Tag: Justice

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

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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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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You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

 

 

 

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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.

The Judge, Justice Ibrahim Karaye, gave the order in his ruling on the case instituted on March 8, 2018.

Hamza had prayed the court to order the police to offer her public apology and pay restitution for violating her dignity and right to personal liberty as guaranteed under section 34(1) and 35(1) of Nigeria’s Constitution.

Joined in the suit were the Kano State Commissioner of Police, the DPO Naibawa police station and one Sgt. Umar of Naibawa police station.

Counsel to the complainant, Haruna Saleh, had told the court that his client, on Dec.10, 2017 boarded a commercial vehicle from Abuja to Kano and “while they were on their way, a lady in the vehicle complained that her phone was missing.”

He added that a police woman in the vehicle who was also a passenger searched everyone in the vehicle including his client and nothing was found on her.

Karaye also said that on reaching Kano the vehicle headed straight to Naibawa police station, where the first respondent, Sgt. Umar, asked his client to identify herself, which she did.

He further told the court that in spite of that, the police still went ahead to detain her, thereby, violating her right to freedom.

However, throughout the trial, the police did not make an appearance before the court, even though the proof of service on them were presented to the court.

The judge, therefore, ordered the three respondents to pay the complainant N1 million for the violation of her fundamental human right.

justice-kutigi

Justice Kutigi And His Judicial Legacy

In as much as I candidly appreciate encomiums passed, the various descriptions of life and times of Hon Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi who was laid to rest yesterday. I feel obliged to also give what I consider as an insider account about life and times of t is erudite jurist who I simply describe as an epitome of judicial etiquette. I said an insider account because I have had the privilege of working as special assistant to the late revered jurist whilst he was the Chief Justice of Nigeria and for which I remain eternally grateful to God and the late Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi, because, but not for that I wouldn’t have been where I am today with all sense of humility. Justice Kutigi as he then was exude tough, stern and firm looking posture, but behind this disposition is a man of huge sense of humour. This one only get to discover when you move and relate closely with him. His lordship even laugh and laughs hilariously to a point of inducting one to laugh too. You won’t believe it until when one come aross him cracking jokes and teasing his own biological and non-biological children or close friends.  He is unarguably one of the most detribalized jurists, a nationalist and patriot in every sense of the word. He relates mostly with respect to the content of a person, he knew nothing with discrimination of whatever nature. Generally, he likes to train and mentor legal minds irrespective of the person’s background, tribe or religion. This is just as he would want to inculcate attitude or culture of hard work, diligence or meticulousness in his lieutenants, children and people around him. He won’t leave for home until he finished all his work for the day, as it was not in his character to leave anything that ought to be done pending. Hence, while working with or for him, one needed to be conscious of choice of words to apply, dot your ‘i’s and cross your ’t’s. Upon all, he was exceedingly a role model, a big team player, always wanting to carry everyone along. That was why he never had an axe to grind or been in rancor with any of his brother justice or justices at the Supreme Court bench.

He exhibited the workaholic stature when he was appointed in 1976 the solicitor General and Permanent Secretary, North-Western State, and became the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Niger State from 1976 to 1977, a position he held concurrently with the offices of the Solicitor – General and Permanent Secretary as well as that of Director of Public prosecution. He was fondly called by his colleagues in the Niger State Executive Council as “Three-in one”. Justice Kutigi introduced a number of judicial reforms on becoming the Chief Justice of Nigeria. He, it was who amended the 1979 Fundamental Human Enforcement Procedure Rules that later becomes Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009. This is largely known in the legal parlance as ‘’Kutigi Revolution’’. He amended and signed into force on November 11, 2009 and immediately made it effective from December 1, 2009. The enactment which he did pursuant to Section 46(3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) was a bold and radical step to tackle Human Rights abuses by deepening and strengthening canons of democratic practice in the country. The Rule is an improvement on what was obtainable under the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 1979, which was marred by defects such as locus standi and unacceptability of public interest litigation. Hitherto, the principal means for enforcing human rights were the prerogative writs of Habeas Corpus, Certiorari, Mandamus and Prohibition. These were often found cumbersome, somewhat technical and lacking in the flexibility necessary for the proactive pursuit of human rights claims. The introduction of the 1979 FREP rules was aimed at bringing greater speed and dynamism to the enforcement of Fundamental rights in Nigeria. The FREP Rules 2009 was made in order to streamline and expedite the enforcement of fundamental rights in Nigeria and to provide solutions to myriads of problems associated with the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, 1979 such as the necessity to obtain the leave of court by way of motion ex parte before the commencement of fundamental rights action. The FREP Rules, 2009 also allows lawyers and litigants to file their brief even if the applicant is detained. In other words, it is not necessary that the applicant must be physically present before the Commissioner for Oaths to swear to his statement or affidavit.

Before the 2009 Rules, the procedure for the enforcement of Fundamental Rights in the High Courts required bringing up the action within a specified period of time from the occurrence of the breach of such rights, but under the 2009 Rules, specifically, Order III Rule I thereof, the limitation of the period of time has been done away with. Again, under Clause 3(f) of the Preamble to the 2009 FREP Rules, the court shall in a manner calculated to advance Nigerian democracy, good governance, human rights and culture pursue the speedy and efficient enforcement and realization of human rights. Justice Kutigi’s legacy will live on, not only in the tremendous contributions he made to national development but also in the FREP Rules. No narrative of the struggle for judicial activism in the protection of constitutional rights can be authentic or complete without a mention of his prodigious contribution to it.  The FREP Rules 2009 fundamentally changed the landscape of enforcing constitutional rights in Nigeria. It simplified fundamental rights litigation, made it speedier, and created a separate, inexpensive filing-cost regime for human rights cases, thus ensuring that poverty was, as far as human rights cases go, is not a significant barrier to access to justice. The Rules also direct courts to ensure that international norms of human rights are applied in the resolution of domestic human rights claims. Litigants can now file fundamental rights enforcement actions, irrespective of the amounts claimed, by paying fees that do not exceed about N1000 in total. I can recall it was during his tenure in office as the Chief Justice of Nigeria and chairman of the National Judicial Council that the edifice that today stands as secretariat of the National Judicial Council was approved and constructed. Thus, repositioning the council for the task and challenges ahead which is the hallmark of extraordinary vision and uncommon leadership quality of the late jurist.

Justice Kutigi became the Chief Justice of Nigeria on January 18, 2007 and held sway till December 31, 2009 when he attained mandatory retirement age of 70 years and retired. One can say without fear of contradiction that that period remains one of the most trying periods in the history of our judiciary. It was a period that the judiciary more than ever before took steps to restore public confidence, and the ultimate enthronement of the Rule of Law. It was a period the judiciary witnessed an unprecedented flow of cases that generated a lot of public interest, particularly election petition cases and a number of other equally sensitive constitutional matters. Of course, with the dint of hard work and sense of fairness, he alongside other justices of the Supreme Court were able to weather the storm, and equally helped in restoring the public confidence in the Judiciary.  It seemed that at every turn in his life, by providence he faced a daunting task that ordinarily would have swept some people out of way. The way he was able to tackle such has relatively distinguished him as an outstanding judiciary administrator. He has to his credit as the first and so far the only CJN who has the rare privilege of swearing in his successor in office as he was retiring on December 30, 2009, in the person of Hon. Justice Aloysius Iyorgyer Katsina-Alu (GCON) of blessed memory. Conventionally, the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria swears in the Chief Justice, but President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was not available on this occasion due to ill health. In view of the controversy that trailed his action of swearing in his successor, Justice Kutigi justified his initiative or deed as follows. ‘’For the first time in the history of this country, the Chief Justice of Nigeria has sworn-in the in-coming. It is the first time (clapping). That it is the first time is not the fault of anybody. This is because the law has always been there. The swearing-in of the CJN is either done by Mr President or the outgoing or retiring Chief Justice. Now the occasion arises to perform the function which I have just done. I am aware that this has generated a lot of commentaries and controversies from people who were supposed to know.  ‘’The law is there. There is nothing new. If you look at the Oath Act 2004, you will see the provision there where the CJN, justices of the Supreme Court, President of the Court of Appeal and the justices of the Court of Appeal, among others, are all listed in a column, all of them, according to the Act are to be sworn in by the President or the Chief Justice of Nigeria. Kutigi justifies action.

‘’The provision is there and it has always been there. That the outgoing CJN has never done it does not make it wrong. The law is clear. If you also look at the 1999 Constitution, it also makes it clear: that the person who has the responsibility of swearing-in the new CJN is the Chief Justice of Nigeria. What I am saying is that there is nothing new about it. The law is there but for the first time we are just using it today. And, let me say that I will be attaining the age of 70, Insa Allahu, by midnight today’’.  Barely five years after he left the Supreme Court Bench, Justice Kutigi resurfaced in the public domain once again as ex-President Goodluck Jonathan appointed him in 2014 chairman of the Constitutional Conference. On August 21, 2014, Justice Kutigi noted in his speech while submitting 2014 National Conference Report to ex-President Jonathan ‘’when 494 Nigerians are assembled to address the fears, disappointments, aspirations and hopes which have accumulated over one hundred years, it is only to be expected that the debates would be robust; and indeed the debates were robust. It was only to be expected that tempers would fly; and tempers did fly. ‘’We did not try to ignore or bury our differences. We addressed these differences while respecting the dignity of those holding these differences and sought to construct solutions which would become building blocks for a just and stable nation’’, Justice Kutigi stated. In his own remark, ex-President Jonathan said, ‘’on behalf of all Nigerians, let me thank you most sincerely for your hard work. Your tireless efforts aimed at coming up with recommendations to chart a path of peaceful coexistence, sustainable development, justice and progress as we march into our second centenary shall not be in vain’’. In the valedictory speech he delivered on January 20, 2010, Justice Kutigi said it all, that ‘’it has always been my prayer since l assumed the office of the Chief Justice of Nigeria that I should leave behind a Judiciary better than the one I met. I thank Almighty Allah for our modest contribution. I am positive that the Judiciary of this great country is one and would remain one of the best judiciaries in the world.

 ‘’I cannot end this address without expressing my gratitude to my brother Justices of the Supreme Court for their support, cooperation and understanding during the period I worked with them. We certainly have shared periods of challenges and difficulties together. You would agree with me that there were inconveniences and sacrifices that we have all encountered and made in order to salvage the name and good image of the Judiciary. You have indeed been very supportive. Over the years we have worked as a team to achieve the set goals. As I retire and leave the bench, I wish you my learned brothers, Allah’s guidance and protection’’.  This reminds one of immortal words of Stephen Grellet, a prominent French-born American Quaker missionary; “I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.’’

 

– Adieu! Baba. May Allah Have Mercy on your soul and grant you eternal rest in Al-Janat Firdaus.
Saleh is the current Executive Secretary of the National Judicial Council.

 

 

 

 

Read original article here

CHARLY BOY

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.

Charly Boy had convened the protest to ask President Muhammadu Buhari, who was then on a protracted medical vacation in London, the United Kingdom, to either resume or resign from office.

Alleging that the police violated his rights during the protest, Charly Boy said policemen used tear gas canisters, water cannon and wild police dogs to harass and disperse him and his fellow protesters during the peaceful demonstration at the Unity Fountain in Maitama, Abuja.

He said he collapsed and was rushed to the hospital after the alleged harassment by the police.

Oputa, through his lawyer, Mr  Inibehe Effiong, filed the fundamental human rights enforcement suit against the police in March 2018, urging the court to hold that the treatment meted out to him was unjustifiable, illegal, and unconstitutional.

He urged the court to hold that the treatment by the police constituted a breach of his fundamental human rights to the dignity of the human person, freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association and contrary to Sections 34, 39 and 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

He maintained that it also violated his rights as enshrined under Articles 5, 9, 10 and 11 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Cap. A9, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.”

Delivering judgment in the suit on Monday, Justice John Tsoho ordered the Nigeria Police Force, along with the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, and the Commissioner of Police, the Federal Capital Territory Command, to pay the sum of N50m to Oputa and apologise to him in two national newspapers.

The judge held that there was no evidence that miscreants hijacked the premises of the protest as alleged by the police.

He ruled that the applicant was entitled to stage the protest which he ruled was his constitutionally guaranteed right provided it was a peaceful procession.

The judge added even if miscreants were on the scene to hijack the protest, the police should have deployed the appropriate security measures to dislodge such persons and maintain law and order.

The judge ruled, “Relief 4 is granted and the respondents are ordered to publish an apology to the applicant in two national newspapers for violating his fundamental rights.

“The sum of N50m is awarded against the respondents as general and exemplary damages.’’

The court also ordered a perpetual injunction restraining the respondents from violating the fundamental rights to dignity of the human person, freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and association.

NEWSLETTER FOR 11TH-15TH JUNE 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.
11th-15th June 2018 2018

Today’s human rights violations are the causes of tomorrow’s conflicts.” – 

Mary Robinson

NEWS   

Nigeria Honours Presumed Winner of Aborted 1993 Election

President Muhammadu Buhari made the unexpected announcement that from next year, June 12 would be a public holiday and commemorated as “Democracy Day”. He also gave Nigeria’s highest honour, GCFR  to Moshood Abiola who had been on track to win the 1993 election when it was annulled. Read more

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ActionAid – Perceived Lack of Neutrality of Security Agencies Fuels Insecurity

ActionAid Nigeria has lamented that perceived lack of neutrality and professionalism on the part of security agencies has manifested into diverse forms of insecurity across the country. Chairman Board of Directors, ActionAid, Ms. Patricia Donli disclosed this yesterday in Abuja while addressing the state of the nation. Read more

N1.1bn water scam : SERAP Calls for Deputy Speaker’s Prosecution

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, (SERAP) has asked the Acting Chairmen of both the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) “to jointly investigate allegations of apparent conflict of interest and abuse of office involving Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Lasun Yusuff using his personal company to win water contracts amounting to about N1.1 billion from the Ministry of Water Resources, and to collaborate with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in any such investigation.” Read more

HEDA Petitions ICPC, Seeks Probe Of Gbajabiamila

The Human and Environmental Development Agenda, has asked the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission to investigate the capital projects allocated to Surulere 1 Federal Constituency, represented by Hon. Femi
Gbajabiamila. Read more

NNPC Rejects Falana’s FOI Request on Fuel Importation

Femi Falana, prominent human rights lawyer and a senior advocate of Nigeria, had written an FOI concerning fuel importation data.However, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says it cannot honour freedom of information (FOI) requests because it is not a public corporation. Read more

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Former Governor of Plateau State Sentenced to 14 years in Prison for N1.12b Fraud

Former governor of Plateau state, Joshua Dariye,  was jailed for 14 years, after being found guilty of corruption and diversion of N1.126 billion to an unregistered company. Read more

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Former NHRC Chairman Inaugurates Civic Society to Fight Government Abuses

A former chairman of the board of the National Human Rights Commission, Chidi Odinkalu, has inaugurated a civic group to challenge the many cases of human rights abuse on country. The group is known as Civic Coalition for Democracy. Read more

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Nigerian Re-Elected Into UN Disabilities Rights Committee

Nigeria’s candidate, Danlami Basharu, has been re-elected into the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for the 2019 to 2021 term, in a keenly contested election. Read more

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Argentina Moves Closer to Legal Abortion 
The Argentinian chamber of deputies is voting on a crucial bill that would legalise abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. A vote on abortion on Wednesday could transform Pope Francis’s homeland from a country where women can go to jail for having an unlawful termination to one of Latin America’s most progressive countries on reproductive rights.Read more

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Lagos State, ATC to Boost Youth Empowerment with Digital Villages
ATC Nigeria, in collaboration with the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund and Jobberman, is deploying digital villages across Lagos that will serve as Information and Communications Technology (ICT) skills acquisition centre, designed for youth empowerment. According to ATC Nigeria, access to the internet is widely seen as a human right in the eyes of millions of people around the world. Read more

Civil Society Groups Begin Good Governance Assessment In Osun

The Civil Society Coalition for Mandate Protection, the Nigerian Human Rights Community and the Green Peoples Environmental Rights Groups have embarked on a public assessment project in Osun State. The project targets about 30,000 respondents on governance in the state for the past eight years. Read more

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Group to Provide Free Legal Services For Vulnerables On Human Right Abuses in Nigeria

A group “Stop the Abuse Foundation” says it has taken upon itself to intervene in cases of human right abuses against women and children by providing free legal services for them at various legal clinics. Read more

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SERAP Institutes Court Suit Against Fashola Over ‘Corrupt, Unlawful’ Privatisation Of Electricity Sector

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sued Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Minister of Power, Works and Housing over his “failure to account for the spending on the privatisation of the electricity sector and the exact amount of post-privatisation spending on generation companies (GENCOS), distribution companies (DISCOS) and Transmission Company of Nigeria to date, and to explain if such spending came from budgetary allocations or other sources”. Read more

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IGP Approves Request by Human Rights Group to Audit all SARS Detention Cells in Nigeria

The Inspector-General of Police, Idris Ibrahim has approved the request of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to commence an independent audit of detention cells in all police commands and formations in Nigeria including those of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). Read more

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1,500 Nigerians Jailed in Italy
The Italian Ambassador to Nigeria, Stefanou Pontesilli, says no fewer than 1,500 Nigerians are serving jail terms for various offences in Italy. Read more

2.5 Million Migrants Smuggled in 2016 – UNODC

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said at least 2.5 million migrants were smuggled during the course of 2016. UNODC, in the first ever Global Study on Smuggling of Migrants, said migrant smuggling occurred in all parts of the world, generated an income of up to $7 billion. Read more

UNICEF Urges all Countries to Provide Fathers with Paternity Leave

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has urged all countries to provide fathers with legally paid paternity leave to enable them have adequate time to spend with their newborn babies. Read more

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US.Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Visits Nigeria

Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback will travel to Abuja, Kaduna, and Lagos, Nigeria from June 18-22. Ambassador Brownback together with Ambassador W. Stuart Symington, U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria will meet with government officials, religious leaders, and civil society groups. The Ambassadors will also tour the National Mosque and visit a refugee camp.

 

OPINION 


Human Rights Are Not a Luxury − Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, U.N. high commissioner for human rights.

 “We are moving backward to an era of contempt for the rights of people who have been forced to flee their homes, because the threats they face there are more dangerous even than the perils of their voyage. Backward to a time when military operations could deliberately target civilians and civilian sites such as hospitals, and chemical gases were openly used for military purposes and against innocent families.”  Read more

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Thousands of Children are Imprisoned across Africa. They Need Justice

“Young people are all but invisible in the justice system, facing ill treatment at the hands of those who should be protecting them” Read more

Sexual Harassment – a Social Ill That Wreaks Havoc

“For decades now, multiple counts of sexual harassment have been the hallmark of social coexistence in Nigeria. Hardly a day passes without a claim of sexual harassment being made against people, across genders and economic and social status.” Read more

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The Cattle Conflict Pushing Nigeria to the Edge of a Religious Civil War

“Across Africa’s most populous country, an undeclared war, triggered in part by climate change and fought over cattle, has turned Muslims and Christians against each other in a confrontation so bitter it threatens to tear Nigeria apart.” Read more

 

LEDAP@WORK 

LEDAP Calls for Developers to Create AntiTorture App

In line with LEDAP’s Anti−Torture Project aimed at addressing the police’s poor anti-torture knowledge and attitudes and at the same time empower civil societies and the public to monitor and demand for accountability wherever torture occurs. LEDAP has launched a call for App Developers to create an Application where individuals can report incidents of torture. For more information contact info@ledapnigeria.org or pamela@ledapnigeria.org

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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

 

PeepIntoTheLaw   

Court Passes Death Sentence on 5 men for Killing Herdsman

A Yola High Court Presided over by Justice Abdul-Azeez Waziri has sentenced five men to death for culpable homicide and for killing a herdsman. Read more

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Court Orders Adamawa Govt To Pay N660m To 659 Sacked Teachers
The National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) has ordered the Adamawa government to pay N660 million to 659 sacked teachers by the Adamawa Post Primary Board. Read more

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Court Sentences Policeman to Death over Unlawful Killing
Nasarawa State High Court, has sentenced to death by hanging a Police sergeant, Vincent Manu for the offence of culpable homicide. Read more

 

EVENTS  

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

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

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Danish Refugee Council Recruting

Danish Refugee Council (DRC) is a Danish international non-governmental organisation, which promotes and supports durable solutions to the problems faced by refugees and internally displaced people all over the world. They are currently recruiting in various positions. Find out more about the vacancies and deadlines 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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IWMF Women’s Reporting Grants for Women’s Stories 2018
Applications are now open for the IWMF’s Reporting Grants for Women’s Stories, sponsored by The Secular Society. It is a new funding initiative supporting journalism produced by and about women. Applications close on the 29th of June 2018.  Read more

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PRESS RELEASE: LEDAP COMMEMORATES THE INTERNATIONAL DAY IN SUPPORT OF VICTIMS OF TORTURE

Picture gotten from www.andyworthington.co.uk
Picture gotten from www.andyworthington.co.uk

The Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) join the United Nations and other Human Rights Organizations to commemorate the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. On this auspicious occasion, LEDAP uses this medium to commend the National Assembly of Nigeria for the adoption of the Anti-Torture Act, 2017. The Act criminalizes torture by the police and other law enforcement agencies; therefore we call on all concerned institutions to see to its full implementation. We also call on the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation to develop appropriate guidelines for effective implementation as mandated by sections 10 &12 of the Act.

In Nigeria, there are daily reports of torture of suspects by police, military and other law enforcement agencies. These everyday law enforcement practices are in many cases not in accordance with the constitutional provision prohibiting torture yet the perpetrators are not prosecuted and victims are unable to seek redress. LEDAP also uses this medium to call on the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), National Committee Against Torture (NCAT) and Civil Society organizations (CSOs) to document incidents of torture and demand prosecution of offenders in line with the provisions of the Anti-Torture Act.

Torture is a criminal offence punishable by law and LEDAP is in partnership with United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) and the National Committee Against Torture (NCAT) to seek ways to reduce incidents of torture and improve access to redress for victims through an ongoing project titled “Community Mobilization Against Torture in Nigeria“.

In observance of the International Day in Support of victims of torture, LEDAP in partnership with the National Committee Against Torture (NCAT) and National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) is set to launch a torture prevention campaign and an anti-torture awareness walk in the Federal capital territory Abuja, on 26th June, to lend its voice against the crime of torture and also render support to torture victims and survivors all over the world.

Chino Obiagwu
Legal Defence and Assistance Project
National Coordinator

 

LEDAP’S STATEMENT ON THE 62ND ORDINARY SESSION OF THE AFRICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN AND PEOPLE’S RIGHTS

STATEMENT ON THE 62ND ORDINARY SESSION OF THE AFRICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN AND PEOPLE’S RIGHTS HOLDING IN  NOUAKCHOTT, MAURITANIA FROM APRIL 25 – MAY 9 2018.

Executive Summary

The human rights situation in Nigeria from the 33 year military rule to the 19 year civilian administration makes an interesting subject for review in view of the dire situation in Nigeria viz-a-viz counter insurgency war, ethnic mass killings, and violent extremism prevalent in the country.

This statement urges the Commission to review Nigeria’s compliance with its human rights obligations under the Banjul Charter which the Country has adopted and domesticated; and other international human rights instruments in line with the under listed areas of concerns and also, adopt the recommendations stated therein.

The statement examines Nigeria’s compliance with human rights standards and principles as it relates to Torture, Extra-judicial Killings, and Responses to Terrorism and Crisis;  Violent extremism and the Right to Life; and Gender Inequality.

Torture, Extra-judicial Killings, and Responses to Terrorism and Crisis.

The 9 year insurgency in the country has greatly exacerbated rights abuses in Nigeria. Online and offline reports reveal that counter-insurgency operations have led to rights violations and abuses by both state and non-state actors. These rights violations range from torture to enforced disappearances, arbitrarily long detentions, summary executions and extra-judicial killings, detention incommunicado and also sexual and gender based violence.

Creditably, Nigeria has adopted and domesticated the Banjul Charter as its national law, there is still an obvious poor level of implementation of this law as the unrestricted rights of Nigerians recognized under the Charter and guaranteed by the Constitution of the FRN are still not adequately protected.

There still exist, recorded incidences of torture, extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and  detention incommunicado, perpetuated by state actors in response to terrorism and adequate redress mechanisms do not exist for victims because impunity thrives when there is no political will to punish offenders irrespective of their status or affiliation.

The Legal Defence and Assistance Project, between 2015 – 2017 through its identification mechanism has been able to identify and file 142 fundamental human rights cases in Northeast Nigeria bordering on unlawful arrest and prolonged detention, torture and other cruel inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment.

To further buttress these points, LEDAP in rendering support to a loosely organized movement of over 300 people seeking the release and re-union with their family members who were abducted by men of the Nigerian army since 2015 has adopted various strategies to seek redress for these victims including writing to the National Assembly and Presidential Panel demanding for public hearing on behalf of the 276 persons detained by the military since 2015. So far, nothing has been done.

There is a more urgent need for the government to make conscious and concerted efforts to better protect and promote the rights of citizens.

Recommendations

  • The Nigerian security operatives need to review their rules of engagement to mainstream human rights standards and principles during counter-insurgency operations.
  • With the enactment of the Anti-Torture Act 2017, government needs to collaborate with NGOs to facilitate implementation and adoption at the states level.
  • There is also a need to adopt rules and regulations that will strengthen the legal framework on torture in Nigeria and also support the training and re-training of security operatives in the country to maintain human rights standards.
  • We urge the government to officially gazette prisons and detention facilities available in the country to enhance accountability on incidences of torture, enforced disappearances, and detention incommunicado.

Violent Extremism and the Right to Life

The right to life is the most basic right provided in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and under the Banjul Charter.

Acknowledging the efforts that have been made by the government to fight insurgency in the country, the upsurge in violent extremism and land grabbing attacks by herdsmen is an uprising which if left unchecked, will lead to a total annihilation of Nigerians and will undoubtedly affect the West Africa Region and African Continent. Almost everyday, Nigerians are killed in their numbers in flagrant disregard for the right to life. News of horrendous and gruesome killings especially in the North Central and North West regions of Nasarawa, Benue, Kogi, Zamfara, Southern Kaduna, etc have inundated the media space. The government needs to take a decisive stance and action to end mass killings and crimes that have infiltrated the country.

On this note, we urge the Commission to review Nigeria’s obligation to protect lives and properties in line with efforts that have been made to strengthen its security apparatuses in order to meet its foremost responsibility.

On death penalty, it’s a truism that it doesn’t act as a deterrence in the criminal justice sector and it targets mostly indigent people.

It has become imperative for a nation wide moratorium to be called on the death penalty and positive de-jure measures taken to abolish same.

Recommendations

  • Strong positive measures need to be taken to address insecurity in the country including adopting MECHANISMS that prioritize conflict resolution and peacebuilding while making efforts to bring perpetrators of these international crimes to justice. Right to life is sacrosanct and the government needs to respect and value human lives as much as much as they value and promote their political agenda and gains.
  • In doing so, we urge the Nigerian government to protect indigenous people’s and minority group rights as this will go a long way to address the mass killings arising from land grabbing and farmers/herders clashes.
  • We also urge the Nigerian government to abolish the use of death penalty in criminal justice administration and facilitate reforms made in the criminal justice sector for effective administration of justice.

 

Gender Inequality

Irrespective of Nigeria signing and ratifying the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa, otherwise known as the Maputo Protocol, not much affirmative actions have been made to address issues fostering discrimination against women in the African region.

Women and girls still face a lot of rights violations including but not limited to various forms of SGBV, child marriages, SRHR violations such as high maternal and morbidity rate, lack of access to adequate health care facilities, inadequate representation in the political and governance structure of the country, etc.

Recommendations

  • We urge the government to domesticate the Maputo Protocol adopted in 2003 so that Nigerian women can partake in the political, social, and economic processes, protect their reproductive health rights and eliminate all forms of discrimination against them.
  • In addition, we implore the legislature to expedite actions to pass the Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill into Law in order to promote the 35% affirmative action clause for women.
  • Local instruments and framework established to protect the rights of women in Nigeria should be strengthened so that Nigerian women would be empowered to take their place of pride in the region.