Tag: News

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VARSITY ADMISSIONS & ILLEGALITY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Culled from The Guardian Nigeria 

Herdsmen Attack, Boko Haram Insurgency Constitute International Crime, What Has Nigeria Done? – Chino Obiagwu

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Chino Obiagwu, Lead Counsel, Legal Defence and Assistance Project, presented a paper on the theme, “Incorporating International Crimes into the Corpus of Criminal Justice System in Nigeria: Prospects and Challenges,” at the Law Week of the Nigerian Bar Association, Makurdi branch on the 23rd of April 2018. At the commencement of the presentation he highlighted the fact that this was an illustrious time to addressing this theme, as this year marks the 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, a period that all peoples and nations are taking stock of world’s journey in the fight against impunity and accountability for atrocity crimes. He further recognised the importance of the presenting the paper in Benue state where innocent people are being killed daily in large numbers and there is little to no prosecution of the perpetrators.

The paper focused on examining, what the Nigerian government has done domestically to incorporate and implement international criminal laws, and to walk locally all her good talk internationally? To answer this question, the paper first expatiated on what is meant by International Criminal Law and its elements before going on to address the International treaties that Nigeria had signed to and those that have been domesticated.

He noted that although Nigeria, has ratified and domesticated the Genocide Convention, as well as the Geneva Conventions, the core provisions of these Conventions do not meet the threshold contained in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which Nigeria has signed in June 2000 but is yet to domesticate. This in turn means that Nigeria falls back on its common criminal codes and penal codes to deal with conducts that amount to international crimes. The three core international crimes are genocide, crime against humanity and war crimes. He stated that elements of the three core crimes are covered to some extent under the Nigerian Criminal Code and Penal Code – e.g. Murder, rape, physical attack, sexual assault, etc. are contained in Nigeria penal laws, however, the threshold of their elements differ under the Rome Statute.

During the presentation he stated that ‘’of course, the terrorists’ attacks, abduction and sexual slavery, pillaging, murder, attack of civilian population, enforced disappearances, torture all constitute crime against humanity and war crimes.’’ He emphasised this affirmation by pointing out that her 2017 Activity Report published on 4 December 2017, the ICC’s Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda stated she had facts to believe that Boko Haram, and in few cases, military operators, have committed crimes against humanity but the ICC had yet to take steps because the Nigerian government have taken steps to investigate.

He also stated that the violent attack by herdsmen constitute international crime. He however, noted that the 2017 report of the ICC’s Prosecutor, like her 2015 and 2016 reports, were silent on the issue of violent attacks by herdsmen in the middle belt area, as well as other locations across the country.

He concluded the presentation stating that there is a need for the Nigerian Bar Association, at national and branch levels, to take interest with the international crimes regime and framework for accountability for atrocity crimes in Nigeria. He further stated that in particular, the NBA should collaborate with relevant Civil Society Organisations and international partners to increase the potential for improving the regime of international crimes in the country.

International Criminal Court President Visits Nigeria, Silent on Rome Statute

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The President of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Chile Eboe-Osuji, concluded his official visit to Nigeria last week, has called for the federal government’s support to fight against impunity “for the gravest crimes.” He commended Nigeria for remaining consistent in supporting the ICC and contributing to efforts geared at establishing an international community where peace and justice reign.

However, he was silent on the domestication of the Rome Statute. Nigeria signed the Rome Statute on 1 June 2000. The bill for an Act to provide for the Enforcement and Punishment of Crimes Against Humanity, War crimes, Genocides and Related offences was then proposed in 2003, which when passed by the Nigerian Legislature, would give effect to certain provisions of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Nigeria .The first time the bill was proposed in 2003, it did not move beyond the legislature. The second time, the bill was passed by both Chambers of the Legislature and presented in 2006 to President Olusegun Obasanjo who did not sign it before the expiration of his tenure in 2007 citing certain objectionable clauses. The bill was read again for the third time in the Nigerian Senate on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 and in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, September 18, 2012. In 2016, a private member of the House of Representatives, Hon Nicholas Ossai, sponsored the bill and it has passed the second reading at the House of Representatives.

According to a statement made available to THISDAY by the ICC, Eboe-Osuji, who was in Nigeria from April 10 to 13, met with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, Solicitor General of the Federation, Dayo Apata, and other senior government officials.

“The ICC president expressed gratitude for Nigeria’s strong commitment to the court, which was reaffirmed by the senior authorities during the meetings held. President Eboe-Osuji underlined that the active support of States is crucial in re-energising the mission of the ICC, of which Nigeria is a founding and important member. He recalled that victims are at the heart of the Court’s mandate, which aims to provide justice to those who have suffered the worst atrocities, as well as protect populations from future crimes.

“President Eboe-Osuji further emphasised that the Court is keen to work together with states in Africa to bolster the fight against impunity for the gravest international crimes, and he hoped to count on Nigeria’s support in taking that process forward”

NEWSLETTER For 12th -16th March 2018

“A right delayed is a right denied.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

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.
12-16th March 2018

NEWS

Air Raid – Adamawa Communities Vow to Drag Nigerian Air Force to ICC for Alleged Killings

Six Bachama ethnic communities in Adamawa State have vowed to drag the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to the International Criminal Court (ICC) over alleged bombings of their communitiesRead more

Nigerian judge, Chile Eboe-Osuji Elected New President of ICC

The judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC), sitting in a plenary session have elected Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji of Nigeria as President of the Court for a three-year term with immediate effect. Read more

SERAP Writes AU, Demands Suspension of Cameroon

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has sent an open letter to the African Union Chairperson and President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, urging him to urgently call an Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU) to suspend the rights of membership of Cameroon from the Union.  Read more 

 

Enugu Rangers, WACOL Launch Campaign against Anti-women Practices

An Enugu based non-governmental organization, NGO, Women’s Aid Collective (WACOL) and the Enugu Rangers International F.C. have launched fresh action against all forms of negative practices on women.  Read more

Hate Penalty for Hate Speech?

A recent bill, which passed through first reading in the Senate, has stirred controversy and criticism for recommending death sentence or life imprisonment for hate speech mongers. Read more

Security Agents as Rights Abusers

There have been reports of human rights abuses by security agencies. This has led to Nigeria receiving low ratings in rights enforcement and respect.  Read more

Nigerian Govt’s Treatment Of IPOB Violates African Charter, Says African Commission On Human And People’s Rights

The African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) has stated that the declaration of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist group, the attacks by Federal Government agencies on its members constitute a prima facie violation of the African Charter. Read more

Police and Nigerian Chief Vow Action Against Anti-Gay Blackmail

The police commissioner and a traditional chief in Delta State are backing Nigerian human rights activists’ efforts to end a wave of blackmail and extortion of gay men and others. Read more 

UN Experts Condemn Decision to Seek Death Sentence against Egyptian Photojournalist Abou Zeid

UN human rights experts strongly condemn a decision by the Egyptian prosecutor to seek the death sentence against acclaimed photojournalist Mahmoud Abou Zeid, known as “Shawkan”, who was arrested while covering anti-government protests.  Read more

Paradigm Initiative Commends Passage of Digital Rights Bill

The Nigerian Senate has passed the Digital Rights and Freedom Bill, following in the footsteps of the Nigerian House of Representatives which passed the Bill on December 19, 2018. Read more

Sahel 2018: Overview of Humanitarian Needs and Requirement 

Acute rainfall deficits last season in several regions of the Sahel, and worsening insecurity have escalated humanitarian needs. To address the most urgent needs across the region, humanitarians will need US$2.7 billion in 2018. In five countries – Cameroon, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Nigeria – aid organisations and Governments have developed response plans to provide life-saving assistance and help communities rebuild livelihoods. Read more

 

Bring Back Our Girls Campaigners Threaten to Sue The Nigerian Government over Abducted Dapchi Girls

The Nigerian group that sparked a global campaign for the safe return of schoolgirls kidnapped in 2014 said on Tuesday it would sue the government if it failed to provide answers over a similar mass abduction of the Dapchi Girls last month. Read more

Court Fines Nigeria Police N3m for Violation of Fundamental Right 

An FCT high court, Maitama, on Tuesday, March 13, ordered the Nigeria Police Force to pay N3 million to one Kingsley Efobi, for violation of his fundamental right to personal liberty. Read more

Ambode leads Walk Against Domestic Violence, Backs 25-year jail term for Rapists

Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has backed the 25 years jail term prescribed for rapists and perpetrators of all forms of domestic violence, saying that the time has come to take more aggressive steps to put a stop to the menace. Read more

 

Amnesty Data Activists Uncover Serious Negligence by Oil Giants Shell and Eni

A groundbreaking research project by Amnesty International has exposed evidence of serious negligence by oil giants Shell and Eni, whose irresponsible approach to oil spills in the Niger Delta is exacerbating an environmental crisis. Read more

Court Fines Military N1 Million for Human Rights Abuse in Port Harcourt 

A Federal High Court in Port Harcourt has fined the 6 Division of Nigerian Army, N1 million for gross abuse of human rights. The army was accused of abusing the rights of an actress and movie producer, Ebere Ohakwe, popularly known as Jewel Infinity. Read more

Court Reinstates Dismissed Whistleblower

About three years after he was suspended, a whistle-blower who exposed alleged fraudulent activities in the Police Service Commission (PSC), Aaron Kaase, has been reinstated by the commission. Read more

 

LEDAP@WORK

International Women’s Day 2018

To celebrate the International Women’s Day 2018 which occurred on the 8th of March 2018. The Legal Defence and Assistance Project, interviewed a number of powerful and successful Nigerian women on what it means to be a woman in Nigeria and how young girls and women can PressforProgress in line with this year’s theme. Checkout the video here.

 

Torture Prevention Project Targeting The Police in Partnership with UNDEF

LEDAP calls for consultancies as it launches Torture Prevention Project Targeting Police – In partnership with the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) and the National Committee against Torture, LEDAP is getting set to launch a project to tackle torture and ill treatment in policing. The project will be located Lagos, Adamawa and Yobe States, as well as at the Federal Capital Territory. LEDAP just launched a call for consultants to conduct baseline assessment of the rate and pattern of torture and ill treatment in policing, and to prepare a police good conduct manual. For more information and the call for expression on interest for the consultancies, reach out to info@ledapnigeria.org or pamela@ledapnigeria.org

JAMB appeals against court decision banning post-UTME Exams

Following recent decision of the Federal High Court in the suit filed by the Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) against JAMB, the Minister of Education and the National Universities Commission (NUC), declaring  illegal the Post-UTME examinations usually  carried out by Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education for admission candidates. JAMB has appealed against the decision to the Court of Appeal Abuja. Read more

 

PeepIntoTheLaw

South-West PDP Crisis: Appeal Court Gives verdict 

The Court of Appeal, Ado Ekiti division has set aside a ruling of the federal high court in the matter instituted by Chief Makanjuola Ogundipe against the executive of the party in the South West zone. Read more

Court sentences three men to death by hanging for armed robbery in Ogun

An Abeokuta High Court on Thursday sentenced three men to death by hanging for armed robbery, conspiracy and rape while the fourth accused, Oguntolu Oludare got 10 years imprisonment for receiving stolen goods. Read more

 

Court Orders Uncle to Return Inheritance, Properties to Nephew

The Shari’a Court 1, Magajin Gari, Kaduna, on Thursday ordered a 60-year-old man, Jaafar Salisu to return properties in his care, inherited by his nephew, Ibrahim Musa, after the death of the boy’s father. Read more

 

EVENTS


Commission on the Status of Women 2018

The sixty-second session of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 12 to 23 March 2018. This year’s priority theme is Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls. Read more

 

West African Civil Society Institute – Call For Application

The West African Civil Society Institute is currently accepting applications for the Results-Based Monitoring and Evaluation/ Communicating Impact Course  scheduled for 14-18 May 2018. The training course is designed to equip development practitioners with requisite project-related monitoring and evaluation tools and competencies. The course will enable you to professionally. Read more

 

The Education Partnership (TEP) Centre Open Enrolment Workshop

Open Enrolment Workshop is a capacity development initiative of TEP Centre, to deliver training and workshop for individuals/organisations in the development sector. The broad theme of the workshop is “Basic introduction to Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning systems.” It will hold on the 5th of April 2018. For more information and enrolment, kindly contact Akinwunmi on akinwunmi.akowonjo@tepcentre.com

Osinbajo, CJN, Saraki for NBA Criminal Justice conference 

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), Senate President Bukola Saraki and  Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Walter Onnoghen are among dignitaries expected at the fifth NBA Criminal Justice Reform Conference. The three-day event, which will hold in Asaba, Delta State from March 21 to 24, is organised by the NBA Criminal Justice Reform Committee chaired by Chief Arthur Obi-Okafor (SAN). Read more

 

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