Tag: NGO

NEWSLETTER FOR OCTOBER 1ST -5TH 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.
1st-5th October 2018 

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

— Irene Khan

NEWS

NJC Recommends Two Judges for Dismissal

The National Judicial Council (NJC) has recommended the dismissal from office of Justice R. N. Ofili-Ajumogobia of the Federal High Court and Justice James T. Agbadu-Fishi of the National Industrial Court. The decision was taken at the council’s 87th meeting held on October 3 under the chairmanship of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen. Read more

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Nigeria @ 58: Lawyers Renew Call for Abolishing Capital Punishments

Experts who gathered recently at a round table on revisiting death penalty in Nigeria, organised by the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), said African countries have been pursuing the easiest course, which is the elimination of the offenders from society. According to Chino Obiagwu, SAN, national coordinator, Legal Defence & Assistance Project (LEDAP), the dangers of continued use of the death penalty are so grim to be ignored or avoided for political or religious reasons. Read more

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FG Reiterates Commitment to Rule of Law, Seeks Support on Human Rights

Kaduna – The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami has reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to the rule of law and respect for human rights. Malami made the remarks in Kaduna on Tuesday, October 2, at the opening of the North West Zone Consultation Meeting on the National Action Plan for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in Nigeria. Read more

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PSC Partners AI To Tackle Human Rights Abuse

The Police Service Commission (PSC) has pledged to work with the Nigerian Office of Amnesty International (AI) to drastically reduce cases of human right abuses in Nigeria. The chairman of the commission, Alhaji Musiliu Smith conveyed the commission’s position when he received in audience a delegation from the Nigerian Office of the organisation. Read more

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Onnoghen: Corruption Thrives in Culture of Impunity
Corruption in the judicial arm of government happens if an arbiter, in this case a magistrate, a judge, a justice or a panel, having heard from all parties and having determined where justice lies, decides to do the wrong thing by giving judgment to favour a particular individual or party over another. We must not lose sight of the indispensable role of the judiciary in the fight against corruption. Read more

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Foundation Celebrates Older Persons Day, Calls for Greater Rights for the Aged

A humanitarian foundation, DAGOMO Foundation, has called for greater rights for older people in Nigeria, as it marks the World Older Persons Day. October 1 is celebrated around the world as Older Persons Day. The theme for this year, “Celebrating Older Human Rights Champions“, is meant to honour an older persons rights champion, late Julia Alvarez. The foundation restated that older persons have guaranteed rights to participate in good governance and should be free from discrimination. Read more

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Group to Monitor Rights Abuses in Detention Centres
The Federal Government has constituted a committee to monitor detention centres nationwide to ensure the protection of detainees’ rights. Presidential Committee on Prisons Decongestion and Reform (PCPDR) Chairman Justice Ishaq Bello made this known in Abuja while inaugurating a working group to monitor the implementation of Section 34 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015. Read more

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Former Chairman Rights Commission Laments Shrinking Civic Space In Nigeria

Former chairman national human rights commission Professor Chidi Odinkalu is optimistic that reclaiming Nigeria’s sliding civic space can be realistic if the people participate in governance. Civil society organisations believe that the civil space is shrinking and therefore feel that attempts should be made to reverse the trend. Speaking at the forum Chidi Odinkalu said the level of human rights violations in Nigeria is on the increase under the watch of the people. Read more

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Army Jails Two Soldiers 10 Years for Abduction

The Nigerian Army has found two soldiers on Operation Lafiya Dole guilty for alleged violation of human rights in Borno State and sentenced them to 10 years imprisonment. President of the General Court Martial (GCM) 7 Division, Nigerian Army, Brig-Gen. Olusegun Adesina, while delivering judgement yesterday at the Officers’ Mess of the Maimalari Cantonment, said the action of the soldiers was unlawful and against the ethics of the armed forces. Read more

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LEDAP Boss, Chino Obiagwu Conferred the Rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria

On the 24th of September 2018, Human Rights Lawyer and National coordinator of Legal Defence and Assistance Project, (LEDAP), Mr Chino Obiagwu was conferred the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). The event was held at the Supreme Court Complex Abuja. The rank of SAN is a privilege bestowed on senior lawyers to show great leadership, integrity, humility, exemplary character and a role model to all aspiring lawyers and the public at large.

 

OPINION

Rule of Law Versus National Security: What the Law Says

The rule of law must be subject to the supremacy of the nation’s security and national interest”The above statement was made by President Muhammadu Buhari while flagging off the recently concluded, 2018 Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association in Abuja on August 26, 2018. Read more

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The Need to Reform the Justice Sector in Nigeria

Stakeholders present at the CLEEN foundation 1st Kaduna State quarterly working group meeting on the Administration of Criminal Justice on 25th of September, 2018 unanimously agreed that the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice indeed intends to fasten up criminal proceedings in Nigeria with new initiatives of community service for minor offences, to option of plea bargain, and number of adjournments that should be allowed in a criminal trial. Read more

Judiciary Still in Search of Solution to Delayed Justice
As shown by the statistics supplied annually by various courts, the best efforts of the judges can hardly reduce the backlog of court cases which continues to impede speedy and effective justice administration in Nigeria and prepare the ground for judicial corruption. Read more

A Painless Solution to Law Enforcement Misconduct by Tochukwu Chukwmerije

The securing of claims against law enforcement are an important part of our legal system, providing a balance between the duties of law enforcement to up hold the laws, and the rights of citizens to be free from law enforcement misconduct – See Section 35(6) 1999 Constitution – Anyone unlawfully arrested is entitled to compensation. Read more

 

LEDAP@WORK

CSO Observatory Group on the ACJA Visit Nassarawa State for Advocacy


The CSO Observatory Group on the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) paid a 2-day advocacy visit to Nassarawa State, with LEDAP’s representative in attendance. The group met with the Solicitor General and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry with regards to collaborating with states that are yet to adopt the ACJA and facilitate the adoption of same. They also paid a visit to the State Police Command where they met with the Commissioner of Police. They urged the COP to ensure that police officers in the state are sensitized on their vast role under the ACJA, and that efforts are made to step down the knowledge of the Law to the rank and file of the police force. The COP in turn, encouraged the group to always relate with the OC-Legal on anything concerning the ACJA.

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LEDAP Represents over 100 Victims and Relatives of Victims of Torture in the Public Hearing of the Presidential Panel of Investigation in North-East

In the concluded Presidential Panel of Investigation constituted by the Vice President, Prof.Osibanjo, to review compliance of the armed forces with Human Rights Obligations and Rules of Engagement, the Legal Defence and Assistance Project through its active pro-bono lawyers from Adamawa, Borno and Yobe represented over 100 victims and relatives of victims of torture in the public hearing conducted by the panel in Maiduguri for the Nort-East Zone.The violations suffered by the victims and relatives of victims range from torture and other degrading, inhuman treatments, unlawful arrest and detention, detention incommunicado, enforced disappearance, extra judicial killings; and each victims sought for reliefs.

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Invitation to Stakeholders Round Table Dialogue against Torture

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

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

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

From LEDAP’s Archives

LEDAP Commends President Goodluck Jonathan For Signing The Administration Of Criminal Justice Bill (ACJ Bill) To Law
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LEDAP today May 27, 2015, laud the President’s landmark act of signing the Administration of Criminal Justice Bill (ACJ Bill) into law. The Law will no doubt significantly tackle the challenges in our Criminal Justice Administration in Nigeria. Read more

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Ayodele Ogunlana Freed by LEDAP After 7 Years On Death Row

Mr. Ayodele Ogunlana and Mr. Kelvin Inyam were both charged with Armed Robbery and Conspiracy To Commit Armed Robbery under Section 402 of The Criminal Code. Mr. Ayodele was found not guilty and was discharged and acquitted by Hon. Justice A. O. Akinlade of the Lagos High Court. The other accused person, Mr. Kelvin was found guilty as charged and was sentenced to death by hanging. Ayodele Ogunlana, from Oke-Ife, Ijebu-Ife, Ogun State, was charged with Armed Robbery and Conspiracy To Commit Armed Robbery. The Mobile Police arrested Ayodele… Read more

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FREED: Two Juveniles on Death Row in Lagos Freed

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

PeepIntoTheLaw

Bayelsa Court Sentences Policeman to Death For Extrajudicial Killing

A Bayelsa state High Court VII sitting in Yenagoa on Friday sentenced Cpl. Vincent Olama to death by hanging for extrajudicial killing. In his judgment, Justice Nayai Aganaba said Olama was found guilty of killing 17-year-old, Innocent Kokorifa, in Okaka, Yenagoa, on August 18, 2016. Aganaba said the prosecution called 10 witnesses and produced 16 exhibits while the defence only had one witness, who happened to be the accused. Read more

Court Slams N600m Fine on EFCC for Declaring Rivers Government Officals Wanted

A High Court in Port Harcourt has slammed a six hundred million naira in exemplary damages on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC for investigating and subsequently declaring two officials of the Rivers state government wanted. Read more

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Court Sentences Man to 10 Years for Stabbing Brother to Death

Justice Raliat Adebiyi sentenced the convict after finding him guilty of a one count charge of involuntary manslaughter, stabbing his younger brother, Chibuke Abakwe to death. The convict was arraigned in 2013 for murder and he pleaded not guilty to the charge brought against him by the state government. Read more

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

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

EVENTS

International Day of Non-Violence – 2 October

The International Day of Non-Violence is marked on 2 October, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence. According to General Assembly resolution A/RES/61/271 of 15 June 2007, which established the commemoration, the International Day is an occasion to “disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness”. Read more

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

Voice is now accepting proposals with “out of the box” project ideas that promote cross-country learning and focus on underrepresented groups within several voice focus region. Focus group for West Africa Region (mainly Nigeria, Niger, and Mali) – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex (LGBTI+) people, Indigenous groups and ethnic minorities for empowerment grants. These grants are available from €5.000 to € 75.000, and for a minimum duration of 12 to maximum 24 months. Closing date is November 9, 2018. Click here for more information

Invitation to Join the Coalition For Effective ECOWAS Community Court of Justice
The Nigerian Coalition for the International Criminal Court (NCICC) and Trust Africa invites all individuals and Civil Society Organization working to promote human rights, rule of law and good governance in West Africa to join the network for an effective ECOWAS court. The coalition engages in various supportive strategies and mechanisms to fosters the effective functioning of the Ecowas Court and in demanding accountability from the government of member states. Click here to register

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Indigenous Fellowship Program 2019/2020

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) seeks expressions of interest from suitably qualified indigenous individuals for the WIPO Indigenous Fellowship. This one year fellowship (2019) is renewable for one more year (2020). Deadline for application is October 8, 2018. Click here for more information.

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Nomination Ongoing for the Gani Fawehinmi Impact and Integrity Award (GFIIA)
HEDA Resource Centre, with the support of MacArthur Foundation, has decided to institute an Annual Chief Gani Fawehinmi SAM, SAN Award for Integrity, Accountability and Whistleblowing in Nigeria to be conferred on deserving Nigerians of imperturbable characteristic, Courage, Selflessness and Honesty. There are two award categories, Outstanding Integrity Award (OIA) and Valuable Whistle Blower Award (VWBA). For more information and to nominate an individual, click here. Nomination deadline is October 12, 2018

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Invitation to the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law Conference 2019

Invitations are open to the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law 2019 conference themed Bribery & Corruption: Modern Approaches to an Eternal Problem. The conference which will appeal to the judiciary, prosecution agencies, defence lawyers, legal policy drafters, law enforcement, corrections and government officials will be held in Brisbane, Australia from 9-12 July 2019. Speakers and sponsors are also wanted. Click here for more information.

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2018 Nigerian Education Innovation Summit (NEDIS IV)

Registration is ongoing for the 2018 Nigerian Education Innovation Summit (NEDIS IV). The two-day conference themed “Accountability & Transparency in the Education Sector: Issues Challenges and Opportunities” is scheduled to hold on Thursday 18th & Friday 19th October 2018 in Lagos, Nigeria. To attend, complete the online registration form here, send an email to nedis@tepcentre.com or call Akinwunmi on +234 809 111 5403. Click here for more information

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Voice Beyond the Incident: Nigeria Sudden Opportunity Grant

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

Tenth Session of Ad Hoc Committee of the Human Rights Council on the Elaboration of Complementary Standards
The 10th session of the committee has been rescheduled and will hold from the 8th to 19th of October 2018 in Geneva. Read more

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NEWSLETTER FOR 24TH – 28TH SEPTEMBER 2018

 

HELLO,
Welcome to another edition LEDAP Nigeria’s Weekly Newsletter which keeps you up to date on the latest Human Rights News and updates in the law, What we are up to and Upcoming Events.
24th – 28th September 2018

“To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.”

— Nelson Mandela

NEWS

Buhari Attends Bilateral Meeting with UN Secretary General, Mr Antonio Guterres


President Buhari attends bilateral meeting with UN Secretary general Mr Antonio Guterres at the sidelines of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Wednesday, September 26, 2018. Read more

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Minimum Wage Strike: Courts, Federal Ministry of Justice under lock

ABUJA – Courts and other justice related institutions within the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, were on Thursday September 27, shut down by officials of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, JUSUN, in compliance with the indefinite strike that was declared by the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC. Locked out of their offices by the striking workers, included the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, President of the Court of Appeal, Chief Judges of both the Federal High Court and the FCT High Court, as well as the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice. Justices of the Supreme Court, Judges, lawyers and litigants were equally denied entry into any court within the FCT. Read more

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NHRC Partners UN, AU on Human Rights Instruments

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) is to partner with the UN and African Union (AU) to facilitate the implementation of all human rights instruments that Nigeria is party to. Mr Tony Ojukwu, Executive Secretary of the commission, made this known in his address at a two-day training workshop for MDAs on the Implementation of UN Agenda 2030 (SDGs) and AU Agenda 2063 respectively in Abuja. Read more

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Nigeria’s Supreme Court Delivers 297 Judgments in 2017/2018 Legal Year

The Supreme Court said it delivered 297 judgments by the close of the 2017/2018 legal year. Justice Walter Onnoghen, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), disclosed this on Monday, September 24, in an address at the special session to mark the commencement of the 2018/2019 Legal Year in Abuja. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the ceremony also witnessed the swearing-in of 30 new Senior Advocates of Nigeria. Mr Onnoghen further said the court considered 1,540 matters comprising motions, appeals and judgments. Read more

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Nigeria Convicts 359 Human Traffickers
President Muhammadu Buhari has said that his administration had so far secured 359 convictions against human traffickers. Speaking at the 6th INTERPOL global conference on human trafficking and migrant smuggling in Abuja on Monday,September 24, the President stated that Nigeria was one of the first countries to implement the United Nations resolution on human trafficking. Read more

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At the UN, Buhari Unfolds Nigeria’s Stance on Global Matters

President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday in New York unfolded Nigeria’s positions on international matters before the global audience. Presenting Nigeria’s National Statement during the opening day of the General Debate of the 73rd Session of the United Nation’s General Assembly (UNGA73), the President first paid glowing tributes to the late seventh UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, for his invaluable contributions to global peace. Read more

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Full List Of the 30 Newly Appointed Senior Advocates Of Nigeria


The Chief Justice of Nigeria Justice Walter Onnoghen on Monday swore in 30 newly-appointed Senior Advocates of Nigeria SAN. Justice Onnoghen inaugurated the newly appointed SANs during the special court session of the Supreme Court to mark the commencement of the 2018/2019 Legal Year at the Supreme Court complex in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. The 30 SANs who were inaugurated on Monday included Attorney-General of Lagos state, Adeniji Kazeem, Attorney-General of Ondo state, Adekola Olawoye, the National Coordinator of the Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) Mr. Chinonye Obiagwu, amongst others. Read more

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FG Sets Up Committee To Protect Detainees In Nigeria Prisons

The Federal government has set up a committee to protect the rights of detained suspects in Nigeria prisons, the Chairman, Presidential Committee on Prisons De-congestion and Reform (PCPDR), Justice Ishaq Bello disclosed today, September 27, 2018. Bello made this known in Abuja while inaugurating a working group to monitor the implementation of Section 34 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015. Bello, who is also the Chief Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), said: “We are concerned about the way detainees are treated and the condition under which they are kept.” He said the challenge of lack of access to legal representation by the poor detainees also contributes to congestion in prisons. Read more

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FSARS Commanders Undergo Training on Human Rights

The police on Monday, September 24, in Lagos commenced a two-week training on human rights for Federal Special Anti-robbery Squad (FSARS) commanders nationwide to reposition the outfit. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that over 100 FSARS commanders drawn from the 36 states and Abuja were participating in the exercise. Read more

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PMB Committed to Human Rights, Rule Of Law – Malami

The Attorney General of the Federation and minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to the principles of human rights and rule of law. Malami, made this known yesterday, September 18, during the opening ceremony of the North Central consultation on the National Action Plan (NAP), for the promotion and protection of human rights in Nigeria. Read More

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Osun: NUJ, CSO Accusses INEC of Double Standard

LOKOJA – Kogi State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Mr. MomohJimoh Adeiza has said the declaration of Osun governorship poll inconclusive by the electoral umpire has left Nigerians and other followers of political events in the country more confused. The Kogi NUJ boss who likewise warned the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to thread carefully as the country prepares for another round of elections next year said their recent decision is calling for revolts from the populace that may set the country on fire. Read more

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NFNV Nigeria Moves to Strengthen Partnership with UN Women

The leadership of the Pan African network of women in business and finance New Faces New Voices (NFNV) in Nigeria has moved to strengthen its relationship with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) in West Africa with a visit to UN Women’s representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Wednesday, 19 September in Abuja, Nigeria. Read more

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Nigerian Embassy In U.S Allegedly Targets Human Rights Lawyer For Criticizing Buhari

A US-based Nigerian human rights lawyer, Emmanuel Ogebe, has alleged efforts by the Nigerian Embassy in Washington DC to have his passport withdrawn over his constant criticism of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government. According to Ogebe, documents filed in an Abuja court show that the government wants his passport withdrawn for allegedly “trash-talking Nigeria” on social media. Read more

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Osinbajo: Peace is Attainable in Nigeria Despite Challenges

Worried by incidences of crisis across the country, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, September 22, said peace is attainable in Nigeria, despite threats to the nation’s peaceful co-existence. Osinbajo spoke at the 2018 International Day of Peace, held in Lagos and organised by the Lagos State Citizens Mediation Centre (CMC). Speaking through the Rules of Law Advisor in the Office of the Vice President, Akingbolahan Adeniran, Professor Osinbajo admitted that even though there was threat to peace in the nation, pragmatic approach could be adopted to enhance peace in the nation. Read more

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Birth Registration First Step to Legal Identity – NPoPc

The National Population Commission (NPoPc) says birth registration is the first step in securing legal identity. The Director, Public Affairs Department of the commission, Mr Mohammed Isah, said this in an interview with newsmen on Friday, September 21, in Abuja. Isah urged Nigerians to register and obtain a birth certificate, saying that there is no better identity than birth registration. He stated that the only valid instrument attached to a child after names were given was birth registration and certificate. Read more

OPINION

The Benefits Of Digital Rights And Freedom Bill

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

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Confronting Human Rights Violations in Africa One Hashtag at a Time

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

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

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Zamfara: Nigeria’s Wild Northwest
Hundreds have lost their lives this year as a fertile region descends into worsening conflict

“Zamfara is different from highly politicised farmer-herder clashes in other parts of Nigeria where largely Muslim pastoralists push south in search of pasture and meet increasingly populated Christian farming areas. Instead, Zamfara is overwhelmingly Muslim and, human rights groups argue, the violence here is fundamentally about the government’s abdication of its responsibility to protect its citizens.” Read more

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Africa’s Selective Approach to Human Rights

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

LEDAP@WORK

LEDAP Secures Judgement in Favour of Kabiru Ahmed, a Victim of Police Brutality in Yola, Adamawa State.
As part of its pro-bono services to victims of human rights violations in Nigeria, the Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), through one its numerous pro-bono lawyers,U.B. Ismaila (ESQ), filed a motion at the Federal High Court, Yola seeking for the enforcement of the fundamental human rights of Mr Kabiru Ahmed who was unlawfully arrested, detained and tortured by officers of the Nigerian Police in July 2016. In the ruling which was delivered by His Lordship, Balkisu Bello Aliyu, the applicant was awarded five million (5,000,000) Naira against the respondents, as a compensation for the unlawful arrest, detention and torture inflicted on him.

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Invitation to Stakeholders Round Table Dialogue against Torture

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

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

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

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

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

From LEDAP’s Archives

Ayodele Ogunlana Freed By LEDAP After 7 Years On Death Row

Mr. Ayodele Ogunlana and Mr. Kelvin Inyam were both charged with Armed Robbery and Conspiracy To Commit Armed Robbery under Section 402 of The Criminal Code. Mr. Ayodele was found not guilty and was discharged and acquitted by Hon. Justice A. O. Akinlade of the Lagos High Court. The other accused person, Mr. Kelvin was found guilty as charged and was sentenced to death by hanging. Ayodele Ogunlana, from Oke-Ife, Ijebu-Ife, Ogun State, was charged with Armed Robbery and Conspiracy To Commit Armed Robbery. The Mobile Police arrested Ayodele… Read more

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Launch of Model Police Statement Taking Room

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

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FREED: Two Juveniles on Death Row in Lagos Freed

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

PeepIntoTheLaw

Orji Kalu’s N4.6bn Fraud Case Adjourned Indefinitely
TWELVE years after the trial of a former Governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Thursday, September 28, adjourned the N4.6 billion fraud case indefinitely. Kalu is standing trial alongside his Commissioner for Finance, Udeh Jones Udeogu, and a firm, Slok Nigeria Limited. Read more

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Court Awards Damages Against Police Over Rights Violation

A Lagos high court has ordered the police to pay N350, 000 damages to one Mr Godwin Femin over the violation of his right. The trial judge, Mrs E. Alakija make the order in a judgment delivered in suit no LD/7209MFHR/18 filed by the claimant (Femin) against the Inspector General of Police and the Commissioner of Police. Read more

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Court Slams Death Penalty on Armed Robber in Ondo

Ondo State High Court sitting in Akure, the state capital on Thursday sentenced one James Ofem, an armed robbery culprit, to death by hanging. Ofem was part of the notorious robbery gang terrorizing residents and mostly motorists on the Ondo/ Ore road and had been the security watch list for a long time. Read more

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Court Awards N1m to Farmer for Unlawful Arrest and Detention

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

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Court Dismisses Impeached Benue Speaker’s Case

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

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

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

EVENTS

Call for Expressions of Interest: Collective Impact Tools and Approaches Capacity Building Workshops
The Strengthening Advocacy and Civic Engagement (SACE) Project invites Expressions of Interest (EoI) from organization CEOs and senior program leads whose organizations are supporting work that promotes good governance and policy reform across any development sector to a three-day capacity building workshop on approaches and tools for collective impact programming. The Workshop will hold in Port Harcourt for Niger Delta-based organization from the 16th – 18th of October 2018 and in Abuja for organizations based in other regions in the country from October 23 – 25, 2018. Application Deadline 30th September 2018. Click here for more information.

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World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Indigenous Fellowship Program 2019/2020

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) seeks expressions of interest from suitably qualified indigenous individuals for the WIPO Indigenous Fellowship. The fellowship responds to the reciprocal needs for stronger capacity in the rapidly growing domain on Indigenous IP law and policy for indigenous lawyers and policy advisers. This one year fellowship (2019) is renewable for one more year (2020). Click here for more information. Deadline for application is October 8, 2018.

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Nomination Ongoing for the Gani Fawehinmi Impact and Integrity Award (GFIIA)
HEDA Resource Centre, with the support of MacArthur Foundation, has decided to institute an Annual Chief Gani Fawehinmi SAM, SAN Award for Integrity, Accountability and Whistleblowing in Nigeria to be conferred on deserving Nigerians of imperturbable characteristic, Courage, Selflessness and Honesty. There are two award categories, Outstanding Integrity Award (OIA) and Valuable Whistle Blower Award (VWBA). For more information and to nominate an individual, click here. Nomination deadline is October 12, 2018

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Invitation to the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law Conference 2019

The International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law invites all those who work in the administration of criminal justice and the promotion of sound practice in governance, risk management and ethical behaviour in their own jurisdiction and internationally, and representatives of other aspects of society such as the construction industry and sport to its year 2019 conference themed Bribery & Corruption: Modern Approaches to an Eternal Problem. The conference which will appeal to the judiciary, prosecution agencies, defence lawyers, legal policy drafters, law enforcement, corrections and government officials will be held in Brisbane, Australia from 9-12 July 2019. Speakers and sponsors are also wanted. Click here for more information.

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2018 Nigerian Education Innovation Summit (NEDIS IV)
Registration is ongoing for the 2018 Nigerian Education Innovation Summit (NEDIS IV). The two-day conference themed “Accountability & Transparency in the Education Sector: Issues Challenges and Opportunities” is scheduled to hold on Thursday 18th & Friday 19th October 2018 in Lagos, Nigeria. To attend, complete the online registration form here and follow the instructions. If you are interested in registering as an exhibitor or sponsor send an email to nedis@tepcentre.com or call Akinwunmi on +234 809 111 5403. Click here for more information

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Call for Submissions: Women Deprived of Liberty

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

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Voice Beyond the Incident: Nigeria Sudden Opportunity Grant

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

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Tenth Session of Ad Hoc Committee of the Human Rights Council on the Elaboration of Complementary Standards
The 10th session of the committee has been rescheduled and will hold from the 8th to 19th of October 2018 in Geneva. Read more

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The Social Forum of the Human Rights Council

The Social Forum is an annual three-day meeting convened by the Human Rights Council. It is a unique space for open and interactive dialogue between civil society actors, representatives of Member States, and intergovernmental organizations, on a theme chosen by the Council each year. This year’s Social Forum will hold from the 1st to 3rd October 2018 in Geneva. Read more

 

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Follow us on our social media platforms

NEWSLETTER FOR 3RD-7TH SEPTEMBER 2018

 

HELLO,
Welcome to another edition LEDAP Nigeria’s Weekly Newsletter which keeps you up to date on the latest Human Rights News and updates in the law, What we are up to and Upcoming Events.
3rd – 7th September 2018

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

— John F. Kennedy 

NEWS   

NHRC Inaugurates Probe Panel on SARS, Calls for Memoranda

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

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

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

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UN Human Rights Expert to Assess Trafficking in Persons in Nigeria

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

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

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

Amnesty International Commends Govt Over Boko Haram Suspects’ Trial

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

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Crisis in Lake Chad Region Persists – UN

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

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

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

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Lagos AG Urges Prison Inmates to Embrace Plea Bargain

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

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UN Expresses Concern Over Xenophobic Attacks In South Africa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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A Demand for Their Rights

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

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Pastors, Activists Debate Gay Rights in Nigeria

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

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

OPINION 

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

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

 

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

 

Confronting Human Rights Violations in Africa One Hashtag at a Time

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

 

Is Nigeria Prepared for a Female President?

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

 

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

 

Africa’s Selective Approach to Human Rights

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

LEDAP@WORK 

LEDAP Secures Judgement in Favour of Victim of Police Brutality in 

Invitation to Stakeholders Round Table Dialogue against Torture

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

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

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

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

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

From LEDAP’s Archives 

Launch of Model Police Statement Taking Room

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

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FREED: Two Juveniles on Death Row in Lagos Freed

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

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

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

PeepIntoTheLaw   

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

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

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Court Awards N1m to Farmer for Unlawful Arrest and Detention

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

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Court Dismisses Impeached Benue Speaker’s Case

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

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

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

EVENTS  

Report on Situation of Women Human Rights Defenders

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

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Call for Submissions: Women Deprived of Liberty

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

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2nd Lagos SDG Summit

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

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

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

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NEDIS 2018: Save The Date

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

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

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

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HR19 Call for Abstracts Now Open

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

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Call for submissions: Women deprived of liberty

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

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Apply to be an Obama Foundation Fellow

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

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Voice Beyond the Incident: Nigeria Sudden Opportunity Grant

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

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Tenth Session of Ad Hoc Committee of the Human Rights Council on the Elaboration of Complementary Standards
The 10th session of the committee has been rescheduled and will hold from the 8th to 19th of October 2018 in Geneva. Read more

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The Social Forum of the Human Rights Council

The Social Forum is an annual three-day meeting convened by the Human Rights Council. It is a unique space for open and interactive dialogue between civil society actors, representatives of Member States, and intergovernmental organizations, on a theme chosen by the Council each year. This year’s Social Forum will hold from the 1st to 3rd October 2018 in Geneva. Read more

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NEWSLETTER FOR 20TH – 24TH AUGUST 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.
20th – 24th AUGUST 2018

“Human rights are not a privilege conferred on by the government. They are every human being’s entitlement by virtue of his humanity.”

— Mother Theresa 

NEWS   

Rule of Law must be subject to National Interest, Buhari Insists

President Muhammadu Buhari has stated in his speech at the Nigerian Bar Association Annual Conference held on the 26th August 2018 that there are situations where the National interest and security of the nation will be placed above the rule of law. Read the full speech here

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UN Remembers Kofi Annan

The Secretary-General of the UN, Antonio Guterres, and staff members, remembered former Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the 22nd August, describing him as a leader who put people at the centre of the UN work. Read more

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Genital Mutilation Prevalent in Nigeria, says UN

One out of every four Nigerian women between the ages of 15 and 49 has undergone Female Genital Mutilation(FGM), Head of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Cross River Dr. Yakubu Aliu, has said. Aliu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in that the figures were based on the National Demographic Health Survey (NDHS) of 2013. Read more

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Anti-Christian Slaughter Escalates in Nigeria

The European Centre for Law and Justice has filed an official request asking the UN to “recognize and put an end to the atrocities being carried about against Christians in Nigeria.” The Aug. 13 document presented to the UN’s Human Rights Council urges it to step in and stop the slaughter of Christians in Nigeria, especially the violence perpetrated by the extremist Boko Haram group. Read more

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World Mourns Kofi Annan Former UN Scribe

The African continent and indeed the entire world, on the 18th of August 2018, united in grief, as quintessential international diplomat and former United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Kofi Atta Annan, passed on at 80, in Berne, Switzerland. Read more

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Cholera outbreak kills 186 people in Nigeria

Nigeria is dealing with a cholera outbreak that has infected over 16,000 people, including 186 reported deaths, according to Nigeria’s Center for Disease Control (NCDC). A cholera infection causes severe diarrhea and dehydration that can lead to death if not treated properly. It spreads through contaminated food or water. Read more

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Foundation to Empower 5, 000 Youths, Women in Skills, Vocational Training

A group, the Dr. Oluseye Yomi-Sholoye Foundation, has put machinery in motion to commence empowerment programme for thousands of youths and women in Lagos State and beyond. Read more

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Army Investigates Female Soldier who Brutalised Kid

The 81 Division of the Nigerian Army in Lagos, said it has begun an investigation of the female soldier was accused of brutalising her niece for not washing dishes. Read more

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Jones Abiri Returns to Bayelsa, Recounts Ordeal

Jones Abiri, a journalist and publisher of a local tabloid in Bayelsa State, the Weekly Source, returned to Yenagoa, the state capital, and recounted his ordeal in the hands of the Department for State Security (DSS). Read more

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Military Releases 24 Children Associated With Armed Conflicts Group of Boko Haram To BOSG,, UN in Borno
The Nigeria Military has handed over 24 children earlier arrested to be associated with the Armed conflicts group of Boko Haram Terrorists in Borno state to the Borno State Government and UNICEF for deradicalization, rehabilitation and reintegration with their families and the society after 12 weeks psycho social services and vocational training. Read more

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Human Rights Commission Receives 17 Petitions Against SARS in South South

A total number of 17 petitions have been received by the National Human Rights Commission from members of the public bothering on alleged extrajudicial killings, molestation and torture by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). Read more

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Saudis Campaign For Female Activist On Death Row

Saudi human rights activists have warned against the possible beheading of detained female political activist Israa al-Ghomgham, who has been provisionally sentenced to death by a Riyadh court. Read more

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Government Decries Insecurity in North East, Promises Decisive Action

The Federal Government has described as worrisome the prevailing insecurity in the North East and parts of the federation, promising to tame the menace headlong. Briefing State House Correspondents after a closed-door meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and heads of security agencies at the Presidential Villa on 20th August, the Minister of Defence, Brig.-Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali (rtd), stated that the gathering critically analysed the situation with a view to taking a more definite action. Read more

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Human Trafficking, Threat to Good Governance – NAPTIP

Human trafficking remains a major threat to good governance and rapid economic recovery of any nation, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has said. Read more

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MRA, KICTANet Launch AU Guide for Human Rights Defenders

Media Rights Agenda (MRA) and the Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet) have announced the launch of “The African Union: a guide for human rights defenders in the digital age,” an advocacy tool designed to enhance civil society engagement with the African Union system on digital policy issues. Read more

 

OPINION 

Nigeria: Journalists, Activists Detained, Allege Torture
End Harassment, Attacks on Freedom of Expression

Several recent arrests and detentions of journalists and activists in Nigeria suggest a disturbing trend toward repression of freedom of expression, Human Rights Watch. Read more

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How a Social Media Movement against Police Brutality prompted Nigerian Government to Act

“For more than a quarter of a century, Nigeria’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS)– has taken the lead on the country’s most serious crimes — armed robbery, kidnapping, assault, and murder. But following a months-long social media campaign known as #EndSARS by activists protesting alleged human rights abuses by the squad, Nigeria’s acting president has issued an order overhauling the controversial unit.” Read more

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“ISIS Widows” and “Boko Haram Wives”: Overlooked Abuses in Iraq and Nigeria

“Our investigations in Iraq and Nigeria, including almost 400 in-depth interviews across the two countries, have found that authorities and armed militia members working with the governments have branded thousands of displaced Iraqi and Nigerian women as affiliated with IS or Boko Haram, respectively, and subjected them to mistreatment and abuse as a result.” Read more

LEDAP@WORK 

LEDAP Secures Judgement in Favour of Victim of Police Brutality in Yola, Adamawa State.

As part of its pro-Bono services to victims of human rights violations in Nigeria, the Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), through one its numerous pro-Bono lawyers,U.B. Ismaila (ESQ), filed a motion at the Federal High Court, Yola seeking for the enforcement of the fundamental human rights of Mr Kabiru Ahmed who was unlawfully arrested, detained and tortured by officers of the Nigerian Police in July 2016. In the judgement which was delivered by His Lordship, Balkisu Bello Aliyu, the applicant was awarded five million (5,000,000) Naira against the respondents, as compensation for the unlawful arrest, detention and torture inflicted on him

 

Invitation to Stakeholders Round Table Dialogue against Torture

The Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) in partnership with United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) and National Committee againts Torture (NCaT) invites stakeholders to a roundtable dialogue aimed at reducing the incidences of Torture and improving redress for victims of torture and ill treatment which will be taking place on 5th September 2018 in Abuja.
For live updates on the Anti-Torture Project follow the project on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and follow the conversation using #stoptorture9ja

 

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

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

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

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

PeepIntoTheLaw   

MultiChoice Appeals Court Judgement against Increased Tariff

MultiChoice, the parent company of DSTV and GoTV, has appealed an interim court from the federal high court sitting in Abuja. Read more

The Reasonable Man: The Court’s Most Trusted Consultant- Munir Ishaq

The Reasonable man test is usually adopted by the courts in plethora of instances, like in cases of civil negligence, defences to criminal liability, duty of care by the Agent in agency relationships etcetera. Read more

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Court Orders Buratai to Pay N11m to 11 Gombe Indigenes

The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has ordered the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, to pay N11million as damages for the breach of fundamental rights of 11 Gombe State indigenes illegally detained by officers of the Nigerian Army. Read more

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Limitation Period: Egbe v Adefarasin (1987) 1 NWLR (Pt. 47) 1

In law, actions have a time limit within which they can be brought to court. Time begins to run once a cause of action of action accrues as highlighted in the famous case of Egbe v Adefarasin. The period of limitation is determined by looking at the writ of summons and the statement of claim alleging when the wrong was committed which gave the plaintiff a cause of action and by comparing that date with the date on which the writ of summons was filed.
Want to refresh your memory or read the full case? Click
here to read the full case on the Nigerialii website.

EVENTS  

Apply to be an Obama Foundation Fellow

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


Voice Beyond the Incident: Nigeria Sudden Opportunity Grant

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

Equal Rights Trust Seeking New Trustees

The Equal Rights Trust is currently seeking for individuals to join its international board of trustees. To indicate your interest, submit your CV to  info@equalrightstrust.org

World Youth Forum, Egypt 2018 for Young Leaders

Applications are open for the World Youth Forum Egypt 2018. The forum gathers young , experienced leaders from various fields to engage with policymakers, network with promising youths from different regions of the world that are keen to make the world better. Apply here

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Tenth Session of Ad Hoc Committee of the Human Rights Council on the Elaboration of Complementary Standards
The 10th session of the committee has been rescheduled and will hold from the 8th to 19th of October 2018 in Geneva. Read more

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The Social Forum of the Human Rights Council

The Social Forum is an annual three-day meeting convened by the Human Rights Council. It is a unique space for open and interactive dialogue between civil society actors, representatives of Member States, and intergovernmental organizations, on a theme chosen by the Council each year. This year’s Social Forum will hold from the 1st to 3rd October 2018 in Geneva. Read more

To receive our newsletter in your mailbox subscribe here

Follow us on our social media platforms

NEWSLETTER FOR 13TH – 17TH AUGUST 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.
13th – 17th AUGUST 2018

“If we destroy human rights and rule of law in the response to terrorism, they have won.”

— Joichi Ito 

NEWS   

Paul Usoro Emerges New NBA President
A new president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has emerged. He is Mr Paul Usoro, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). He scored 4,509 to emerge winner after defeating Mr Arthur Obi Okafor, SAN and Prof Ernest Ojukwu also SAN, who scored 4,423 and who scored 3,313 respectively. Read more

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CSO Begins Project to Track Maternal Health Funds in Kano

The Resource Centre for Human Rights & Civic Education (CHRICED) has started an innovative data gathering project to track the use of funds earmarked for maternal healthcare in Kano State. Read more

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Falana to new DSS boss: Release all Illegal Detainees now, Redeem its Image
Human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana, SAN, Sunday called on the acting director of the State Security Services, Mathew Seiyefa to review cases of hundreds of illegally detained persons by the Directorate of State Security, DSS under the leadership of the sacked director, Lawal Daura and release them forthwith. Read more

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CSJ Bags United Nation’s Special Status

The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) has been granted the United Nation’s special consultation status through its arm-Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). ECOSOC had adopted the recommendations of its committee on Non-Governmental Organisations, which rated CSJ as worthy of being actually engaged with the council and its subsidiaries as well as the UN’s secretariat, programmes funds and agencies in various ways. Read more

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What sacked DSS DG, Daura did secretly in office – Rights Commission

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has stated that the former Director-General, Department of State Security (DSS), Lawal Daura abused his office. The body lamented that Daura secretly detained Nigerians illegally and also tortured many innocent people. Read more

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SARS Overhaul: Group Makes Case for Detainees

A human rights group, Citizens Unite for Rehabilitation of Errants (CURE-Nigeria) has tasked the Nigeria police force to declare the number of detainees being held by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) to the public. Read more

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Protest in Nigerian Capital over Journalist’s Detention

Hundreds of protesters on 16th August 2018 besieged the Nigeria police headquarters in the capital Abuja demanding the release of a local journalist who is being held by an anti-robbery police squad. Samuel Ogundipe, a reporter with the online news medium Premium Times, was detained over his story about a police report purportedly indicting Lawal Daura, the recently sacked head of the secret police, the outlet said. Read more

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Human Rights Lawyer Seeks Declaration of Saraki, Akpabio’s Seat Vacant

A Human Rights lawyer, Mr. Frank Tietie, has advised that the seat of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, be declared vacant since he had defected to another party. Read more

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Drug Companies Sue to Exclude their Drugs from Executions

Drug companies have made it clear that they don’t want states using their products to carry out death sentences. They’ve imposed strict limits on who can buy the drugs used for lethal injections, asked states to return some chemicals and, in one case, completely stopped making a drug to keep it out of the nation’s death chambers. Read more

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SARS Overhaul is a Positive Step but Reforms must be Robust

Responding to news that Nigeria’s Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has ordered an immediate overhaul of the country’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) police unit, Director of Amnesty International Nigeria Osai Ojigho said “This is an overdue yet hugely important move by Acting President Osinbajo. The growing outcry over the brutality of Nigeria’s notorious SARS police unit has finally got the attention of the country’s authorities. “While this is positive news, it is crucial that any overhaul of SARS is far-reaching and immediately effective. Restructuring SARS is not enough unless the government takes concrete steps to protect Nigerians. Read more

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Lagos Police Boss Edgal Sacks 8 Officers, Demotes Six

Edgal, also said that 108 officers were disciplined for various offences from January to July, 2018 in the Lagos State Command. He made the disclosure at a Stakeholders’ Forum on “Police Accountability and Presentation of Advocacy Materials at the command’s headquarters, Ikeja. Read more

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Rising Cases of Drug Abuse Worries Human Rights Commission

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has expressed concern on the rising cases of drug abuse/addiction in Nigeria, saying inadequate policy framework and a dearth of public healthcare facilities for victims have combined to worsen the situation. Read more

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NHRC Cautions Police Against Torturing Suspects

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has cautioned the Nigerian Police and other security agencies to desist from torturing suspects in order to obtain false evidence, adding that such acts now constitute criminal offence. Read more

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UN Demands Release of Three Aid Workers Abducted by Boko Haram

The United Nations has demanded the immediate release of three aid workers abducted while providing humanitarian support at Rann, Kalabalge Local Government Area of Borno. Mr Edward Kallon, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, made the cal during a courtesy call on Gov. Kashim Shettima in Maiduguri. Read more

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NAPTIP, Stakeholders’ Parley Towards Human Trafficking-Free Society

The growing incidences of human trafficking and abduction, despite measures by governments and non-governmental agencies to arrest the monster raises concerns, as well as calls for reassessing the measures and strategies towards a human trafficking-free society. Read more

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Foundation Boosts Education in Enugu State

Janet Amu Foundation, an NGO gave cheques of N100,000 each as bursary to 10 indigent students in Aku community in Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area of Enugu state. Presenting the cheques to beneficiaries in Aku, the Founder of the Foundation, Mr Marcel Amu said that the affected students would continue to receive same amount until they acquired university education. Read more

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Bauchi Govt. Approves N103m to UNICEF to Fight Malnutrition

As parts of its commitment to eliminate malnutrition, the Bauchi State Government has approved the release of N103 million as counterpart fund to the UNICEF to treat 11, 517 severe malnourished children in the state. Read more

OPINION 

Unjust and Unwanted: Malaysia’s Mandatory Death Penalty

Malaysia is one of only a handful of countries around the world that continues to retain a mandatory death penalty – where death sentences are imposed automatically with no chance for the courts to consider the individual circumstances of the case. Read more

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The Value of Girl-Child Education in Nigeria

“Many girls today, do not have adequate education past a certain age. When a girl is 12-14 years old, the elders in the community feel she is “ripe for marriage” and their words are LAW. So what are her words worth when the elders in the community have spoken? Read more

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The Danger of a Better-Behaved Boko Haram

“Boko Haram, the Nigerian jihadist group infamous for its bombings and abductions, is undergoing something of a makeover. A key faction that has the backing of so-called Islamic State has renounced its old blood-soaked ways and is trying instead to win hearts and minds in a new strategic twist to a nine-year insurgency that has killed tens of thousands and displaced millions.” Read more

LEDAP@WORK 

Invitation to Stakeholders Round Table Dialogue against Torture

The Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) in partnership with United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) and National Committee againts Torture (NCaT) invites stakeholders to a roundtable dialogue aimed at reducing the incidences of Torture and improving redress for victims of torture and ill treatment which will be taking place on 5th September 2018 in Abuja.
For live updates on the
Anti-Torture Project follow the project on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and follow the conversation using #stoptorture9ja

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

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

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LEDAP Files Contempt Proceedings on Post‐UTME Judgement

Based on LEDAP’s recent court judgment gotten at the Federal High Court  in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/979/15 between: LEDAP V 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 filed contempt proceedings at the Federal High Court against the defendants in this suit asking the Court to find the defendants guilty of contempt. 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 to read the most recent court judgments.

PeepIntoTheLaw   

Court Sentences Man to Death for Killing Pregnant Wife

An Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting in Ikot Ekpene Judicial Division has sentenced a father of seven, Friday Uko, to death by hanging for kicking and killing his pregnant wife, Mrs. Patience Uko. Read more

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Delta State Government Approves Increase In Civil And Criminal Jurisdiction Of Magistrates

In a statement signed by the Director of Information, in the Delta State Ministry of Information, the statement stated that the Delta State Governor in exercise of the powers conferred on him by Section 24 (1) of the Magistrates’ Courts Law of Delta State, 2006, Cap M1, Vol. 3 Laws of Delta State and all the powers enabling in that behalf, on the recommendation by the Honourable Chief Judge of Delta State, has approved the increase in the Jurisdiction of Magistrate in civil and criminal matters. Read more

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Court Stops MultiChoice From Increasing DSTV Subscription Rates
A Federal High Court in Abuja has restrained Multichoice Nigeria Limited from going ahead with its recent decision to increase the subscription tariffs for DSTV, its satellite cable television service providers. Read more

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Limitation Period: Egbe v Adefarasin (1987) 1 NWLR (Pt. 47) 1

In law, actions have a time limit within which they can be brought to court. Time begins to run once a cause of action of action accrues as highlighted in the famous case of Egbe v Adefarasin. The period of limitation is determined by looking at the writ of summons and the statement of claim alleging when the wrong was committed which gave the plaintiff a cause of action and by comparing that date with the date on which the writ of summons was filed.
Want to refresh your memory or read the full case? Click
here to read the full case on the Nigerialii website.

EVENTS  

Voice Beyond the Incident: Nigeria Sudden Opportunity Grant

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

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DRASA Health Trust Marks 4 years Since Dr. Ameyo Stella Adadevoh

DRASA Health Trust exists to continue to carry on the legacy  of Dr. Ameyo Stella Adadevoh’s state. To mark 4 years since she passed away, they are currently seeking your donations to continue the trust. Click here to support to a good cause.

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Equal Rights Trust Seeking New Trustees

The Equal Rights Trust is currently seeking for individuals to join its international board of trustees. To indicate your interest, submit your CV to  info@equalrightstrust.org

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Public Hearing on Allegations Against the Special AntiRobbery Squad

The public hearing on allegations against SARS for the SouthEast take place at the Federal High Court, Owerri, Imo State on the 27th to 28th August 2018 from 10:00am.

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Australian High Commission in Nigeria: Direct Aid Program (DAP) 2018-2019

Applications are now open for the Direct Aid Program (DAP) 2018-2019 which is a flexible small grants program run directly by the Australian High Commission in Abuja, Nigeria. Deadline for application is 31st August 2018. Read more

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Tenth Session of Ad Hoc Committee of the Human Rights Council on the Elaboration of Complementary Standards
The 10th session of the committee has been rescheduled and will hold from the 8th to 19th of October 2018 in Geneva. Read more

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The Social Forum of the Human Rights Council

The Social Forum is an annual three-day meeting convened by the Human Rights Council. It is a unique space for open and interactive dialogue between civil society actors, representatives of Member States, and intergovernmental organizations, on a theme chosen by the Council each year. This year’s Social Forum will hold from the 1st to 3rd October 2018 in Geneva. Read more

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LEDAP THREATENS SUIT AGAINST NATIONAL ASSEMBLY DEFECTORS

The Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) has threatened to sue 15 members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) senators in National Assembly who defected to Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), if they fail to resign.

In a statement signed by the National Coordinator, LEDAP, Mr. Chinonye Obiagwu, the group said its position is informed by the provisions of section 68 (1)(g) of the 1999 constitution of Nigeria, as amended.

The section provides that any legislator who defects from the party, which sponsored his election to the National Assembly, where there was no division in the party, must vacate his seat in the National Assembly.

“The Supreme Court has acknowledged this section of the constitution in the case of Hon. Ifedayo Abegunde v. the Ondo state house of assembly SC.643/2014.

“The principles enunciated by the Court in the Fedeco v Goni supra and AG Federation v Abubakar (supra), are to the effect that only such fractionalization, fragmentation, splintering or “division” that makes it impossible or impracticable for a political party to function as such will, by virtue of the proviso to Section 68(1) (g), justify a person’s defection to another party and the retention of his seat for the unexpired term in the house in spite of the defection,” the group said.

Therefore LEDAP insisted that any legislator defecting to another party, must resign, otherwise such legislator will be acting unlawfully and, has no right of vote at the National Assembly.

His words: “Thus, all motions or bills passed by the National Assembly in which such legislator participated in the debate or voted in the passage are null and void.

“The National Assembly as the lawmakers of the nation must obey the law. If these legislators fail to resign, LEDAP will seek legal action to nullify their continued sitting in the upper chambers and to nullify all bills and motions in which they participated or voted.

 

Culled from TheGuardianNewspaper

PRESS RELEASE: DEFECTED SENATORS MUST RESIGN FROM THE SENATE

News reports from the National Assembly today indicate that fifteen senators have defected from the All Progressive Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). We note that under Section 68 (1)(g) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), any legislator who defects from the party which sponsored his election to the National Assembly, where there was no division in the party, must vacate his seat in the National Assembly.

The Supreme Court has affirmed this position in a number of cases.  In the case of HON. IFEDAYO ABEGUNDE V. THE ONDO STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY-SC.643/2014, the apex court stated thus, “The principles enunciated by this Court in the two cases, Fedeco v Goni supra and AG Federation v Abubakar (supra), is to the effect that only such factionalisation, fragmentation, splintering or “division” that makes it impossible or impracticable for a political party to function as such will, by virtue of the proviso to Section 68(1) (g), justify a person’s defection to another party and the retention of his seat for the unexpired term in the house inspite of the defection. Otherwise, as rightly held by the courts below, the defector automatically looses his seat.”

It must be recalled that in this 8th assembly of the National Assembly, there have been a number of defections from one party to another, even though there has not been division in the APC or PDP to legally warrant or justify the defections. The National Assembly as the law makers of the nation must obey the law.

Section 68(1)(g) of the Constitution clearly provides that,  A member of the Senate or of the House of Representatives shall vacate his seat in the House of which he is a member if, being a person whose election to the House was sponsored by a political party, he becomes a member of another political party before the expiration of the period for which that House was elected, Provided that his membership of the latter political party is not as a result of a division in the political party of which he was previously a member or of a merger of two or more political parties or factions by one of which he was previously sponsored”. Therefore any Legislator defecting to another party, must resign, otherwise such legislator will be acting unlawfully and, has no right of vote at the National Assembly. Thus, all Motions or Bills passed by the National Assembly in which such legislator participated in the debate or voted in the passage are null and void.

The Legal Defence and Assistance Project-LEDAP will, if these legislators fail to resign, seek legal action to nullify their continued sitting in the upper chambers and to nullify all Bills and Motions in which they participated or voted.

For: LEDAP – Legal Defence and Assistance Project

 Chino Obiagwu Esq.

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VARSITY ADMISSIONS & ILLEGALITY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Culled from The Guardian Nigeria