Tag: Torture


Nigerians Demand Justice for 13-yr-old Ochanya Ogbaje Allegedly Raped to Death by Father and Son in Benue

Nigerians, particularly human rights activists, have demanded for justice over the death of a 13-year-old Elizabeth Ochanya Ogbaje.

Ochanya had battled Vesicovaginal fistula (VVF) and other health complications at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi after being allegedly severely abused by one Andrew Ogbuja, Head of Department, Catering and Hotel Management at the Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo, Benue State, and his son, Victor Inalegwu Ogbuja, a final year student of Animal Production at the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi.

The duo consistently molested little Ochanya, a student of Federal Government Girls’ College, Gboko since she was 9 to age 13.

An Upper Area Court One in Makurdi, Benue, presided over by Justice S. D. Kwen had in August remanded Mr. Ogbuja in prison custody for criminal conspiracy and rape of the teenager.

The prosecution had told the court that on August 8, 2018, at about 12:00 noon, the body of women lawyers (FIDA) in Benue State had in company of one Mrs Rose Abah of Ogene Amadu Edumoga reported the matter to the police.

The First Information Report (FIR), indicated that the complainant, Mrs Abah told the police that sometimes in February 2018, when her daughter, Elizabeth, was sick and admitted at FMC Makurdi, she told her that, when she was staying with her cousin sister, Felicia Ogbuja, between 2013 and 2015, the son of the same cousin sister by name Victor Ogbuja, had canal knowledge of her.

The court further heard that the husband to the cousin sister, Andrew Ogbuja, also had canal knowledge of the teenager and that during police investigation, the said accused, Andrew was arrested for committing the offence while his son, Victor, is at large.

But, the accused, pleaded with the judge to temper justice with mercy and grant him bail to enable him go back home and resolve the matter amicably considering his status.

Justice S. D. Kwen, however, rejected the plea and consequently sent the lecturer to Makurdi Federal Prison pending the determination of the matter.

Sadly, molested and sodomized Ochanya, during the weekend, lost the battle and took her last breath.

This is also as the suspect was allegedly granted bail without the family’s knowledge and is said to be on the run.

Irked by the ugly and sad development, Nigerians are demanding for justice for the late infant.

Condemning the barbaric act, Federal Government Girls’ College Gboko Old Students’ Association has planned to stage a protest over the ugly incident.

The association in a statement issued on Monday, called on the federal government and the relevant authorities to bring the suspect and his son to book.

“This is an outrage to FGGC Gboko, all female children, all women, Benue State, Nigeria and indeed the World. The advent of social media has brought to the fore the raging menace of child abuse and rape within our homes, communities, and nations. It is time that social media is also used to stop this menace.

“As a body, we demand that the perpetrators, indeed murderers, be called to justice and severely punished. Mr. Andrew Ogbuja and Victor Inalegwu Ogbuja should be arrested for homicide and charged with first degree murder. They should be made to feel the full wrath of Lady Justice. They should bear the brunt of the Law in quantum measures. It was not enough for them to hurt young Ochanya from age 8; they had to repeat the barbaric sessions within a 6-year period. We can only describe such tendencies as animalistic, with special apologies to animals. As such, they deserve jungle justice. No mercy.” It stated.

Also, speaking on the development, the Councilor Representing Eke Ward in Benue, Hon Dan Atayi, called on all Benue sons and daughters as well as well-meaning Nigerians, particularly the women folks to join their voices so the culprits would be forced to face the law.

“The act is a devilish omen that has appeared and happened in our land of birth! We condemn it in totality, we detest it with fierce rejection and we call on our trado-cultural Custodians (Och’Idoma, The Ede of Edumoga, the Idoga of Ugbokolo, the Ad’Okpokwu) to perform a cleansing rite of these ugly menace before the fate of the spirits of vengeance visit our land.

“The struggle for justice for the late young Ochanya should encompass beyond politics and religious affiliations. What is right in our society should be pressured to be in equity regardless of how highly connected we are. We call on the government of Benue State, Okpokwu and all notable stakeholders across party lines to demonstrate and show concern against this alienation and barbaric act.

“We eschew bitterness and animosity; we eschew witch hunts and negative suspicions as we drive this quest for justice for the soul of Ochanya Elizabeth Ogbanje to rest in peace,” he said.

Also adding her voice, human rights activist and blogger, Mimi Atedze, insisted that the perpetrators must be brought to book without delay.

She said, “The serial rapists must be punished for this act…the Child’s Right act 2003 states clearly that “Nobody should engage in any unlawful sexual intercourse with a child. #JusticeForOchanya.”

On her part, human rights activist and Executive director, Cee-Hope Nigeria, Betty Abah condemn the release of the suspect without the family’s consent.

According to her, “As at the last hearing on Sept. 24, the accused was not in court. He had been released from prison without the knowledge of the victim’s family, even when he wasn’t granted bail at the earlier sitting.

“His co-accused son, Victor Ogbuja, a student at the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue State, remains on the run.
Rape by father and son, anal and vagina, started when she went to stay with the family at age 8 (wife is her aunt) in order to be able to go to school.

“She died October 18, 2018 at the General Hospital, Otukpo from the complications and was buried Oct. 21, 2018 in her village in Benue State, following an autopsy.

“Now, the question: who released the accused from prison custody in Makurdi without the court’s and girl’s family knowledge, and when he had not been granted bail?”

When contacted, the Benue State Police Command said the case was no longer in its custody.

“This case has been on for long, why are they trying to politicize it? We did our job by arresting the suspect and subsequently charged him to a law court. If the said suspect was granted bail, the question should be directed to the judge and not the police,” said the state PRO, Moses Yamu on Monday.



Welcome to another edition LEDAP Nigeria’s Weekly Newsletter which keeps you up to date on the latest Human Rights News and updates in the law, What we are up to and Upcoming Events.
21st–25th May 2018

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

Shirin Ebadi


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

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


Nigeria Presidency Disputes Amnesty International’s Human Rights Allegations

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


Seek Justice for Zakzaky Beyond Nigeria, Amnesty International tells IMN

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


More than 50 Lawsuits Loom Large as Shell holds AGM

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


Zimbabwe Applies to Rejoin Commonwealth

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


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

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


Saudi Arabia Arrests Hathloul, Six Women’s Rights Activists

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


OCHA Relases NorthEast Situation Update for April

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


Reps to End Child Labour, abuse in Nigeria

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


Sudanese Teenager who Killed Rapist Husband Appeals Death Sentence

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


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

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


Brazil Rescues African, Guyanese Migrants Drifting at Sea

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


Pollution Worsens Around Shell Oil Spills in Nigeria

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


14m People Affected by Boko Haram Insurgency 

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


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


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

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


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

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


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


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

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


LEDAP Anti-Torture Training for Police Officers Continues 

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


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



Court Declares Sack of Teacher on Maternity Leave ‘Unlawful’

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


Nigerian National Human Rights Commission, Journal Call for Papers

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


IWMF Women’s Reporting Grants for Women’s Stories 2018
Applications are now open for the IWMF’s Reporting Grants for Women’s Stories, sponsored by The Secular Society. It is a new funding initiative supporting journalism produced by and about women. Applications close on the 29th of June 2018.  Read more

Countering Violent Extremism West Africa

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

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

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

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In partnership with the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) and the National Committee against Torture, LEDAP has launched a project to tackle torture and ill treatment in policing. The project will be located Lagos, Adamawa , Yobe States, as well as at the Federal Capital Territory.

The use of torture and sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) in law enforcement has remained a major human rights challenge in Nigeria and has further increased with the current counter-terrorism operations of the police and military. Torture and other forms of ill treatment are widely used by police to obtain information and confessions from suspects, to intimidate, exploit, and to exert dominance and superiority over the weak. Also, women detainees are raped within the first hours of detention. In all these violations, most survivors are unable to report or seek redress and perpetrators are rarely punished. The Nigerian criminal and penal codes fail to explicitly criminalize the use of torture to extract information. As such, everyday law enforcement practices are in many cases inconsistent with the constitutional provision prohibiting torture.

This project seeks to address the increasing incidents of torture and SGBV committed by the police in Nigeria especially in the context of the on-going fight against terrorism and the introduction of Shari’a laws in 12 northern states including two target states of the project; Adamawa and Yobe state. The strategy is to address the specific problems of both the supply and demand sides in torture prevention. It will address the police’s poor anti-torture knowledge and attitudes (supply side), and at the same time empower the civil society and the public to monitor and demand for accountability wherever torture occurs (demand side).

The overall objective is to move Nigeria towards effective prevention and reduction of incidences of torture. This will be achieved by improving the understanding of police personnel and encouraging a human rights centered approach towards the treatment of suspects by police personnel. Also, by providing capacity for civil society organisations and victims of torture to demand for accountability. Particularly, this project is designed to increase knowledge and improve the attitude of over 7,300 police staff in Nigeria (supply side) towards torture prevention, and empower the demand side of human rights (330 representatives of CSOs (180), lawyers (50), journalists (20), Paralegals (80)) to report and support survivors and victims of torture and SGBV to assert and defend their rights to freedom from torture and ill treatment. The project will give assistance to 120 victims, including providing direct legal support to at least 20 cases (including 5 high impact cases) to improve jurisprudence in the area.

Furthermore, the project advocates for policy change and legal reform including engaging in dialogue with key actors, adopting a national policy on torture prevention and advocating for passing into law of the anti-torture bill, which is pending in the parliament. If successfully implemented, the project will build a sustainable pilot that addresses the needs and capacity of both the supply and demand sides of the prevention of torture and ill treatment, which could be replicated to all police formations and other law enforcement institutions in the country.