violent terror group after a rash of summary and extra-judicial killings of their leaders and members by government law enforcement and security groups.”