Tag: NGO

NEWSLETTER FOR 28TH May – 1ST 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.
21st–25th May 2018

“Human rights are not only violated by terrorism, repression or assassination, but also by unfair economic structures that creates huge inequalities.” – 

Pope Francis

NEWS   

LEDAP Seeks to Reduce Incidences of Torture, Training of Police officers
Buoyed by the desire to reduce the incidences of torturing suspects in Nigeria, the Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) has commenced the training of police officers in Lagos. The training, which is in partnership with the United Nations Democracy Funds (UNDF) and National Committee Against Torture (NCAT) is christened, ‘Community Mobilization Against Tortured’. Read more

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LEDAP Warns Institutions against Post -UTME Screening, says Court Order Subsists

The Legal Defence and  Assistance Project (LEDAP) has warned managers of the nation’s tertiary institutions against conducting the Post – Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), warning that there’s a subsisting order of the court against the exercise. Read more

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A Minute of Silence for Victims of Nigeria’s Epidemic of Violence

Nigerian civil society groups declared Monday, 28th May 2018 a national day of mourning and remembrance to honour the victims of violence across the country. The observation of a minute of silence  was to call attention to the inadequate response of Nigerian security agencies to the epidemic of violence, a response that’s been criticized for being  slow and inefficient. Read more 

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Innocent Idibia, Oby Ezekwesili, others march against Violent Killings in Nigeria

Nigerian artiste, 2Face Idibia, former minister of education, Oby Ezekwesili and human rights lawyer, Chidi Odinkalu joined other Nigerians to march against violent killings across the country. The peaceful walk was organised by the  Civil Society Joint Nigeria Crisis Action Committee (JN-CAC) to honour and mourn those who have been killed in recent times in the country. Read more

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Demand Justice for Abused Survivors of Boko Haram

Thousands of women and girls have survived Boko Haram only to face attacks and abuse from the Nigerian security forces who claim to be rescuing them. A group of displaced women called the Knifar Movement are campaigning for justice and for their husbands to be released. The group submitted detailed testimony to a Presidential Investigative Panel about the violations that they faced but the report is yet to be released. Amnesty International is calling on your support to put pressure on the president to release the report. To support the call for the release of the report, sign the petition here

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Ireland Votes by Landslide to Legalise Abortion

Ireland has voted by a landslide to repeal its near-total ban on abortion, an extraordinary victory for women’s rights that seals the country’s transformation from bastion of religious conservatism to one of Europe’s most tolerant democracies. Read more

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Gender Pay Gap Costs Global Economy $160tn, says World Bank study

Gender equality would enrich the global economy by an estimated $160tn (£120tn) if women were earning as much as men in the workplace, a study by the World Bank has found. Read more

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Shiite Killings in Nigeria: U.S knocks FG over failure to act on report indicting troops

The United States in its International Religious Freedom Report for 2017 has faulted the Nigerian government for failing to act on a report indicting the Nigerian Army on the clash between soldiers and members of the Islamic Movement. The report was released on 29th May by the U.S Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labour. View the full report here

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SERAP Secures Judgment Ordering President Muhammadu Buhari to Look into Allegations of Corruption

A judgement delivered on 27th May 2018 by Justice Mohammed Idris, following a mandamus with suit no: FHC/L/CS/1821/2017 brought by the  Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has ordered President Muhammadu Buhari to “urgently instruct security and anti-corruption agencies to forward to him reports of their investigations into allegations of budget padding and stealing of some N481 billion from the 2016 budget by some principal officers of the National Assembly.” Read more

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Saudi Arabia Outlaws Sexual Harassment

Saudi Arabia has passed a new law to criminalise sexual harassment. The kingdom’s Shura Council, which advises the cabinet, passed a draft law on Monday which would introduce a prison term of up to five years and a maximum penalty of 300,000 riyals ($80,000). Read more

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Nigerian Activists Warn IDPs of Human Trafficking Risk

Human rights activists say countless women and girls who were living in IDP camps in northeast Nigeria have been lured to other countries under false pretenses for sex work or slave labor. A new campaign is trying to educate women about the dangers. In Maiduguri, Chika Oduah went out with the campaigners and interviewed two women who were trafficked abroad and are now back in Nigeria. Watch here

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Activists Create African Human Rights Media Network

Human rights activists based in Nigeria have established the African Human Rights Media Network, which promotes awareness and respect for the rights of minorities, including sexual minorities, throughout the continent. RightsAfrica.com is the central website for the network. Read more

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ICRC Partners Nigerian Police on Rights of Detainees

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says it is partnering the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) to evaluate how the legal system in Nigeria is handling the pre-trial of detainees. Read more

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NHRC Seeks Partnership of Prisons on Human Right Protection

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sought partnership with Nigerian Prison Service (NPS) on human right protection. The newly appointed Cordinator of NHRC, Mr Nuhu Mohammed made the call when he paid a courtesy visit to the controller of prisons Niger state command, Baba Gana in his office. Read more

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U.S. to Designate Nigeria ‘Country of Particular Concern’ Over Killings

Against the backdrop of incessant killings in Nigeria, particularly the predominantly Muslim herdsmen slaying Christian farmers, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has recommended to the US government that Nigeria should be designated as a “Country of Particular Concern”. Read more

 

OPINION 


Rethinking Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Nigeria: Why Abortion Laws Need Reform

“It is no news that many women around the world today are still being denied  key sexual and reproductive rights i.e. their right to enjoy control over and make decisions on their sexual and reproductive health without discrimination, coercion, detention, or violence. But perhaps nowhere is this more apparent than in Nigeria, where a woman cannot autonomously decide the number and timing of children she wishes to have.” Read more

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18th Democracy Day: How Has Nigeria Fared?

“What Nigeria has become of in the last 19 years of democratic rule calls for reflections. Howbeit, with the gradual development witnessed over the years, Nigerians deserve to remember their past and celebrate a determined leadership now in place.” Read more

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Rapper Falz’s ‘This is Nigeria’ video Holds up a Mirror for the Country

“While the concept for the ‘This is Nigeria,’ video isn’t original, what Falz did was internalize the message, pass it through his own artistic filter and bring it home to Nigeria to highlight the country’s numerous social ills.” Read more

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How Journalism Can Help Beat Human Traffickers in Nigeria

Nigerian journalist and rights advocate, Philip Obaji Jr. describes what working with children displaced by Boko Haram has taught him both about the power of storytelling and the importance of education – and access to clean water – to protect children at risk of trafficking. Read more

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Executed, Disappeared, Tortured: The risks of Defending Human Rights

According to the human rights organisation, Front Line Defenders, 312 human rights activists were murdered in 2017. Of those killed, 212 were from Latin America. In the climate of fear following the murder of activist Berta Cáceres in Honduras, Lucy Lamble talks to Ana Paula Hernández about her work supporting campaigners who fight to protect native lands. Listen to the podcast here

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Community Development as if People Matter: Lessons from Nigeria

“The ways in which communities themselves foster sustainable development have not been adequately studied in most poor societies. Communities acting on the ground, of course, often must balance competing environmental, economic, and social equity demands.” Read more

 

LEDAP@WORK 

LEDAP Writes Open Letter to Universities & Polytechnics on Post-UTME

Based on LEDAP’s recent court judgment obtained at the Federal High Court  in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/979/15 between: LEDAP and Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB)The Minister of Education and the National Universities Commission (NUC), wherein the court held that only the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) can conduct matriculation examinations and give admissions into tertiary institutions. LEDAP has written to inform Universities and Polytechnics that it would be in breach of the court order if they continue to conducting Post-UTME tests.  Read more

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LEDAP Commences Anti-Torture Training for Police Officersin Adamawa

LEDAP’s training of police officers on torture begins in Adamawa State. LEDAP will commence training of officers at the Adamawa State Command from the 6th to 7th June 2018. Sixty middle and senior officers will be trained on torture prevention strategies, human rights and sexual and gender based violence norms.  The training is part of LEDAP’s  Torture Prevention Project Targeting Police in partnership with the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) and the National Committee against Torture. For live updates on the training, follow our twitter page @ledapnigeria

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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   


Proof Of Evidence, Preliminary Objections And The Recent Supreme Court Decision in UKIRI V. FRN

The Supreme Court in the recent case of  Ukiri Emonena Blessing v. Federal Republic of Nigeria (2018) LPELR-44213(SC) held that  the failure to attach proof of evidence with a charge will only be fatal if the defendant is misled by the error. Read more

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Court Orders IGP, Police to Pay Delta Family N20m over Murder

The Federal High Court in Ibadan, on Thursday ordered the Nigerian Police Force to pay N10 million as compensation to the family of Alidu Hakeem, a commercial driver shot dead by a policeman at Saki. Hakeem was shot to death by a police inspector, Ifeayin Onynbu on March 9, 2016 along Saki-Okere International Market road in Saki. Read more

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Copyright Infringment: Court awards N5m against Clarence Peters

The Federal High Court in Lagos has entered judgment against music video director, Clarence Peters, for alleged copyright infringement. The judgment delivered by Justice Mojisola Olatoregun was in favour of Uwana Victor and Akan Victor, trading under the name, Black Alliance. Read more

 

PeepIntoTheLaw   


Proof Of Evidence, Preliminary Objections And The Recent Supreme Court Decision in UKIRI V. FRN

The Supreme Court in the recent case of  Ukiri Emonena Blessing v. Federal Republic of Nigeria (2018) LPELR-44213(SC) held that  the failure to attach proof of evidence with a charge will only be fatal if the defendant is misled by the error. Read more

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Court Orders IGP, Police to Pay Delta Family N20m over Murder

The Federal High Court in Ibadan, on Thursday ordered the Nigerian Police Force to pay N10 million as compensation to the family of Alidu Hakeem, a commercial driver shot dead by a policeman at Saki. Hakeem was shot to death by a police inspector, Ifeayin Onynbu on March 9, 2016 along Saki-Okere International Market road in Saki. Read more

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Copyright Infringment: Court awards N5m against Clarence Peters

The Federal High Court in Lagos has entered judgment against music video director, Clarence Peters, for alleged copyright infringement. The judgment delivered by Justice Mojisola Olatoregun was in favour of Uwana Victor and Akan Victor, trading under the name, Black Alliance. 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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Nigerian National Human Rights Commission, Journal Call for Papers

The Editorial Committee of the Nigerian Human Rights Commission Journal, a publication of the National Human Rights Commission, invites scholarly full length articles, commentaries and notes on contemporary issues of human rights for the 8th edition of the Nigerian National Human Rights Commission Journal. Papers received on or before the 28th of July 2018 will be considered for publication.  Read 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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Countering Violent Extremism West Africa

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/West Africa Regional Peace and Governance Office (RPGO) seeks to award up to four (4) Cooperative Agreements to research and pilot Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) approaches in West Africa under this Annual Program Statement (APS). The APS will feature elements of co-creation that will provide direct engagement of USAID in the design of applications following the presentation of concept notes. The maximum award amount is not expected to exceed US$1,500,000 or duration of two years. Read more

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Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders to the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly

In view of the upcoming 20th anniversary of the declaration of human rights defenders, the Special Rapporteur will be reporting on the situation of human rights defenders. To this end a questionnaire on the situation of human rights defenders has been prepared for civil society organisations to complete.The deadline for submission is 13th June 2018. Read more

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NEWSLETTER FOR 21ST–25TH May 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.
21st–25th May 2018

“Human rights is a universal standard. It is a component of every religion and every civilization.” – 

Shirin Ebadi

NEWS   

Women who Survived Boko Haram  Raped, Starved and Detained in Nigeria

In a report released by Amnesty International on 24th May 2018 titled “They Betrayed Us” The organsation looks at how thousands of women and girls who survived the brutal rule of the Boko Haram armed group have since been further abused by the Nigerian security forces who claim to be rescuing them. Read the report here

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Nigeria Presidency Disputes Amnesty International’s Human Rights Allegations

Nigerian Presidency  says recent report released by the Amnesty International alleging human rights violation by Nigerian security agencies is “inherently battling with credibility, falling vehemently short of evidential narration.” Read more

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Seek Justice for Zakzaky Beyond Nigeria, Amnesty International tells IMN

Amnesty International has advised the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) to seek justice for  Ibrahim Zakzaky, its leader, and members held in detention by the Kaduna state government, outside the Nigerian judiciary. Read more

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More than 50 Lawsuits Loom Large as Shell holds AGM

As oil giant Shell prepares for its annual shareholders meeting in The Hague this week, Amnesty International is drawing investors’ attention to dozens of national and international lawsuits that are currently underway against the company and that could potentially cost it millions. Read more

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Zimbabwe Applies to Rejoin Commonwealth

Zimbabwe has applied to rejoin the Commonwealth, marking a major step in the country’s international re-engagement after Robert Mugabe was ousted last year. Read more

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Falana seeks Visa Ban on Nigerian Public Officials Involved in Money Laundering

A human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has urged Western governments to impose visa ban on Nigerian public officials involved in money laundering and other corrupt acts. Read more

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Saudi Arabia Arrests Hathloul, Six Women’s Rights Activists

Saudi authorities have arrested seven prominent women’s rights advocates, including Loujain al-Hathloul,  dividing public opinion just weeks before the kingdom is set to lift its driving ban on women. Read more

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OCHA Relases NorthEast Situation Update for April

The United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has released its April 2018 Humanitarian Update on North-East Nigeria. The report raises concerns about food insecurity in the region in the upcoming season as well as insecurity in the region. Read the full report here.

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Reps to End Child Labour, abuse in Nigeria

Worried by the increasing rate of child labour and abuse in Nigeria, the House of Representatives on Tuesday urged the Ministries of Women Affairs and Labour to put modalities in place to arrest the ugly trend. The House also mandated its committee on Human Rights to enlighten the public on the need to bring cases of child abuse to the notice of relevant authorities. Read more

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Sudanese Teenager who Killed Rapist Husband Appeals Death Sentence

The lawyers for a young Sudanese woman sentenced to death for killing her husband as he tried to rape her have formally appealed the ruling as a petition calling for her to be spared reached a million signatures. Read more

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Nigerian Army Restates Commitment to Respect Rule of Law, Human Rights

The Nigerian Army on Thursday restated its determination to continue to respect the rule of law and ensure that its personnel conduct themselves within the ambit of law at all times. The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, gave the pledge at the launch of a book entitled: “Introduction to Military Law Practices and Procedure in Nigeria’’ in Abuja. Read more

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Brazil Rescues African, Guyanese Migrants Drifting at Sea

Brazilian fishermen rescued two dozen migrants from Africa and Guyana found drifting near the north-east coast of Brazil after 35 days at sea, officials and local media said Sunday. The migrants came from Nigeria, Senegal and the small South American country of Guyana, the human rights department for Brazil’s state of Maranhao said in a statement. Read more

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Pollution Worsens Around Shell Oil Spills in Nigeria

The environmental damage around the site of two Royal Dutch Shell PLC oil spills in Nigeria a decade ago has worsened significantly after years of delay to cleanup efforts, according to a report that the oil giant has been accused of trying to shield from public view. Read more

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14m People Affected by Boko Haram Insurgency 

Nigeria’s Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the UN Tijani Bande has said that 14.8 million people were affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria. Bande told the UN Security Council Open Debate on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflicts that about 1.7 million of the people were internally displaced. Read more

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International Donors Pledge $2bn to Support Gambia
International donors have pledged $1.71 billion (1.45 billion euros) to support The Gambia’s democratic transition.The pledge was made at an international donors’ conference hosted by the EU and The Gambia.  Read more

OPINION 


What #JusticeforNoura Tells Us About the Women and the Death Penalty

Two weeks ago, Noura Hussien was sentenced to death for the murder of her rapist. Today, Noura’s legal team have filed an appeal against this decision. “Noura was a victim of child marriage, forced marriage, rape and denial of justice,” her legal team said in a statement. Though the injustice of this case is clear to many internationally, Noura may not escape her sentence. Read more

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Chagala: Travails of Nigerian girls inside Egypt’s slave markets (1)

How much is a human worth? With just $2,000, an underage girl is sold as a slave in Egypt where human traffickers are making fortunes smuggling women for forced cheap labour and domestic servitude. Wale Ajetunmobi reports the travails of Nigerian girls trapped in slavery in Egypt. Read more

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Dwindling Farmland Sparks a Deadly Conflict in Nigeria
Christian farmers, Muslim herdsmen square off in escalating violence that puts President Muhammadu Buhari’s security pledges to the test before elections. Read more

LEDAP@WORK 

LEDAP Speaks with Human Rights Watch on What the ICC Means for  Human Rights

As the Rome Statute reaches twenty, the Human Rights Watch spoke to two leading activists, Chino Obiagwu, LEDAP’S lead counsel and Amal Nassar of the International Federation for Human Rights about why the International Criminal Court matters today to the fight to protect human rights. Watch the discussion here.

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LEDAP Anti-Torture Training for Police Officers Continues 

LEDAP’s training of police officers is still ongoing in various police commands. Police officers are being trained on  torture prevention strategies, human rights and sexual and gender based violence norms.  The training is part of LEDAP’s  Torture Prevention Project Targeting Police in partnership with the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) and the National Committee against Torture. For live updates on the training, follow our twitter page @ledapnigeria

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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 Declares Sack of Teacher on Maternity Leave ‘Unlawful’

The National Industrial Court, has declared the dismissal of one Akpomovine Ojo-Gabriel for embarking on maternity leave as `unlawful’ by the Hillside School, Abuja. Justice Rakiya Haastrup in delivering the judgement ordered payment of her salary and cost of suit. Read more

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Court Orders IGP, Police to Pay Delta Family N20m over Murder

A Delta State High Court sitting in Sapele has ordered the Inspector-General of Police and the Nigeria Police to pay the family of a 41-year-old mechanic, late Samson Efe, from Aghalokpe town in Okpe Local Government Area of the state the sum of N20m for their roles in the death of the deceased. Read more

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Court Slams N5M Damages On Police In Anambra For Unlawful Detention, Infringement Of Fundamental Rights 

The state High Court Two sitting in Ihiala Judicial Division has declared unlawful the seventy three day detention meted out to Mr. Chikwado Okafor for alleged involvement in the death of one Chigozie Okoli who was last seen with him. Read more

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High Court orders police to pay N10m damages to Alaba filmmaker after allegation, detention 

The Lagos division of the Federal High Court has ordered the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) to pay a businessman, Uchechukwu Chukwuma the sum of N10m as damages. Chukwuma was accused of pirating Nollywood movies by the force – He said he was detained in police custody for almost two months in 2017. Read more

EVENTS  

Nigerian National Human Rights Commission, Journal Call for Papers

The Editorial Committee of the Nigerian Human Rights Commission Journal, a publication of the National Human Rights Commission, invites scholarly full length articles, commentaries and notes on contemporary issues of human rights for the 8th edition of the Nigerian National Human Rights Commission Journal. Papers received on or before the 28th of July 2018 will be considered for publication.  Read 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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Countering Violent Extremism West Africa

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/West Africa Regional Peace and Governance Office (RPGO) seeks to award up to four (4) Cooperative Agreements to research and pilot Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) approaches in West Africa under this Annual Program Statement (APS). The APS will feature elements of co-creation that will provide direct engagement of USAID in the design of applications following the presentation of concept notes. The maximum award amount is not expected to exceed US$1,500,000 or duration of two years. Read more

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Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders to the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly

In view of the upcoming 20th anniversary of the declaration of human rights defenders, the Special Rapporteur will be reporting on the situation of human rights defenders. To this end a questionnaire on the situation of human rights defenders has been prepared for civil society organisations to complete.The deadline for submission is 13th June 2018. Read more

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Follow us on our social media platforms

NEWSLETTER FOR 14TH – 18TH MAY 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.
14th–18th May 2018

“A right is not what someone gives you; it’s what no one can take from you.” – Ramsey Clark

 

NEWS   

Conduct Post-UTME Tests, Risk Court Contempt, LEDAP warns Varsities

The Legal Defence and Assistance Project, has warned tertiary institutions against conducting post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination tests for candidates seeking admission. LEDAP, in an open letter by its National Coordinator, Mr. Chino Obiagwu, warned that any tertiary institution conducting post-UTME test risked being cited for contempt of court. Read more

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Annual ICC- NGO Roundtable

As part of the ongoing dialogue between the International Criminal Court and Non-Governmental Organiations, the annual ICC-NGO roundtable kicked off on the 14th of May 2018 at the seat of the Court in The Hague. ICC President Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and the Court’s Registrar Peter Lewis opened the first day of meetings attended by NGO representatives coming from across the world.

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2018 Global Report on Internal Displacement 

Conflict and disasters displaced 30.6 million people within their own countries last year, according to a new report from the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC). Click here for the full report.

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NHRC Releases Directives on Treatment of Accused Persons & Suspects by Law Enforcement Officers

The National Human Rights Commission has released a directive on how accused persons and suspects should be treated by law enforcement officers. Disobedience to the directives of the Commission attracts a punishment of 6 months imprisonment or a fine of N100,000 or both under the NHRC Act 1995 as amendedRead more

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SERAP Petitions UN over Nigerian Government’s Disobedience of Court rulings and Orders
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has petitioned Mr. Diego García-Sayán, UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers requesting him to use his office to prevail on the Nigerian government to end its persistent disobedience of court rulings and orders. Read more

Human Rights Abuses Remain Unreported – ICIR

At a one-day workshop on human rights reporting for journalists and civil society organisations in Abuja, The International Centre for Investigative Reporting condemned the level of human rights abuses reportage in Nigeria. The centre said most human rights abuses remain unreported by the media. Read more

UN Holds Special Session

The United Nations held a Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the deteriorating human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. The session was held on the 18th May 2018, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein released a statement condemning the events in Gaza. Read more

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Germany to Return 30,000 Nigerian Migrants

Germany has proposed a new process that will facilitate the smooth repatriation of over 30,000 illegal Nigerian migrants back to the country. Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama said this when he received the Security Adviser to the President of Germany, Dr Jan Hecker, and his team in Abuja. Read more

Rights Groups Seek Prosecution of Gambian ex-leader in Ghana

A survivor, families of the disappeared and human rights organizations are seeking the extradition and prosecution in Ghana of Gambia’s former leader Yahya Jammeh for alleged direct involvement in the killing of more than 50 West African migrants in 2005. Human Rights Watch and TRIAL International on Wednesday called on Ghana’s government to investigate new evidence they say ties Jammeh to the killings of Ghanaians and others. Read more

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UNHCR, NHCR Urge Nigerian Military to Improve Human Rights Record

The United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) and the National Human Rights Commission (NHCR) have urged the Nigerian military to improve its human rights records, especially in the ongoing counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations against Boko Haram in the North-east. Read more

Troops Trained on Human Right Protection

Recent partnership between the Armed Forces of Nigeria and the National Human Rights Commission (NHCR) to improve the mainstreaming of Human Rights and civilian protection into Counter Insurgency Operations in the North East is yielding positive results, as troops gathered together on the 17th of May 2018 for training on the protection of Human Rights. Read more

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Human Rights Campaign Commemorates International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia

HRC marked the observance of the 2018 International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOTB) by spotlighting global challenges to LGBTQ equality and calling out the Trump-Pence Administration for turning a blind eye to the oppression and abuse of LGBTQ people around the globe. Read more

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UNICEF To Support Treatment Of 279,542 Malnourished Children

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Children Investment Foundation Fund (CIFF) has pledged to support Kaduna State Government to treat no fewer than 279,542 severe acute malnourished children in the state. Read more

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ECOWAS Court Orders Federal Government to Pay Abuse Victim N50m

The Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States presided over by Justice Wilkins Wright, has ordered the Federal Government to pay a domestic violence victim, Mary Sunday, the sum of N50m as compensation for her pains. While handing down the judgment in Abuja, the regional court said that the government failed to investigate the matter when it happened and also provide the lady access to justice as guaranteed under the law. Read more

 

OPINION 


Nigerian Refugees’ Human Rights Lawsuit against Italy, could set Precedent

The lawsuit filed by a group of Nigerian refugees who said Italy put their lives at risk and violated their human rights through its support and supply of Libyan marine officials is the first of its kind, and could set a precedent for similar cases in the future, analysts say. Read more

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Terrorists Are Not the Only Ones Exploiting Ungoverned Spaces Across Nigeria

“There has been a wave of recent killings in the Middle Belt and in northwestern Nigeria, regions where Boko Haram does not routinely operate. The killings are often the result of quarrels over land use, referred to as “herder-farmer conflicts,” cattle rustling and other criminal activity, and reprisal attacks.” Read more

Beyond the Ban on Codeine

“Nevertheless, the real work is to design a sustainable and holistic approach that tackles drug abuse right from the source. We must discard the temptation and cosmetic approach of always treating the symptoms rather than the disease.” Read more

How Data Can Beat Poverty

“Understanding the poor is a hard enough task in any country, but Nigeria further complicates it with our large, ethnically and regionally fragmented population. This makes it hard to design or implement one-size-fits-all policies.” Read more

 

LEDAP@WORK 

LEDAP Speaks with Human Rights Watch on What the ICC Means for  Human Rights

As the Rome Statute reaches twenty, the Human Rights Watch spoke to two leading activists, Chino Obiagwu, LEDAP’S lead counsel and Amal Nassar of the International Federation for Human Rights about why the International Criminal Court matters today to the fight to protect human rights. Watch the discussion here.

LEDAP Anti-Torture Training for Police Officers Continues 

LEDAP’s training of police officers is still ongoing in various police commands. Police officers are being trained on  torture prevention strategies, human rights and sexual and gender based violence norms.  The training is part of LEDAP’s  Torture Prevention Project Targeting Police in partnership with the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) and the National Committee against Torture. For live updates on the training, follow our twitter page @ledapnigeria

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LEDAP Writes Open Letter to Universities & Polytechnics on Post-UTME

Based on LEDAP’s recent court judgment gotten at the Federal High Court  in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/979/15 between: LEDAP and Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), The Minister of Education and the National Universities Commission (NUC), wherein the court held that only the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) can conduct matriculation examinations and give admissions into tertiary institutions. LEDAP has written to inform Universities and Polytechnics that it would be in breach of the court order if they continue to conducting Post-UTME tests. Read more

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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   


Otokoto Ritual Murder: Supreme Court frees suspect, Ajaegbu, 22 years after

22 years after, the Supreme Court, on Friday, freed Mr. Alban Ajaegbu, who was one of the accused persons in the celebrated ‘Otokoto’ ritual murder of 11-year-old Ikechukuwu Okoronkwo.  Ajaegbu who was said to have worked as a gardener at the hotel,  was discharged and acquitted of the crime by the Supreme Court on Friday. The apex court, in a unanimous judgement by a five-man panel of Justices, held that circumstantial evidence the trial court relied upon to convict and sentence him to death by hanging, was not sufficient.  Read more

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Developer Found Guilty on 267 Count Charge for Duping 133 Tenants of N25m

An Ebute-Meta Chief Magistrates’ Court, Lagos, has sentenced a property developer, Alhaji Ayobami Oseni, to 2,670 years imprisonment for duping 133 accommodation seekers of N25 million. Chief Magistrate O. O. Olatunji convicted Oseni following his plea of guilty to 267 counts of conspiracy, obtaining under false pretenses and stealing. He sentenced Oseni to 10 years imprisonment with no option of fine on each of the 267 counts. The sentences are to run concurrently.  Read more

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What Happens Where Both Parties Laying Claim To A Land Fail To Prove Title To The Land?

The Court of Appeal in the recent case of GWAMILE v. IDIH & ANOR (2018) LPELR-44139(CA) addressed the question of what happens when neither party proves title to land. OTISI, J.C.A. while delivering the leading judgment in this appeal; stated that  “Where both parties are unable to satisfactorily and conclusively prove title to the disputed land, the trial Judge would usually proceed to decide the case on the basis of numerous and positive acts of possession and ownership”. Read more

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United Arab Emirates and Nigeria Exchange Instruments of Ratification on Judicial Agreements

The agreements were signed between both countries regarding the apprehension of criminals, extraditing convicted persons, providing mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, as well as for legal and judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters, according to UAE state news agency WAM. The agreements between the countries will be effective as of 13 June 2018. Read more

 

EVENTS  

Nigerian National Human Rights Commission, Journal Call for Papers

The Editorial Committee of the Nigerian Human Rights Commission Journal, a publication of the National Human Rights Commission, invites scholarly full length articles, commentaries and notes on contemporary issues of human rights for the 8th edition of the Nigerian National Human Rights Commission Journal. Papers received on or before the 28th of July 2018 will be considered for publication. Read more

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University of Lagos To Hold Faculty Of Law 2018 Annual Lecture
The theme of this year’s Annual Lecture is “ The Rule of Law as Panacea for Peace, Security and Good Governance in a Democracy”  The event will hold at the J.F. Ade Ajayi Auditorium, University of Lagos on the 31st of May at 11:00am, Walter Onnoghen, GCON Chief Justice of Nigeria will be the guest speaker at the event.

2018 Fellowship Programme for People of African Descent

The Fellowship Programme will allow the participants to better contribute to the protection and promotion of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of people of African descent in their respective countries. The deadline for submission of applications is 1 June 2018. Read more

Countering Violent Extremism West Africa

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/West Africa Regional Peace and Governance Office (RPGO) seeks to award up to four (4) Cooperative Agreements to research and pilot Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) approaches in West Africa under this Annual Program Statement (APS). The APS will feature elements of co-creation that will provide direct engagement of USAID in the design of applications following the presentation of concept notes. The maximum award amount is not expected to exceed US$1,500,000 or duration of two years. Read more

 

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NEWSLETTER FOR 7TH-11TH MAY 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.
7th–11th May 2018

“Freedom is never granted; it is won. Justice is never given; it is exacted.” – A. Philip Randolp

 

NEWS   

Annual ICC- NGO Roundtable

As part of the ongoing dialogue between the International Criminal Court and Non-Governmental Organiations, the annual ICC-NGO roundtable kicked off on the 14th of May 2018 at the seat of the Court in The Hague. ICC President Judge Chile Eboe-Osuji, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and the Court’s Registrar Peter Lewis opened the first day of meetings attended by NGO representatives coming from across the world.

45 Killed in Gwaska, Kaduna as Mass Killings Increase

Heavily armed men killed 45 people and wounded 12 in an assault on a village in northwestern Nigeria, the latest in a wave of mass killings that have shocked the country, exposed serious gaps in its security and shaken its political foundations. Read more

Nigerian Rights Group Files Suit to Revoke Malabu Oilfield License

A Nigerian civil rights group has launched a legal case aimed at forcing the government to revoke a disputed 2011 oilfield deal at the centre of a string of international corruption investigations. Read more

17 Nigerian Migrants Sue Italy

Survivors of a November sea rescue operation by the Libyan coastguard have filed a lawsuit against Italy with the European Court of Human Rights, saying Rome was ultimately responsible for Libya’s “violent and reckless” actions. Read more

Federal Government to Investigate Cases of 27 Nigerians in Tanzanian Prisons

The Federal Government has said it would go ahead to investigate the cases of 27 Nigerians said to be languishing without trial in Tanzanian prisons. Read more 

Nigeria Battles to Restore Security in the Northeast

A recent report by the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect has highlighted the current insecurity issues in North-Eastern Nigerian despite the government’s declared victory over Boko Haram. Read more

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Lawmakers to Probe Xenophobic Attacks on Nigerian Judges in Gambia

The Senate says it will probe allegations of ill-treatment and xenophobic attacks on Nigerian Judges and other legal personnel serving in the Gambia.The Joint Committees on Judiciary, Human Rights, Legal matters and Foreign Affairs have been mandated to carry out investigations on the matter and submit a report to lawmakers for consideration. Read more

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Human Rights Abuses: Report exposes inconsistencies in Recruitment, Selection for Peacekeeping Missions

The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) in collaboration with Asia Centre for Human Rights, supported by Open Society Institute, New York have published a report highlighting the reasons behind persistent human rights violation and abuses by peacekeeping troops. Read more

Aid Sector Urged to Crack Down on War Zone Child Abusers

Sex offenders and paedophiles are travelling to the world’s conflict zones to prey on vulnerable children, the National Crime Agency has warned. Read more

 

OPINION 


How Does The ECOWAS Court Exercise The Human Rights Mandate Under The 2005 Protocol?

“Unlike comparable courts, such as the European Court of Human Rights, the exhaustion of domestic remedies is not a prerequisite for using the court. The ECOWAS Court allows any individual to entirely bypass their own country’s systems of justice…” Read more

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Press Freedom Is the Freedom of All and Freedom for All – Professor Olatunji

“…Press Freedom is daily threatened, voices of opposition are muzzled, working conditions of journalists are compromised daily…” Read more

Addressing Maternal and Child Deaths

Every day, Nigeria loses 2,300 children below the age of five and 145 women of childbearing age, making the country the second worst place on earth to conceive, give birth or raise a child. Read more

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Africa’s Female Rising Stars of Business are Still Seen as Second-Class Citizens

Despite the compelling narrative about African women becoming titans of industry, sexism and inequality make scaling up impossible for many entrepreneurs. Read more

 

LEDAP@WORK 

LEDAP Anti-Torture Training for Police Officers Continues

LEDAP Representative at the training with police officers, Pamela Okoroigwe, Programme Co-ordinator LEDAP (front row, 3rd from left)

LEDAP’s training of police officers is still ongoing in various police commands. Police officers are being trained on  torture prevention strategies, human rights and sexual and gender based violence norms.  The training is part of LEDAP’s  Torture Prevention Project Targeting Police in partnership with the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) and the National Committee against Torture. For live updates on the training, follow our twitter page @ledapnigeria

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LEDAP Writes Open Letter to Universities and Polytechnics on Post-UTME 

Based on LEDAP’s recent court judgment gotten at the Federal High Court  in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/979/15 between: LEDAP and Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB)The Minister of Education and the National Universities Commission (NUC), wherein the court held that only the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) can conduct matriculation examinations and give admissions into tertiary institutions. LEDAP has written to inform Universities and Polytechnics that it would be in breach of the court order if they continue to conducting Post-UTME tests.

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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 Affirms Lagos AG’s Right to File Nolle Prosequi

A Lagos High Court has affirmed the power of the Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Adeniji Kazeem to file nolle prosequi in any case by the state. Justice Dabiri dismissed a suit by the Incorporated Trustees of Law and Awareness Initiative challenging the Attorney General’s right to withdraw a pending criminal case against Deepak Khilani and Sushil Chandra. Read more

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What Happens Where Both Parties Laying Claim To A Land Fail To Prove Title To The Land?

The Court of Appeal in the recent case of GWAMILE v. IDIH & ANOR (2018) LPELR-44139(CA) addressed the question of what happens when neither party proves title to land. OTISI, J.C.A. while delivering the leading judgment in this appeal; stated that  “Where both parties are unable to satisfactorily and conclusively prove title to the disputed land, the trial Judge would usually proceed to decide the case on the basis of numerous and positive acts of possession and ownership”. Read more

 

EVENTS  

Human Rights Watch Hosts Discussion on What the ICC Means for  Human Rights

As the Rome Statute reaches twenty, Human Rights Watch talks to two leading activists, Chino Obiagwu of the Nigerian Coalition for the International Criminal Court and Amal Nassar of the International Federation for Human Rights about why the court matters today to the fight to protect human rights on the 16th of May.

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University of Lagos To Hold Faculty Of Law 2018 Annual Lecture
The theme of this year’s Annual Lecture is “ The Rule of Law as Panacea for Peace, Security and Good Governance in a Democracy”  The event will hold at the J.F. Ade Ajayi Auditorium, University of Lagos on the 31st of May at 11:00am, Walter Onnoghen, GCON Chief Justice of Nigeria will be the guest speaker at the event.

2018 Fellowship Programme for People of African Descent

The Fellowship Programme will allow the participants to better contribute to the protection and promotion of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of people of African descent in their respective countries. The deadline for submission of applications is 1 June 2018. Read more

Countering Violent Extremism West Africa

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/West Africa Regional Peace and Governance Office (RPGO) seeks to award up to four (4) Cooperative Agreements to research and pilot Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) approaches in West Africa under this Annual Program Statement (APS). The APS will feature elements of co-creation that will provide direct engagement of USAID in the design of applications following the presentation of concept notes. The maximum award amount is not expected to exceed US$1,500,000 or duration of two years. Read more

 

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NEWSLETTER FOR 30TH APRIL – 4TH MAY

 

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.
30th April – 4th May 2018

”There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” –
Elie Wiesel

NEWS   


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

Chino Obiagwu, LEDAP’s lead counsel has stated in a paper delivered at the Law week of the Nigerian Bar Association, Makurdi branch, that the herdsmen attack and the continuing Boko Haram insurgency constitute international crime and he went on to address what steps Nigeria has taken. Read more

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Suicide Bombers Attack Borno State, 7 Killed

Barely a week after heavily armed Boko Haram fighters entered Maiduguri killed nine people in Jiddari Polo and High Court areas, four suicide bombers have again attacked two villages in Borno State. Read more

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Human Trafficking: Nigerians, Mostly Girls, in Camps across West Africa

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has said that thousands of Nigerians, most of whom are girls, are still being held captive in different trafficking camps in some neighbouring West African countries. Read more

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OCHA Releases March 2018 North-East Nigeria Humanitarian Situation Update

The United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has released its March 2018 Humanitarian Update on North-East Nigeria. The humanitarian crisis in north-east Nigeria is now in its ninth year and remains one of the most severe in the world: 1.6 million persons are internally displaced, human rights violations continue to be reported daily. Read the report here

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A Unique Window on Being Queer in Nigeria

A new book, released this week, is a collection of interviews with two dozen women. It offers an unprecedented window into what it means to be a queer woman in Nigeria, where homosexuality is illegal. Read more and preorder here

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Head of Militia Receives 20 Years Sentence for Mass Crimes

On Saturday 28 April 2018 in Kalehe, the Military Court of South Kivu, Democratice Republic of Congo has condemned the Lieutenant-Colonel Maro Ntumwa, known as “Marocain” to 20 years imprisonment. Read more

  

UNDP Collaborates With Benue State Government To Establish Lake Chad Basin Governors’ Forum

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in collaboration with the Borno State Government (BOSG) has established a Lake Chad Basin Governors’ Forum. Read more

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Human Rights At Risk in Nigeria, Says Amnesty International

Amnesty International has raised the alarm that human rights are at risk in Nigeria, citing intimidation of journalists and violent crackdown on protests. Read more

EU to Assist 7,831 Nigerian Returness From Libya

The European Union (EU) says it has facilitated the safe return of about 7,720 Nigerian who voulntary accepted the opportunity to be ferried back home last month from Libya and other places abroad. Read more

 US Pledges Support for Nigeria’s 2019 Elections

US Consul General in Lagos, Mr. F. John Bray, has declared US government’s support to realising  credible, transparent,  and peaceful 2019 elections in Nigeria. Read more

Cameroon’s Forced Returns put Nigerian Refugees at Risk

Cameroon has forcibly returned 385 refugees to Nigeria this year, most of them in the past month, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) report reveals. This despite the country’s commitment as recently as 2017 to facilitate the safe return of Nigerian refugees fleeing Boko Haram violence. By doing this, Cameroon is violating both national and international law. It is also putting vulnerable refugees at risk, and is eroding the effectiveness of protection frameworks and supporting extremist narratives. Read more 

 

OPINION 


The Situation In Nigeria – Is There Any Progress Towards Justice For The Victims?

“The unreasonably long time it has taken the Office of the Prosecutor to the International Criminal Court to deliberate on the situation in Nigeria is discouraging and does not give hope that justice is being secured for the victims.” Read more

A Manual for Youthful Activism, Nigerian Style

” Nigeria’s youth are increasingly marrying the power of their favorite tool, social media with on the ground movements to demand change and a greater say in the country’s political direction.” Read more

Voting Rights of the Nigerian Diaspora – Femi Falana

“No remittance without representation” would be a fitting slogan for the ongoing battle to enfranchise Nigerian citizens in the diaspora. Indeed, as studies have demonstrated, the Nigerian economy would grind to a screeching halt if the slogan were to be carried to its logical conclusion. Read more

Nigeria’s Treatment of Shia Minority Recalls That of Boko Haram

”Nobody really knows the size of the Shiite population in Nigeria. International Crisis Group cites an estimate that it makes up between 2 and 3 percent of Nigeria’s population, which would amount to roughly four million Nigerian Shiites.” Read more

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Why Nigeria Should Replicate Rwanda’s Free Tech-Enabled Legal Service

A lot of Nigerians have been deprived of justice and fair hearings due to numerous issues. But fundamental to these issues is the inability to afford a competent lawyer and the stress and bottlenecks involved in assessing free legal representation and advice. Read more

 

LEDAP@WORK 

LEDAP Commences Anti-Torture Training for Police Officers

LEDAP Representative at the training with police officers, Pamela Okoroigwe, Programme Co-ordinator LEDAP (front row, 3rd from left)

In line with LEDAP’s  Torture Prevention Project Targeting Police in partnership with the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) and the National Committee against Torture. The organisation has begun training police officers in Nigeria on human rights, anti-torture and sexual and gender based violence norms. For live updates on the training, follow our twitter page @ledapnigeria

LEDAP Offers Technical Assistance to Yobe ACJ Bill

The National coordinator of LEDAP, Chino Obiagwu (3rd left) with the Chief Judge of Yobe State, Hon Justice Nabaruma, (3rd right), Rt Hon Dogo (2nd left) and Hon Justice Juaro (2nd right)

The justice reform team of Yobe State led by Justice Ibrahim Wakili Jauro in collaboration with LEDAP, Presidential Committee on the Northeast (PCNE) and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) held a 3 day meeting on the validation of the Administration of Criminal Justice Bill of the state. In attendance were, the Chief Judge of the state, Grand Kadi, Magistrates, the Hon. Speaker and some members of the State’s House of Assembly.  The National Coordinator of LEDAP moderated the discussion and guided the group in making amendments where necessary. 

LEDAP Submits Report to Human Rights Committee

LEDAP together with Advocacy for Women with Disabilities Initiative, and Women Enabled International have submitted an NGO report for the Human Rights Committee’s development of a List of Issues for Nigeria. This report focuses on rights abuses against women and girls with disabilities in Nigeria and Nigeria’s human rights obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights towards this group.

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LEDAP Releases Statement on 62nd Ordinary Session of the ACHPR


LEDAP Representative at the 62nd ACHPR Session

LEDAP has released its statement on the 62nd Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and People’s Right holding in Noukatt,Mauritania  from April 25 – May 9 2018. 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. Read full statement here
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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   


Dealing In Petroleum Products Without a License Is Criminal

The Nigerian Court of Appeal (Lagos Division) affirmed the position of the law that it is criminal to deal in petroleum products without a license in its recent decision delivered in the case of M.V. Long Island v. FRN (2018) Lpelr-43479 (CA). Read more
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Court Lifts Restraining Orders On Lagos Hotel Occupancy And Restaurant Consumption Law

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday issued a variation to its interim orders, restraining the implementation of the Hotel Occupancy and Restaurant Consumption Law, Laws of Lagos State 2015. Read more

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Court Reaffirms Local Governments’ Powers To Conduct, Register Marriages

A Federal High Court in Lagos has upheld the exclusive powers of local councils across the country to register marriages in accordance with the extant Marriage Act. Read more

 

EVENTS  

30th Session of the UPR Working Group

The first session of this year’s Universal Periodic Review will hold from the 7th – 18th May 2018. Cameroon, Djibouti and Burkina Faso are the African countries that will be reviewed during this session. Read more

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Call for Submission for Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing on “informal settlements and the right to housing”

The Special Rapporteur invites Governments, UN agencies, Development Agencies, International Financial Institutions, National Human Rights Institutions, Independent Monitoring Mechanisms, Civil Society Organisations to share contributions and inputs for her report. She also welcomes information on innovative approaches and successful programmatic and legislative initiatives. The deadline is 15th May 2018. Read more

2018 Fellowship Programme for People of African Descent

The Fellowship Programme will allow the participants to better contribute to the protection and promotion of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of people of African descent in their respective countries. The deadline for submission of applications is 1 June 2018. Read more

 

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Judicial and Institutional Developments in Nigeria against Atrocity Crimes and the Protection of Victims – Chino Obiagwu

 The context

Since 2012, nearly the entire northeast Nigeria, comprising one-sixth of Nigeria’s 170 million people, has been under severe decimation by Boko Haram terrorists and counter-terrorism by the Nigerian Military. The destructive impart of the armed conflict is huge and tragic:

  • Over 15,000 civilians non-combatants have been killed;
  • Nearly 3m civilians are internally displaced or forced across borders as refugees;
  • More than 6 billion Dollars have been expended in the war without end;
  • Over 75% of children of school age are out of schools as most schools are either destroyed or closed.

The severity of violation of human rights and humanitarian laws are massive.

Boko Haram, a lethal group

Boko Haram is undoubtedly the deadliest terror group in the world. In April 2016, their leader announced its affiliation to ISIS, making it more political and IT driven. They are receiving ISIS assistance that has increased their capacity to roll out propaganda messages, and monitor movements of Nigerian military and civilian populations. They recruit children as young as 8 years and psycho-drill them into suicide bombers, with capacity to monitor their movements when being trained or sent on terror missions. The rate of child soldiers engaged in combat in the northeast for Boko Haram is higher than any other armed group in human history. The sophistication of Boko Haram’s armory, and the precision of their attacks on targets when they strike, suggest considerable military professionalism, which smack of mercenary support.

Cutting out funding to Boko Haram has been a strategy Nigeria has failed to mobilize world’s support.

Violations by the military

At the same time, the Nigerian military have responded with high-handed violence, leading to death of thousands of innocent civilians. The ordinary Nigerians who live outside the northeast could justify military excessive use of force as ‘necessary in the war’ but reports show that both sides of the conflict are committing atrocity crimes, especially war crimes and crimes against humanity.

A recent post on the blog of Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC), the parent coalition of Nigerian Coalition for the International Criminal Court (NCICC), clearly depicts the dire situation of massive violations of humanitarian laws and very high rate of impunity. It also shows the near-impossible expectation of ICC’s intervention to investigate and prosecute war crimes committed by both sides.

Despite compelling evidence, no-one has been held accountable for these war crimes [committed since 2013 by Boko Haram and Nigerian military]. This incident [a 2014 killing of 600+ suspected members or supporters of Boko Haram by the Nigerian military and government-backed Civilian Joint Task Force in broad day light in Bama Borno State] sheds light on an under-reported pattern in Nigeria’s fight against Boko Haram. Security forces have committed serious violations of humanitarian law throughout the conflict. These crimes have not been investigated and their perpetrators remain unpunished. War crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Nigeria – a party to the Rome Statute – fall within the International Criminal Court’s (ICC’s) jurisdiction. The ICC Prosecutor has opened a preliminary examination into atrocities committed by both sides, but is rightly waiting to see whether Nigeria will begin domestic investigations. In this context, could the ICC’s involvement galvanize Nigerian politicians to hold their own accountable?

The evidence is mixed. A Rome Statute domestication bill intended to punish perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity continues to be debated. During his first week in office, Nigeria’s President Buhari pledged to investigate the military’s crimes. However, in the 18 months that have elapsed since that promise was made, the government has provided no information on how or when these investigations will be conducted. In the absence of genuine national proceedings, the ICC Prosecutor must decide whether to open her own investigations. [But she is in a dilemma]. At a time when the African Union has backed a “strategy for collective withdrawal” from the Rome Statute, the Prosecutor will be loath to open investigations into one of the ICC’s most reliable supporters.[1] Yet anyone hoping that the Prosecutor will be spared this decision must contend with three obstacles to domestic proceedings: the extent of the crimes will stretch Nigeria’s criminal justice system; investigations that are likely to expose how the military could have, but failed to stop Boko Haram; and investigations that may lead prosecutors to some of the most powerful individuals in the country. These practical and political roadblocks should put the Prosecutor on notice: the interests of justice and the interests of the ICC are likely to diverge

The Extent of the Crimes

The ICC’s preliminary examinations are based on evidence of mass arrests, torture, and summary executions committed systematically and repeatedly by security forces, resulting in thousands of deaths and disappearances. A UN report found evidence that detainees in military custody were denied food and water and, as a result, died on a daily basis. Research by Amnesty International reported that more than 7,000 men and boys died in military detention between 2011 and 2015 due to this abhorrent treatment.

The ICC Prosecutor will only open investigations if Nigeria is unwilling or unable to do so domestically. The scale of the crimes alone will test the ability of Nigeria’s criminal justice system, which already struggles to ensure due process. According to the National Human Rights Commission, 35,889 people in prison are awaiting trial, or 70% of the prison population. These figures do not include thousands of suspected Boko Haram fighters, who are detained by the military. Nigeria’s international partners have pledged their assistance to help investigate and prosecute these suspects, but military violations do not appear to be on the agenda. Nigeria would need to devote significant resources to investigating military crimes committed over several years, across three states, when witnesses are likely to be among 2.3 million displaced people. The chances of the justice system being able to handle such investigations in the near- to medium-term are slim.

The Military’s Failures

The second problem is that investigations will force a re-assessment of the military’s crimes. The horror inspired by Boko Haram’s abuses has led some to rationalize military violations as the ‘excesses’ of over-zealous soldiers, doing ‘whatever it takes’ to defeat an existential threat. But the military’s violations are not an unfortunate and unintended consequence of its determination to win the war. Such euphemisms are deeply misleading. They call to mind soldiers, in the heat of battle, using disproportionate force in a firefight. In fact, the crimes being considered by the ICC occurred outside of battle, when there was no threat to person or property

Current framework for judicial action

The current judicial framework in Nigeria to address atrocity crimes and redress to victims can be discussed under the following headings: the current laws, institutional structure, investigation and prosecution capacity, courts and capacity to adjudicate, and political challenges

a. Current Laws

 Outdated penal laws without atrocity crimes

Nigeria is yet to domesticate the Rome Statute on the International Criminal Court[2]. Being a dualist state, international crimes are not part of its domestic penal laws. The current applicable laws are the Criminal Code (enacted in 1945 and applicable in southern states) and the Penal Code (enacted in 1924 and applicable in northern states including the northeastern states). These Codes provide for the offences of murder punishable by death as well as treason or waging war against Nigerian State, also punishable by death. No crime of war crimes, genocide[3] or crime against humanity is provided. Many of the cases of killings by suspected Boko Haram members are charged under the Penal Code, or sometimes the Criminal Code depending on the location of the assault.

New anti-terrorism law did not go far with atrocity crimes

In 2011, Nigeria enacted the Prevention of Terrorism Act, (amended in 2013) which punishes the crime of terrorism as well as the offences of supporting, financing, encouraging and supplying materials to terrorists.  The Act is strong in criminalizing support to Boko Haram, but it is weak as a tool to attack terrorism because it has very broad definitions of elements of the offences it created. Thus, apart from the conviction and sentence to life imprisonment of Kabiru Sokoto and his co-accused, who masterminded the 2013 Christmas day bombing near Abuja, no other notable terrorist has been successfully prosecuted and convicted under PTA. Activists have criticized[4] the Act for containing provisions that contradict the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution. In particular, the Act suspends the rights of suspects to access to their lawyers, relations and independent medical treatment. In 2014, NCICC commenced a suit at the Federal High Court to strike down provisions of the Act that offend the Constitutional provisions. The case is pending at the Court of Appeal (NCICC v Attorney General of the Federation.).

New SGBV crimes created 

Another legislation that regulates atrocity crimes and redress to victims is the Violence against Persons Prohibition Act, which punishes violence targeted at women and children, or group of vulnerable people. Assaults or mistreatment of IDPs fall within these provisions.

Challenging procedures of the courts

The procedures to enforce these laws had, before 2015, been the Criminal Procedure Code (enacted in 1924) and the Criminal Procedure Act (enacted in 1945 for enforcing the Criminal Code). These laws are too obsolete to meet the challenges of 21st century terrorism crimes.

Happily in 2015, the Administration of Criminal Justice Act was passed, aimed at improving the investigation and prosecution of crimes in the country. Laudable provisions are contained in the new Act to reduce delays and empower the investigators, prosecutors, defence and courts. One of such is section 232, which provides that the court must protect witnesses in terrorism and other violent or sex crimes, and where necessary, evidence of witnesses may be taken in chambers, shielded in screen, voice-disguised or by video link. Also identities of witnesses and victims should be protected in terrorism trials. So also the provision in the Act that victims can be compensated in the criminal proceedings and that criminal trial should not be paused or stayed because a party intends to appeal against any decision taken by the court within the proceedings, called interlocutory appeals. This has been the main cause of delay in criminal trials in the country.

Not yet impactful reforms

Despite these innovations, there has been little progress in investigating and prosecuting atrocity crimes. The situation of high violence, low prosecution and gross impunity remains. E.g.

  • In 2015, State Security Services reported that over five thousand suspected members of Boko Haram are in their custody. Only a handful have been charged and prosecuted since then. As many more are daily arrested in the renewed onslaught on the terrorists, the detention population of the terror suspect must have doubled by March 2017[5].
  • On March 14 2014, Boko Haram fighters attacked Giwa military barracks in Maiduguri and released about 650 men detained there on suspicion of being members of Boko Haram. In retaliation, the military was alleged to have rounded up and extra-judicially killed the re-arrested escapees in several hundreds. Their mass graves were widely reported by CSOs. To date, no soldier or commander has been held to account for this crime, report of investigation of the allegations made public.
  • Amnesty International reported in 2017[6] that hundreds of men, women and children are holed up in dire custodial conditions in many detention place including in 7 Battalion, a new military facility purpose-built to deal with Boko Haram menace. Similar military custodial facilities exist across the country with little or no civil oversight.
  • We can safely say that over ten thousand suspects are in custody waiting to be tried, and only a few are put to trial. Such high state of lack of capacity and commitment to prosecute suspects fuels dissent, and contributes in radicalization of those who otherwise were innocent.

There is no stronger basis for ICC’s intervention than the apparent inability or unwillingness of Nigeria’s national judicial system to deal with such massive atrocity crimes committed on both sides of the armed conflict.

b. Institutional structure

Police and the military

The institutions for investigating atrocity crimes are the Police set up under the Police Act 1945; the State Security Services and the Nigerian Intelligence Agency set up under the Nigerian Security Agencies Act 1992, (formerly Nigerian Security Organization Act 1978).

The military set up under the Armed Forces Act has responsibility only to investigate military offences committed by persons under service law. They are not authorized to deal with investigation and prosecution of crimes or engage in civil policing. They are not even authorized to keep custody of crime suspects, including suspected war criminals and terrorists. At the moment, the military’s involvement in policing has resulted in distorting its role, and negating its standard operational guide for engaging with non-combatants in armed conflict.

The Nigerian government has also set up special anti-terrorism forces, including the Joint Task Force, and anti-terrorism unit of the military and police, which are tasked with tracking terrorists and their supporters/financials.

Special counter-terrorism initiatives

In order to control funding of terrorism, the government has enacted the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011, as well as the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, which are aimed at tracking movement of illicit funds in the formal sector, combating money laundering and financing terrorism. The Prevention of Terrorism Act punishes concealment of suspected terror-fund by banks and financial institutions. However, without international cooperation, policing terror funding within Nigeria’s weak bank tracking system remains futile.

Redress to victims – promises not kept

With respect to redress to victims, the government set up in 2014 the Presidential Task Force on the Northeast[7] and the Foundation for the Support of Victims of Terrorism[8]. The Trust Fund has attracted over 15 billion in pledges from the private sector as at December 2016, and nearly half of those pledges have been paid to the Fund. In reality, most victims, especially the IDPs are not resettled, even to return to communities already cleared of terrorists.

NCICC is currently in court in a class action on behalf of over three thousands IDPs for judicial orders forcing the Trust Fund to rehabilitate them and account for use of collected funds.

 Safe School Initiative (SSI)

There is also the Safe School Initiative[9], aimed at returning children to schools and taking those in most endangered areas to other states schools. Again, accountability for this laudable programme has remained unreported. CSOs need to play active role to see that these initiatives achieve their purposes.

Other institutional structure that have supported victims of terrorism in Nigeria, and addressed the effect of terrorism include:

  • National Emergency Management Agency, which has done greatly in managing nearly daily incidents of bombings, displacements, destructions of communities, etc
  • National Refugee Commission, that has mandate to handle displaced persons and refugees, and has contributed in setting the policy for state and federal government
  • National Human Rights Commission, whose mandate is to monitor and protect human rights of citizens, including victims of terrorism and of other forms of human rights violations.
  • Other executive initiatives exists, such as the offices of the special assistants or advisers to the President of humanitarian services, on IDPs, on the northeast; the Office of the National Security Adviser, among others.

c. Investigation and prosecution capacity

The police, State Security Service, and the special anti terrorism agencies have responsibility to investigate crimes committed in the country including terrorism crimes. The military have responsibility to investigate its officers and soldiers who are alleged to have committed crimes in their work. The Attorney General of the Federation and Attorney-General of the State have the ultimate responsibility for prosecution of offences in the country (federal or state offences respectively). Before 2016, the prosecution of terrorism offences was carried out solely by legal officers in the office of the AG of the Federation, and few times, external lawyers were briefed. In 2016, the AG of the Federation set up the National Prosecutions Team, made up of senior lawyers from the private bar as well as lawyers in the ministry of justice. The goal is to increase the number of cases prosecuted in order to clear the backlog. There is no doubt that with the huge case backlog in the courts, it will take a medium and long terms to see the impact of the team.

Prosecution of terrorism offences have not been progressing. Worst still, the investigation and prosecution of crimes allegedly committed by military are not known or reported. The impunity rates are very high, underscoring the need for the ICC to re-evaluate its reluctance to open investigations in to atrocity crimes in the country.

d. Courts and capacity to adjudicate,

The Nigerian courts are overworked, and suffer from huge case docket. An average day in a high court will involve up to 20 cases for a judge, and the judge takes notes of proceedings in long hand. This slows down the proceedings. And with nearly an hour spent for part-hearing of each of the listed cases, it is not practicable to attend to half of the cases on the court’s list. The result is continuously increasing backlog of cases. Unless drastic measure is taken, there is simple no feasible way the courts can take on the several hundreds of persons awaiting trial for terrorism charges, as well as the over 35 thousand awaiting trial in the prisons for ordinary crimes. The capacity of the courts are overstretched, and though the government have introduced the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 and a new National Judicial Policy, all geared towards reducing delays in criminal proceedings, it will take considerable investments in infrastructure of the courts and the recruitment of new personnel to see significant breakthrough in reducing the rate of impunity for atrocity crimes. There is also need for government to increase its political will to investigate and prosecute crimes committed by the military, police and other agencies as well as by the government-backed Civilian JTF.

 e.  Political challenges,

 Poor political commitment to end impunity for the military

Many observers may seem to agree that there is slow political will for government to investigate crimes committed by its own forces in the northeast. It is argued that these violations are necessary fall out of the war, but Nigeria is state party to all relevant treaties regulating armed conflict, even in context of non-conventional armed conflict as is taking place in the country. There is responsibility to see that members of the armed forces who are alleged to commit crimes are investigated and prosecuted to the highest level of command.

Army Human Rights Office

The military set up in 2016 a Human Rights Complaint Office, aimed at improving civilian redress system. The progress on this laudable initiative has not yet been reported, but it shows the military’s internal willingness to engage with the civil society and the community to improve on its rules and practices of engagement. The CSOs should build on such initiative as window for larger engagement in respecting human rights and humanitarian laws.

Role of the ICC in Nigeria

The ICC prosecutor has the responsibility to step in where the Nigerian government is unwilling and unable to prosecute these crimes. Whether the ICC can risk opening another situation in Africa in face of the blackmail by AU that it is targeting African is left to be seen, but the civil society must continue to put pressure on Nigeria to strengthen its national judicial system for investigation and prosecution and for the ICC to undertake the necessary prosecution where the national system fails. The ultimate goal is the protection of, and justice for the victims. Without adequate redress, Nigeria’s numerous victims continue to suffer double-jeopardy, which Nigeria government and the ICC must address in coming months.

 

6th March 2018

Chino Obiagwu

Chair, Nigerian Coalition for the International Criminal Court (NCICC).

[1] http://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/214461-nigeria-pledges-remain-icc.html.

[2] The bill is pending at the National Assembly. The same bill has been passed by previous assembly and but then president, Olusegun Obasanjo, refused to sign it in 2007. There appear reluctance in the political society to tackle atrocity crimes with the efficiency and commitment it deserved. After all, only very poor people suffer most from the terror carnage.

[3] Nigeria has domesticated the Genocide Convention which prohibits genocide, but not being a penal statute, is not a common basis for criminal charges among prosecutors.

[4] See C.J. Dakas SAN & Chino Obiagwu in ‘A critique of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2011 as amended’, 2013 NCICC publication.

[5] http://dailypost.ng/2017/02/02/boko-haram-3332-suspects-currently-custody/

[6] https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/africa/nigeria/report-nigeria/

[7] https://www.today.ng/news/nigeria/186237/establishes-inter-ministerial-task-force-north-east

[8] http://victimssupportfundng.org/

[9] http://theirworld.org/news/safe-schools-initiative-launched-after-kidnappings-in-nigeria

NEWSLETTER FOR 23RD-27TH APRIL 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.
23rd – 27th April 2018

“There can be no peace without justice and respect for human rights.” – Irene Khan

 

NEWS   


NBA Awards LEDAP for Criminal Justice Reforms

Chino Obiagwu receiving the award

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Criminal Justice Reform Committee held its 5th Criminal Justice Reform Conference in Asaba, Delta State from the 24th – 27th April 2018. At the closing dinner of the Conference, a number of distinguished stakeholders including, LEDAP’s lead counsel, Chino Obiagwu were honoured for their immense contributions to the progress of criminal justice administration in the country. Read more 

Gov. Al-Makura Signs Bill Establishing Disability Rights Commission
Gov. Umaru Al-Makura of Nasarawa State has signed into law the bill to establish Disability Rights Commission. With the governor’s assent, the government is now working to put up structures and modalities in place to have the commission. Read more

NSCDC Partners with NHRC
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has partnered with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to create conducive environment for people to enjoy their rights without discrimination. Read more

 Amnesty Kicks Against Plan of Onitsha NBA to Give Awards to ‘human rights violators’
Amnesty International (AI) says the proposed recipients of the human rights award by the Onitsha, Anambra state, branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) are undeserving of the awards.The recipients of the awards were listed to include James Nwafor, former commander of the Special Anti robbery Squad( SARS), Mike Okiro, chairman, police service commission; Fasugba Temitope, divisional police officer, Asaba (former DPO at Central Police Station, Onitsha) among others. Read more

Investigate Ekweremadu’s Asset Declaration form, Group Writes CCB

The Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Center), a non-governmental and non-partisan human rights and development league, has petitioned the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), demanding the investigation of asset declaration form of the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu. Read more

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Massacre in Benue, Zamfara – 61 Killed, 82 Houses Razed

61 persons were killed in separate dastardly incidents in Benue and Zamfara States. Whereas 31 persons, mostly women and children, lost their lives in six communities of Guma Local Government Area of Benue State in the hands of suspected herdsmen, another 30 were massacred in Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State, by suspected gunmen. Read more

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The World Is Sending Thousands Of Tonnes Of Electronic Waste To Nigeria Illegally

Unregulated dumping of electronic waste has led to environmental degradation and human rights violations, especially in developing countries in Asia and Africa (read: mostly Nigeria) where exporting is easy, labour laws are lax, and communities are poor.  Read more

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Group Develops App to Inform Nigerians of Rights

The Constitutional Rights Awareness and Liberty Initiative (CRALI), a civil society organisation, has developed a mobile application to inform Nigerians about their rights.The mobile application called ‘Know Your Rights Nigeria’ was launched at the United States consulate office in Lagos on Tuesday. Read more

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UN Staff Pension Fund Mired in ‘dirty profits’ from Firms Guilty of Rights Abuses

The United Nations is facing calls for a full review of its staff pension fund after the Guardian uncovered that it has around a billion dollars invested in companies whose activities are or have been incompatible with core UN principles and programmes. Read more

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Oil Company Eni Accused (in Italy) of Causing Floods in a Nigerian Village

The Nigerian community of Aggah has been flooded due to the operations of a company controlled by Eni. It is seeking justice in Italy where the crucial decisions affecting its village are being taken. ”There is a different type of migration flow from Nigeria to Italy, different from the one that sees people fleeing poverty and violence. It is the migration of those who seek justice and demand that Italian multinational companies are judged according to European laws and treaties rather than African courts” Read more

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U.S. Rates Nigeria Low On Respect For Human Rights

The government of the United States has released its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2017 and has rated the Nigerian government very low in terms of respect for fundamental human rights of the citizens. Read the full report here

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Saudi Arabia Executes 48 in 3 months

Human Rights Watch said Saudi Arabia has executed 48 people so far in 2018, half of them for non-violent drug crimes. Read more

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Rights Abuse – NHRC Demands Urgent Review of Pre-Trial Detention System

The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, on Wednesday, urged the Federal Government to review the pre-trial detention system, saying available evidence showed excessive use and abuse of the practice in Nigeria. Read more

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NBA Engages Lagos Government on Taxation, Land Use Charge

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Lagos branch has said it would engage Lagos state government on the controversial land use charge, taxation, land documentations and other topical issues in its law week programme scheduled to commence May 5, 2018. Read more

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Simi Decorated as U.S. Human Rights Ambassador
A Nigerian singer, Simisola Bolatito Ogunleye, popularly known as Simi has been endorsed as a U.S. human rights ambassador. Read more

Africa Loses $50 Billion to Illicit Financial Flows Annually– AFDB

While speaking at an event themed, “Strengthening the role of parliament in combating illicit financial flows from Africa (IFFs)’’ in Abuja, AfDB’s Senior Director in Nigeria Dr. Ebrima Fall said if the illicit financial flows are allowed to continue, they could lead to financial crises and widespread poverty on the continent, the latter already happening in some instances. Read more

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Army Denies Human Rights Violations In IDP Camps

The Nigerian Army has denied allegations of human rights violations levelled against them in the course of their duty in Borno state. The allegations, were denied by the Theatre Commander of LAFIYA DOLE, Major General Rogers Nicholas, in a statement on the 26th of April 2018. Read more

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Police Arrest and Detain Melaye’s Lawyers

The Nigerian Police has arrested two lawyers; David Amaefuna Esq and Pius Ufo Inyang Esq of Rickey Tarfa and Co who are members of the legal team of Senator Dino Melaye. The use of unlawful detention to attack the independence of lawyers and the legal profession undermines the rule of law. Read more

 

OPINION 


Will the Death Penalty Protect India’s Daughters From Rape?

In India’s ongoing project to combat child sexual assaults, the weekend was filled with cheer, or gloom, depending whom you speak to. The death penalty was approved as a punishment for the rapists of girls below the age of 12, following an ordinance that amended an existing criminal law. Many in the country cheered while many others questioned how the death penalty would function as a deterrent. Read more

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The Insanity of the Death Penalty

”Crimes punishable by death are based on passion and emotion, not reason. They do not result from a conscious cost-benefit analysis where a person considers the fact that if they commit a certain act, they could be put to death.” Read more

 

India’s Death Penalty for Rapists of Young Girls could Push Offenders to Kill
With the majority of rapes committed by someone known to the victim, the new law could drive offenders to murder to avoid detection. Read more

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Musings On U.S. Damning Report

This 48-page report prepared and made public by the United States Department of State was unequivocal about persistent impunity at all levels of government in Nigeria, lack of transparency of the Buhari administration and massive corruption by government officials under Buhari’s watch. Read more

LEDAP@WORK 

LEDAP Submits Report to Human Rights Committee

LEDAP together with Advocacy for Women with Disabilities Initiative, and Women Enabled International have submitted an NGO report for the Human Rights Committee’s development of a List of Issues for Nigeria. This report focuses on rights abuses against women and girls with disabilities in Nigeria and Nigeria’s human rights obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights towards this group.

 

LEDAP Releases Statement on 62nd Ordinary Session of the ACHPR

LEDAP has released its statement on the 62nd Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and People’s Right holding in Noukatt,Mauritania  from April 25 – May 9 2018. 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. Read full statement here

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Chino Obiagwu Speaks at Law Week, NBA Makurdi branch

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. Read more

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LEDAP Launches Torture Project in Partnership with UNDEF


LEDAP has launched its  Torture Prevention Project Targeting Police – In partnership with the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) and the National Committee against Torture. The project is aimed at tackling torture and ill treatment in policing. The project will be located Lagos, Adamawa and Yobe States, as well as at the Federal Capital Territory. For more information and the call for expression on interest for consultancies, reach out to info@ledapnigeria.org or pamela@ledapnigeria.org

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   


Man Sentenced to Death in Ekiti

An Ekiti State High Court on the 26th April 2018 sentenced a man, Kingsley Okorowande, to death by hanging for armed robbery. Read more

 

Lagos Chief Judge Launches Small Claims Court

As part of efforts to fast track justice delivery in commercial disputes involving small claims, the Lagos State Judiciary, on Monday inaugurated Small Claims Courts. Read more

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There is no Time Limit Within which an Application for Leave to Appeal as an Interested Party May Be Brought

The Court of Appeal has held in the recent case of ONUKAGHA & ANOR v. OKOROAFOR & ORS (2018) LPELR-44080(CA),  has stated that one who applies for leave to appeal, as an interested party, does not need extension of time to seek leave to appeal. Read full judgement here.

 

EVENTS  


Nigeria To Host 3rd International Chamber of Commerce Africa Conference On International Arbitration In Lagos

This conference will provide an indispensable update on developments in the region and will be the most important gathering for the African arbitration community. The conference will hold from the 18th – 20th June 2018. For early bird registration click here

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Facebook: Seeking Proposals for Global Literacy & Accessibility Challenge Grants

In order to better understand and address global literacy and accessibility issues, Facebook is currently inviting the academic community to respond to a call for research proposals in the field of literacy and accessibility. Read more

 

 

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NEWSLETTER FOR 16TH -20TH APRIL 2018

 

HELLO,
Welcome to another edition LEDAP Nigeria’s Weekly Newsletter which keeps you up to date on the latest Human Rights News and updates in the law, What we are up to and Upcoming Events.
16th – 20th April 2018

“The moral arc of the universe bends at the elbow of justice.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

 

NEWS   


International Criminal Court President Visits Nigeria, Silent on Rome Statute

The President of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Chile Eboe-Osuji, who concluded his official visit to Nigeria last week, has called for the federal government’s support to fight against impunity “for the gravest crimes.” However, he was silent on the domestication of the Rome Statute which Nigeria signed on the 1st June 2000. Read more


Rights Group Seeks Declaration of Emergency on Security

The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) has called for a state of emergency on security following the recent killings of scores of Nigerians in Taraba, Benue, Kogi and Kaduna and Kwara states. Read more

How Nigerian Senators Spend Multi-Million Naira ‘Jumbo Pay’

“N1.8 million on newspapers. N10 million for domestic trips. N1.5 million to maintain a computer — every three months.” A newly-obtained National Assembly spending document cited these and nine similar expenses as leading justifications for the multi-million naira payouts lawmakers rake in monthly or quarterly as “running cost”. Read more

 

Group Calls for Adeyanju’s Release, Condemns Alleged Police Clampdown on Shia Protesters

Pro-democracy and good governance group, Concerned Nigerians, has called for the unconditional release of its convener, Deji Adeyanju who was detained by the Nigerian police on Tuesday, April 16th, 2018. Read more

 

‘No Amount of Killing will Stop Us’: Nigerian Police Open Fire to Disperse Protesters

The Nigerian police fired bullets and tear gas to disperse Shi’ite Muslim protesters marching for their leader’s freedom in the capital on the 16th of April 2018, organizers said at least one demonstrator was killed and several were wounded by gunfire. Read more

El-Zakzaky – 7 Feared Dead As Shi’ites, Security Agents Clash

No fewer than seven persons were feared dead on Monday, 16th April 2018, while 21 others sustained injuries, as members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN, engaged security operatives in a bloody clash in Abuja. The clash followed demands by the sect members for release of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, by the Federal Government. Read more

Senate Confirms Anthony Ojukwu to Head NHRC

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Anthony Ojukwu as the Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). The confirmation was made after the Senate considered a report from the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, David Umaru (APC, Niger East). Read more

Senate Transmits ‘Not Too Young to Run Bill’ to Buhari for Assent

The Senate on Tuesday resolved to transmit the Age Reduction Bill (Not Too Young to Run Bill) and 11 others, to President Muhammadu Buhari,for assent. Read more

Falana Criticises FG On Shiites, Police Clash

Femi Falana, lawyer and human rights activist in a statement on Monday said security forces breached the fundamental rights of  protesters and that the Federal Government has not given any justifiable reason why it has continued to keep El-zakzaky in custody without trial, despite the court order for his release. Read more

 

Theresa May Urges Nigeria To End Laws Against Same-Sex Marriages 

Speaking at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), the Prime Minister said the United Kingdom would support any Commonwealth nation seeking to reform  the “outdated” legislation. Read more

Nigerian to Represent Africa On UN Rights Panel

Nigeria’s candidate, Amb. Peters Emuze has been elected to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) in a keenly-contested election held at the UN Headquarters, New York. The Correspondent of the Newsmen reports that Emuze was elected for a four-year tenure. Read more

US urges Nigeria to change tactics against Boko Haram

As the United States steps up its military presence in Africa, it hopes to share lessons learned in the Middle East with Nigeria and other countries in the Sahel fighting extremist groups. Read more

Group Writes CPJ Over Detention Of Bayelsa Based Publisher Since 2016

A Bayelsa based community advocacy group, Ondewari Health, Education and Environmental Project (OHEEP), has sent a petition to the Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ,) over the alleged arrest and continued detention of Chief. Jones Abiri, the publisher of Weekly Source by Department of State Services, (DSS) since 2016. Read more

Desperate for justice, Nigerians Turn to a Radio Station for Help

Amid rampant abuse of  law and power, people in Nigeria are trying a strategy of ‘naming and shaming’ on live radio at the country’s first radio station devoted to human rights. Read more

 

55 Politicians, Others Stole N1.354tn in Eight Years, SERAP Alleges
A new report by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has revealed how 55 politicians, high-level public officials and leaders allegedly stole N1.354 trillion between 2006 and 2013 from Nigeria’s treasury. Read more

Court Grants 22 Detained Shiite Protesters Bail

An Abuja Magistrate Court has granted 22 suspected members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (Shiites) bail on 19th April 2018. The Shiites were arrested by the Police on 16th April 2018 and accused of criminal conspiracy, unlawful assembly, rioting, causing grievous hurt, amongst other charges. Read more

Get Justice For Shi’a Muslims, Amnesty International Charges Federal Government

Amnesty International Nigeria has asked the Nigerian government to bring those responsible for the unlawful killing of more than 350 Shi’a Muslims in the northern city of Zaria in December 2015 to book. Read more

Fishing in Oily Waters – Bodo’s Long, Painful Wait for Pollution Clean-Up

In 2008 and 2009, two incidents of massive oil spills from the Trans-Niger pipeline devastated the Bodo coastline destroying every living thing in the river. Read more

 

Bureau Of Public Procurement To Create Portal For Monitoring Government’s Contracts

The Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), has concluded plans to launch a citizen engagement portal that willprovide interested persons with updates on government-approved projects. Read more

 

U.S. Releases Human Rights Report on Nigeria

The U.S. annual report on global human rights violations, released in Washington D.C. on Friday afternoon, said the administration of President Buhari “took steps to investigate alleged abuses, but fewer steps to prosecute officials who committed violations, whether in the security forces or elsewhere in the government”. Read the report here

Lagos Waste: CSNAC asks EFCC to investigate ownership, operation of Visionscape

The Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC), which is a coalition of over 150 anti-corruption organizations has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to investigate the ownership and terms of contract of the sanitation cleaning company, Visionscape Sanitation Solutions, with the Lagos State government. Read more

 

OPINION 


Clashes Between Police and Nigerian Shiites Rekindle Fears of Radicalization

Over a three-day period in December 2015, Nigerian security forces carried out an operation in the northern town of Zaria that resulted in the deaths of more than 300 civilians, according to an official commission of inquiry. Read more

 

Negotiations with jihadists? A radical idea gains currency in Mali

“The proposal of dialogue is not completely new. It was discussed during the 2017 Conference of National Understanding in Bamako. At the end of the discussions, the participants – about 300 representatives of government, the opposition, armed groups and civil society – called for open meetings to find out what the jihadists really want.” Read more

A Chance to Curb Abuse in Mineral Supply Chains:  Monitoring of Companies’ Sourcing Practices Should Be Prioritized

“Communities near mines have faced ill-health and environmental harm as mines have polluted waterways with toxic chemicals. And children have risked their lives when working in small-scale mines in Mali, Ghana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Papua New Guinea, and the Philippines.” Read more

 

LEDAP@WORK 


Obiagwu, 63 others nominated for SAN

The Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee, LPPC, have shortlisted  64 lawyers for the conferment of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria. One of those nominated include, Edmund Chinonye Obiagwu, National Coordinator of the Legal Defence and Assistance Project, LEDAP. Read more

LEDAP Launches Torture Project in Partnership with UNDEF

LEDAP has launched its  Torture Prevention Project Targeting Police – In partnership with the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) and the National Committee against Torture. The project is aimed at tackling torture and ill treatment in policing. The project will be located Lagos, Adamawa and Yobe States, as well as at the Federal Capital Territory. For more information and the call for expression on interest for the consultancies, reach out to info@ledapnigeria.org or pamela@ledapnigeria.org

Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Criminal Justice Reform Committee Unveils Plan to Honour Leading Jurists 

Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Criminal Justice Reform Committee has unveiled plans to honour leading jurists and other stakeholders who have distinguished themselves in promoting criminal justice reform in the country. Those to receive the award include LEDAP‘s lead counsel, Mr.Chino Obiagwu. Read more

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

 

LEDAP at the 3rd Regional Congress Against the Death Penalty

LEDAP’s lead counsel, Chino Obiagwu – left
LEDAP’s lead counsel, Mr.Chino Obiagwu was in attendance at the 3rd Regional Congress against the death penalty held in Ivory Coast. He spoke on a panel concerning Africans on death row in foreign countries.

LEDAP Launches Torture Project in Partnership with UNDEF
LEDAP has launched its  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. For more information and the call for expression on interest for the consultancies, reach out to info@ledapnigeria.org or pamela@ledapnigeria.org

Two Day Consultative Stakeholder Meeting on Strengthening the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice

LEDAP’s lead counsel, Chino Obiagwu – 3rd right

The Nigerian Coalition for the International Criminal Court (NCICC) in partnership with TrustAfrica held a two day consultative meeting with stakeholders on “Strengthening the ECOWAS Court of Justice and Enhancing Access to Justice in the West Africa Sub-Region” The event held from the 11th to the 12th of April 2018 at Rockview Hotels, Abuja. LEDAP’S lead counsel, Mr. Chino Obiagwu who is also the Chair, Nigerian Coalition for the International Criminal Court(NCICC), convened the meeting.

 

PeepIntoTheLaw   


Supreme Court Voids Sack of 860 Nigerians by Mobil After 18 years

The Supreme Court on Friday reinstated over 860 Nigerians sacked by Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited employed before the year 2000, as security officers.In a unanimous decision of five justices, the Supreme Court held that it was illogical and without legal backing for Mobil to have employed the Nigerians and sought to offload them to the Nigeria Police through the back door. Read more

Three Condemned to Death in Bayelsa for Kidnapping

The Supreme Court on Friday reinstated over 860 Nigerians sacked by Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited employed before the year 2000, as security officers.In a unanimous decision of five justices, the Supreme Court held that it was illogical and without legal backing for Mobil to have employed the Nigerians and sought to offload them to the Nigeria Police through the back door. 

Lagos Chief Judge Launches Small Claims Court

As part of efforts to fast track justice delivery in commercial disputes involving small claims, the Lagos State Judiciary, on Monday inaugurated Small Claims Courts. Read more

 

EVENTS  


Nigeria To Host 3rd International Chamber of Commerce Africa Conference On International Arbitration In Lagos

This conference will provide an indispensable update on developments in the region and will be the most important gathering for the African arbitration community. The conference will hold from the 18th – 20th June 2018. For early bird registration click here

NIALS Offers Alternative Dispute Resolution, Dispute Management And Negotiation Skills Course

The Course is to expose lawyers in the private and public sector to the simple use of ADR as a means to resolving disputes other than the traditional court and administrative forums. It will provide insight into the Law and Practice of Arbitration in Nigeria and the Enforcement of Arbitral Awards. The course will hold at Ayo Ajomo Auditorium, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of Lagos Akoka, Lagos from the 2nd – 4th May, 2018. Read more here

Facebook: Seeking Proposals for Global Literacy & Accessibility Challenge Grants

In order to better understand and address global literacy and accessibility issues, Facebook is currently inviting the academic community to respond to a call for research proposals in the field of literacy and accessibility. Read more

 

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