Federal Republic of Nigeria
Federal Republic of Nigeria
Joined United Nations: 7 October 1960
Human Rights as assured by their constitution
Updated 30 September 2012
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess
mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant
mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the
distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July
President is elected by popular vote for a four-year term
(eligible for a second term); Note - the president is both the
chief of state and head of government; JONATHAN
assumed the presidency on 5 May 2010 following the
death of President YAR'ADUA; JONATHAN was
declared Acting President on 9 February 2010 by the
National Assembly during the extended illness of the
former president; election last held on 16 April 2011
Next scheduled election: April 2015
HEAD OF GOVERNMENT
According to the Nigeria Constitution, the president is both the
chief of state and head of government
|DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, is composed of more than 250 ethnic groups; the following are the most populous
and politically influential: Hausa and Fulani 29%, Yoruba 21%, Igbo (Ibo) 18%, Ijaw 10%, Kanuri 4%, Ibibio 3.5%, Tiv
Muslim 50%, Christian 40%, indigenous beliefs 10%
Federal republic with 36 states and 1 territory. Legal system is based on English common law, Islamic Shariah law (in 12
northern states), and traditional law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Executive: President is elected by popular vote for a four-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 16 April 2011
(next to be held in April 2015)
Legislative: Bicameral National Assembly consists of Senate (109 seats - 3 from each state plus 1 from Abuja, members
elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) and House of Representatives (360 seats, members elected by popular
vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held on 9 and 26 April 2011 (next to be held in 2015); House of Representatives - last held on 9 and
26 April 2011 (next to be held in 2015)
Judicial: Supreme Court (judges appointed by the President); Federal Court of Appeal (judges are appointed by the
federal government on the advice of the Advisory Judicial Committee)
English (official), Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo (Ibo), Fulani
Recent archaeological research has shown that people were already living in south-western Nigeria (specifically Iwo-Eleru)
as early as 9000 BC and perhaps earlier at Ugwuelle-Uturu (Okigwe) in south-eastern Nigeria. Microlithic and ceramic
industries were developed by savanna pastoralists from at least the 4th millennium BC and were continued by subsequent
agricultural communities. In the south, hunting and gathering gave way to subsistence farming in the first millennium BC and
the cultivation of staple foods. Primitive iron-West Africa, while Kainji Dam excavations revealed ironworking by the 2nd
century BC. The transition from Neolithic times to the Iron Age apparently was achieved without intermediate bronze
production. Some scholars speculate the smelting process was transmitted from the Mediterranean by Berbers. Others
suggest the technology moved west from the Nile Valley, although the Iron Age in the Niger River valley and the forest
region appears to predate the introduction of metallurgy in the upper savanna by more than 800 years. The earliest
indentified Nigerian culture is the Nok people who thrived between 500 BC and 200 AD on the Jos Plateau in northeastern
Nigeria. Information is lacking from the first millennium AD following the Nok ascendancy, but by the 2nd millennium AD
there was active trade from North Africa through the Sahara to the forest with the savanna people acting as intermediaries in
exchanges of various goods.Long before 1500 much of modern-Nigeria was divided into states identified with
contemporary ethnic groups. These early states included the Yoruba kingdoms, The Igbo kingdom of Nri, the Edo kingdom
of Benin, the Hausa cities, and Nupe. Additionally numerous small states to the west and south of Lake Chad were
absorbed or displaced in the course of the expansion of Kanem, which was centered to the northeast of Lake Chad. Borno,
initially the western province of Kanem, became independent in the late 14th century. Other states probably existed but the
absence of archaeological data do not permit accurate dating. In the southeast, the earliest Igbo state was Nri which
emerged in 900 AD. Despite its relatively small size geographically it is considered the cradle of Igbo culture. Yorubaland
established a community in the Edo-speaking area east of Ife before becoming a dependency of Ife at the beginning of the
14th century. By the 15th century it became an independent trading power, blocking Ife's access to the coastal ports as Oyo
had cut off the mother city from the savanna. Trade as the key to the emergence of organized communities in the savanna
portions of Nigeria. Prehistoric inhabitants adjusting to the encroaching desert were widely scattered by the third millennium
BC, when the desiccation of the Sahara began. Trans-Saharan trade routes linked the western Sudan with the
Mediterranean since the time of Carthage and with the upper Nile from a much earlier date, establishing avenues of
communication and cultural influence that remained open until the end of the 19th century. By these same routes, Islam made
its way south into West Africa after the 9th century AD. During the 16th century the Songhai Empire reached its peak,
stretching from the Senegal and Gambia rivers and incorporating part of Hausaland in the east. Concurrently the Saifawa
Dynasty of Borno conquered Kanem and extended control west to Hausa cities not under Songhai authority. Largely
because of Songhai's influence, there was a blossoming of Islamic learning and culture. Songhai collapsed in 1591 when a
Moroccan army conquered Gao and Timbuktu. Morocco was unable to control the empire and the various provinces,
including the Hausa states, became independent. The collapse undermined Songhai's hegemony over the Hausa states and
abruptly altered the course of regional history. The Onitsha Kingdom, which was originally inhabited by Igbos, was founded
in the 16th century by migrants from Benin. Later groups like the Igalas and Igbo traders from the hinterland settled in
Onitsha in the 18nth century. Following the Napoleonic wars, the British expanded trade with the Nigerian interior. In 1885
British claims to a West African sphere of influence received international recognition and in the following year the Royal
Niger Company was chartered under the leadership of Sir George Taubman Goldie. In 1900 the company's territory came
under the control of the British Government, which moved to consolidate its hold over the area of modern Nigeria. On
January 1, 1901 Nigeria became a British protectorate. In 1914, the area was formally united as the Colony and
Protectorate of Nigeria. Following World War II, in response to the growth of Nigerian nationalism and demands for
independence, successive constitutions legislated by the British Government moved Nigeria toward self-government on a
representative and increasingly federal basis. Nigeria was granted full independence in October 1960 under a constitution
that provided for a parliamentary government and a substantial measure of self-government for the country's three regions.
From 1959 to 1960, Jaja Wachuku was the First black Speaker of the Nigerian Parliament - also called House of
Representatives. Wachuku replaced Sir Frederick Metcalfe of Great Britain. Notably, as First Speaker of the House, Jaja
Wachuku received Nigeria's Instrument of Independence - also known as Freedom Charter, on October 1, 1960 from
Princess Alexandra of Kent - HM The Queen of United Kingdom's representative at the Nigerian Independence
ceremonies.In October 1963 Nigeria proclaimed itself a Federal Republic and former Governor General Nnamdi Azikiwe
became the country's first President. From the outset Nigeria's ethnic and religious tensions were magnified by the disparities
in economic and educational development between the south and the north. A constituent assembly was elected in 1977 to
draft a new constitution, which was published on September 21, 1978, when the ban on political activity was lifted.
President Babangida promised to return the country to civilian rule by 1990 which was later extended until January 1993. In
early 1989 a constituent assembly completed a constitution and in the spring of 1989 political activity was again permitted.
With the country sliding into chaos Defense Minister Sani Abacha assumed power and forced Shonekan's resignation on
November 17, 1993. Abacha dissolved all democratic institutions and replaced elected governors with military officers. The
emergence of democracy in Nigeria on May 1999 ended 16 years of consecutive military rule. Olusegun Obasanjo inherited
a country suffering economic stagnation and the deterioration of most democratic institutions. President Obasanjo was
reelected in 2003. Currently there is unrest in the Niger delta over the environmental destruction caused by oil drilling and
the ongoing poverty in the oil-rich region. In the 2007 general election, Umaru Yar'Adua and Goodluck Jonathan, both of
the People's Democratic Party, were elected President and Vice President, respectively. The election was marred by
electoral fraud, and denounced by other candidates and international observers. Yar'Adua's presidency was fraught with
uncertainty as media reports said he suffered from kidney and heart disease. In November 2009, he fell ill and was flown out
of the country to Saudi Arabia for medical attention. He remained incommunicado for 50 days, by which time rumours were
rife that he had died. This continued until the BBC aired an interview that was allegedly done via telephone from the
president's sick bed in Saudi Arabia. As of January 2010, he was still abroad. In February 2010, Goodluck Jonathan began
serving as acting President in the absence of Yaradua. In May 2010, the Nigerian government learned of Yar'Adua's
death after a long battle with existing health problems and an undisclosed illness. This lack of communication left the new
acting President Jonathan with no knowledge of his predecessor's plans. Yar'Adua's Hausa-Fulani background gave him a
political base in the northern regions of Nigeria, while Goodluck does not have the same ethnic and religious affiliations. This
lack of primary ethnic support makes Jonathan a target for militaristic overthrow or regional uprisings in the area. With the
increase of resource spending and oil exportation, Nigerian GDP and HDI (Human Development Index) have risen
phenomenally since the economically stagnant rule of Sani Abacha, but the primary population still survives on less than $2
USD per day. Goodluck Jonathan called for new elections and stood for re-election in April 2011. He won and is currently
the president of Nigeria.
Source: Wikipedia Politic of Nigeria
Oil-rich Nigeria has been hobbled by political instability, corruption, inadequate infrastructure, and poor macroeconomic
management, but in 2008 began pursuing economic reforms. Nigeria's former military rulers failed to diversify the economy
away from its overdependence on the capital-intensive oil sector, which provides 95% of foreign exchange earnings and
about 80% of budgetary revenues. Following the signing of an IMF stand-by agreement in August 2000, Nigeria received a
debt-restructuring deal from the Paris Club and a $1 billion credit from the IMF, both contingent on economic reforms.
Nigeria pulled out of its IMF program in April 2002, after failing to meet spending and exchange rate targets, making it
ineligible for additional debt forgiveness from the Paris Club. In November 2005, Abuja won Paris Club approval for a
debt-relief deal that eliminated $18 billion of debt in exchange for $12 billion in payments - a total package worth $30 billion
of Nigeria's total $37 billion external debt. Since 2008 the government has begun to show the political will to implement the
market-oriented reforms urged by the IMF, such as modernizing the banking system, removing subsidies, and resolving
regional disputes over the distribution of earnings from the oil industry. GDP rose strongly in 2007-11 because of growth in
non-oil sectors and robust global crude oil prices. President JONATHAN has established an economic team that includes
experienced and reputable members and has announced plans to increase transparency, diversify economic growth, and
improve fiscal management. Lack of infrastructure and slow implementation of reforms are key impediments to growth. The
government is working toward developing stronger public-private partnerships for roads, agriculture, and power. Nigeria's
financial sector was hurt by the global financial and economic crises, but the Central Bank governor has taken measures to
restructure and strengthen the sector to include imposing mandatory higher minimum capital requirements.
Source: CIA World Factbook (select Nigeria)
Nigeria is a Federal Republic modeled after the United States, with executive power exercised by the president and with
influences from the Westminster System model in the composition and management of the upper and lower houses of the
bicameral legislature. However, the President of Nigeria is both head of state and head of government, and of a multi-party
system. Nigerian politics takes place within a framework of a federal, presidential, representative democratic republic,
whereby Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two
chambers of the legislature, the House of Representatives and the Senate. Together the two chambers make up the law-
making body in Nigeria called the National Assembly. The highest judiciary arm of government in Nigeria is the Supreme
Court of Nigeria. Nigeria also practices Baron de Montesquieu's theory of the separation of powers. The National
Assembly serves as a check on the executive arm of government.
The president is elected by the people. He is both the chief of state and head of government and heads the Federal
Executive Council. Nigeria has a rotating presidency so that the three major regions of Nigeria (the North, the East, and the
West) share political control of the country.
There are four distinct systems of law in Nigeria. English Law which is derived from its colonial past with Britain, common
law, constitutional law (both a development of its post colonial independence), and Sharia law, used only in the
predominantly Hausa and Muslim north of the country. Like the United States, there is a Judicial branch with a Supreme
Court which is regarded as the highest court of the land.
President Yar’Adua left Nigeria on 23 November 2009, and is reported be receiving treatment for pericarditis at a clinic in
Saudi Arabia. He has not been seen in public since and his absence has created a dangerous power vacuum in Nigeria.
There has been speculation that Yar'Adua has suffered serious brain damage and can no longer recognise his wife and
personal aides, and that his true condition is being covered up by the first lady. The Government of Nigeria was left
leaderless at the crucial period following the alleged attempted bombing of a US airline by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a
23 year old Nigerian man. This left many calling for the swearing into office of the Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan.
On January 22, 2010, the Supreme Court of Nigeria ruled that the Federal Ministries of Nigeria had 14 days to decide on a
resolution about whether he "is incapable of discharging the functions of his office". The ruling also stated that the Federal
Ministries should hear testimony of five doctors, one of whom should be Yar'Adua's personal physician.
On February 9, 2010, the Senate determined that presidential power should be transmitted to the Vice President Goodluck
Jonathan. He will serve as President, with all the accompanied powers, until Yar'Adua has returned to full health. The power
transfer has been called a "coup without the word" by opposition lawyers and lawmakers. However, there are others that
felt the power vacuum would lead to instability and a possible military take over. Yar'Adua was pronounced dead on 05
May 2010 and Jonathan was formally sworn in as president. Elections are still slated for April 2011. A presidential election
was held in Nigeria on 16 April, 2011, postponed from 9 April, 2011. The election follows controversy as to whether a
Muslim or Christian should be allowed to become president given the tradition of rotating the top office between the religions
and following the death of Umaru Yar'Adua, who was a Muslim, and Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian, assuming the interim
presidency. Following the election widespread violence took place in the north of the country. Goodluck Jonathan was
declared the winner on 19 April.
Source: Wikipedia: Politics of Nigeria
Joint Border Commission with Cameroon reviewed 2002 ICJ ruling on the entire boundary and bilaterally resolved
differences, including June 2006 Greentree Agreement that immediately cedes sovereignty of the Bakassi Peninsula to
Cameroon with a phase-out of Nigerian control within two years while resolving patriation issues; the ICJ ruled on an
equidistance settlement of Cameroon-Equatorial Guinea-Nigeria maritime boundary in the Gulf of Guinea, but imprecisely
defined coordinates in the ICJ decision and a sovereignty dispute between Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon over an island
at the mouth of the Ntem River all contribute to the delay in implementation; only Nigeria and Cameroon have heeded the
Lake Chad Commission's admonition to ratify the delimitation treaty which also includes the Chad-Niger and Niger-Nigeria
boundaries; location of Benin-Niger-Nigeria tripoint is unresolved
Refugees (country of origin): 5,316 (Liberia) (2010)
IDPs: undetermined (communal violence between Christians and Muslims; displacement is mostly short-term) (2012)
A transit point for heroin and cocaine intended for European, East Asian, and North American markets; consumer of
amphetamines; safe haven for Nigerian narcotraffickers operating worldwide; major money-laundering center; massive
corruption and criminal activity; Nigeria has improved some anti-money-laundering controls, resulting in its removal from the
Financial Action Task Force's (FATF's) Noncooperative Countries and Territories List in June 2006; Nigeria's
anti-money-laundering regime continues to be monitored by FATF
|HUMAN RIGHTS STATEMENTS, ANALYSIS AND CRITIQUES
|2011 Human Rights Report: Nigeria
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
May 25, 2012
Nigeria is a federal republic of 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). On April 16, President Goodluck Jonathan of the
ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), who had assumed the presidency in May 2010 following his predecessor’s death, won
election to a four-year term, along with Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, also of the PDP. International and domestic
election observers considered the April presidential, gubernatorial, and legislative elections to be generally credible, orderly, and a
substantial improvement over the flawed 2007 elections. However, there were reports of fraud and irregularities, including vote
rigging and buying, under-age voting, ballot stuffing, and political violence. Immediately following the presidential election,
supporters of the opposition Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, a northern Muslim,
challenged the outcome of the election. Postelection violence in protest of Jonathan’s victory erupted in the north and in the Middle
Belt States, directed towards local grievances and political targets, resulting in loss of lives, property damage, and restrictions of
movement. The April 9 legislative elections produced major changes in the National Assembly, as only about one-third of the
incumbents in both houses were reelected, and opposition parties gained many seats. While security forces generally reported to
civilian authorities, elements of the security forces periodically acted independently of civilian control.
The most serious human rights problems during the year were the abuses committed by the militant sect known as Boko Haram,
which was responsible for killings, bombings, and other attacks throughout the country, resulting in numerous deaths, injuries, and
the widespread destruction of property; abuses committed by the security services with impunity, including killings, beatings,
arbitrary detention, and destruction of property; and societal violence, including ethnic, regional, and religious violence.
Other serious human rights problems included sporadic abridgement of citizens’ right to change their government, due to some
election fraud and other irregularities; politically motivated and extrajudicial killings by security forces, including summary
executions; security force torture, rape, and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment of prisoners, detainees, and criminal
suspects; harsh and life-threatening prison and detention center conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention; prolonged pretrial
detention; denial of fair public trial; executive influence on the judiciary and judicial corruption; infringements on citizens’ privacy
rights; restrictions on freedom of speech, press, assembly, religion, and movement; official corruption; violence and discrimination
against women; child abuse; female genital mutilation (FGM); the killing of children suspected of witchcraft; child sexual
exploitation; ethnic, regional, and religious discrimination; trafficking in persons for the purpose of prostitution and forced labor;
discrimination against persons with disabilities; discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity; vigilante killings;
forced and bonded labor; and child labor.
Impunity was widespread at all levels of government. The government brought few persons to justice for abuses and corruption.
Police generally operated with impunity. Authorities did not investigate the majority of cases of police abuse or punish perpetrators.
Authorities generally did not hold police accountable for the use of excessive or deadly force or for the deaths of persons in
The militant sect known as Boko Haram perpetrated killings and bomb attacks throughout the country. The sect continued to
mount regular assaults and bombings in Borno and Bauchi states. The sect claimed responsibility for the January 1 bombing of the
Mogadishu Barracks in Abuja, the July 16 suicide bombing of the police headquarters in Abuja, and the August 26 suicide bombing
of the UN headquarters in Abuja. By the end of the year, the government and Boko Haram had not engaged in dialogue.
Killings and kidnappings by militant groups in the Niger Delta continued, despite then president Yar’Adua’s offer of amnesty in
October 2009. However, most militant groups in the Niger Delta accepted the amnesty, and the level of violence there was lower.
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11 June 2010
COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES
UNDER ARTICLE 44 OF THE CONVENTION
Concluding observations: Nigeria
2. The Committee welcomes the third and forth consolidated report of the State party as well as the written replies to its list of
issues (CRC/C/NGA/Q/3-4/Add.1) and commends the State party on the frank and self-critical nature of the report. The Committee
appreciates the presence of a high level delegation, led by the Minister of Women’s Affairs and Social Development, and the
B. Follow-up measures undertaken and progress achieved by the State party
3. The Committee welcomes the positive developments related to the implementation of the Convention, such as:
(a) The adoption of legislation enacting the Child Rights Act (CRA) (2003) in twenty-four states of the federation;
(b) The Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Law Enforcement and Administration (Amendment) Act of 2005;
C. Main areas of concern and recommendations
1. General measures of implementation (arts. 4, 42 and 44, para. 6 of the Convention)
The Committee’s previous recommendations
5. The Committee welcomes efforts undertaken by the State party to address the concerns and recommendations adopted upon
consideration of the second periodic report of the State party in 2005 (see CRC/C/15/add.257). However, the Committee remains
concerned that certain recommendations have not been given sufficient follow-up.
6. The Committee urges the State party to take all measures to address those recommendations contained in the concluding
observations on the second periodic report that have not yet been implemented and to provide adequate follow-up to the
recommendations regarding, inter alia, data collection systems, the harmonization of minimum ages and definitions, the death
penalty, juvenile justice, corporal punishment, and children with disabilities, contained in the present concluding observations on its
combined third and forth periodic report.
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Bombing of Nigerian Newspaper Offices Condemned by Freedom House
Apr 26 2012 - 5:30pm
Freedom House condemns the April 26 bombing attacks on several newspaper offices in Nigeria that have reportedly left at least
seven people dead and 26 injured. The first attack occurred at the office of the newspaper This Day in the capital city of Abuja, as
a jeep rammed into the building’s gate in an apparent suicide bombing. The second attack occurred in Kaduna, and involved a
bomb thrown near the offices of This Day, as well as two other papers. The alleged second bomber is in custody, and is believed
to be a member of Boko Haram, a radical Islamic sect that has threatened and killed journalists in the past, and warned journalists
not to “misrepresent its views” as recently as last month. Nigeria’s president, Goodluck Jonathan has called the attacks “ignoble,
misguided, horrendous and wicked.”
“The recent influx in bombings have made Nigeria’s already-vulnerable climate for freedom of the press even worse,” said
Courtney Radsch, senior program manager for Freedom House’s Global Freedom of Expression Campaign. “These attacks are a
deplorable act of intimidation that must be immediately investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice.”
There were no known specific threats made against This Day prior to the attacks, but the paper had recently increased security
amid elevated levels of bombings and violence in the country. A count by the Associated Press credits Boko Haram with more than
440 deaths in Nigeria this year alone. Gunmen from the group killed at least 185 people, including a journalist, in an assault on the
city of Kano in January. Nigeria continues to be a dangerous place for journalists, with disturbing incidents of intimidation,
kidnapping, and murder in recent years.
Nigeria is rated Partly Free in Freedom House’s Freedom of the Press 2011 and Freedom in the World 2012 surveys.
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Nigeria: Police must comply with court order and immediately release detainee
6 September 2012
Amnesty International today called on the Inspector General of the Nigeria Police Force to respect a Court Order issued by an
Abuja High Court ordering the immediate release from police custody of Ibrahim Umar, who has been detained in a police station
for almost seven months without charge or trial.
Ibrahim Umar was arrested with Ibrahim Mohammed on 26 January 2012. Since then they have been detained without charge or
trial at the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) headquarters, Abuja - commonly referred to as “the abattoir”.
On 2 August, High Court 16, Kuje, Abuja, declared the continued detention of Ibrahim Umar “unconstitutional” and “an
infringement of his fundamental rights” and granted a Court Order for his immediate release. The Court Order was served on the
police on 7 August. However, the police have refused to comply and Ibrahim Umar is still in detention.
The continued police detention of Ibrahim Umar and Ibrahim Mohammed is unlawful and a violation of their right to liberty. The
refusal by the police to comply with a Court Order demonstrates a flagrant disregard for the rule of law.
Ibrahim Umar and Ibrahim Mohammed were first arrested on 13 January 2012 at the Borno State Government Lodge, Asokoro,
Abuja when police raided the lodge to arrest Kabiru Sokoto who is alleged to be a member of Boko Haram and was wanted in
connection with the Christmas Day 2011 bombing of St. Theresa's Catholic Church, Madalla, Niger State.
Ibrahim Umar and Ibrahim Mohammed spent seven days in police detention before being arraigned before the Chief Magistrate
Court, Wuse Zone 2, Abuja on 20 January 2012, charged with three counts: joint act, belonging to an unlawful society and culpable
homicide not punishable with death. The case was adjourned to 28 March 2012 and the men were remanded in Kuje prison.
On 26 January 2012, prior to the adjournment date, on the application of the prosecution, all charges against the men were dropped
and an order for their release was granted. However, when they were released from prison on 26 January 2012 they were
immediately rearrested by the police and taken to the SARS. They have been in police detention ever since.
The detention of Ibrahim Umar and Muhammad Umar by the police is illegal. Under Section 35 of Nigeria’s Constitution anyone
detained by the police must be arraigned before a court within a reasonable time - between 24 or 48 hours for non capital offences
depending on the proximity of the court.
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Nigeria: Clinton Should Urge Jonathan to Address Violence
Pervasive Abuses, Corruption, and Impunity Should Top Agenda During Visit
August 8, 2012
(Washington, DC) – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on her trip to Nigeria should encourage President Goodluck Jonathan to
address increasingly deadly violence in northern and central Nigeria, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to Clinton on August 7,
2012. Much of the violence has been initiated by the militant Islamist group Boko Haram.
Clinton, who is scheduled to meet with Jonathan in Abuja on August 9, should also raise security force abuses, corruption, and lack
of accountability, Human Rights Watch said.
“Nigeria is facing a surge of violence and lawlessness that has blighted the lives of thousands of Nigerians,” said Daniel Bekele,
Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Nigeria’s leaders need to confront this violence, whether committed by Boko Haram or
the country’s security forces.”
Attacks by Boko Haram have left more than 1,400 people dead in northern and central Nigeria since 2010. The armed group has
targeted police and other government security agents, Christians and churches, and Muslims who are critical of the group or
perceived as collaborating with the government, Human Rights Watch said.
Security agents have rounded up hundreds of people and routinely detained them incommunicado without charge or trial. Security
forces have also been implicated in extrajudicial killings of Boko Haram suspects and other detention-related abuses. The group
claims it is attacking the police in retaliation for security force abuses.
In Nigeria’s volatile “middle-belt” region, particularly in Kaduna and Plateau states, inter-communal violence has resulted in the
deaths of several thousand people – both Muslims and Christians – in the past four years. Mobs have hacked to death many of their
victims based simply on their ethnic or religious identity, but rarely has anyone been prosecuted for these massacres.
Despite Nigeria’s tremendous oil wealth, endemic government corruption and poor governance have robbed many Nigerians of
their rights to health and education. These problems are most acute in the north – the country’s poorest region – where widespread
poverty and unemployment, sustained by corruption, and state-sponsored abuses have created an environment in which militant
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Statement delivered by H. E. Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, at the UN High Level Event on the Rule of Law at
National and International Levels
Monday, 24 September 2012 14:48
Ladies and Gentlemen.
Nigeria believes that the strengthening of the rule of law at the national and international levels is a shared responsibility of the
international community. It is undoubtedly, an essential condition for peaceful cooperation and coexistence among States, and
critical to addressing global challenges in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter and international law. Nigeria
therefore, subscribes to the view that it is only an international system based on the rule of law that can guarantee the protection of
the rights of individuals and the interests of the less powerful in the global arena.
Mr. President, we recognize the close nexus between the Rule of Law and Democracy and the primacy of the rule of law as a
prerequisite for the promotion and protection of democracy, good governance and sustainable development. Nigeria therefore
envisions the promotion of the rule of law at the international level as a vital means of strengthening cooperation and promoting
enduring peace and security among States.
Nigeria has consistently demonstrated strong political will to fulfill its international obligations through the domestication of relevant
international instruments and recommended practices such as the enactment of the Freedom of Information Act 2011 to promote
open government; the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011 and the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011, to give impetus to the
global fight against terrorism, terrorist financing and economic crimes.
The Human Rights Commission (Amendment) Act 2011 was also enacted to broaden its mandate. Similarly, electoral reforms have
been undertaken to consolidate the democratic process. Our focus has been on the conduct of credible, free and fair elections in
order to avail the citizenry, the right to freely choose those who should govern them. The elections conducted so far in Nigeria
attest to that.
It is imperative for the rule of law to be strengthened at both national and international levels to ensure equity and fairness. The rule
of law at the international level must be based on a number of core principles of the United Nations, which were further reaffirmed
in the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document. This implies that States must in good faith, honour their international obligations,
including the obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force, the obligation to settle disputes through peaceful means, the
obligation to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms and abide by international humanitarian law. The principle of equality
of States remains an important element in the promotion of the rule of law at the international level. The international community
should therefore discourage any semblance of selective observance and enforcement of international law.
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NHRC Receives 'A STATUS' Accreditation Certificate
ABUJA, 21 MARCH, 2012
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Madam Navi Pillay has formally presented “A Status” accreditation
certificate to Nigera’s National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). With this development the NHRC has regained her voting
rights at the International Coordinating Committee (ICC) of National Human Rights Institutions.
Madam Pillay presented the certificate to the Executive Secretary National Human Rights Commission Prof Bem Angwe at the
opening session of the 25th meeting of the ICC, currently taking place in Geneva.
The Commission was downgraded to ‘B’(observer) status by the ICC four years ago, following perceived interference with the
operations of the Commission.
The NHRC however regained her “A Status” last year, following the passage and the signing into law of the NHRC (Amendment)
Act 2010, which conferred on the Commission enhanced mandate and additional powers and independence in the discharge of her
The NHRC was earlier in November 2011, elected into the ICC Bureau, the highest body for the regulation of the operations of
National Human Rights Institutions worldwide. Membership of the Bureau confers on the Commission a seat on the Governing
Board of the Bureau, which is in charge of the general control and management of the operations of the ICC.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Human Rights Commission was Tuesday sworn in as a member of the ICC Bureau – the governing board of
the ICC. The Commission was inducted along with 15 other members representing different continents. Nigeria represents west
Africa as one of the four from the region. Bureau members serve for a term of two years.
With these developments Nigeria has regained its rightful place in the international human rights community.
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Commission to inspect schools, prisons in FCT
September 30, 2012 by Agency Reporter
The Commissioner, Public Complaints Commission, Federal Capital Territory, Mr. Obunike Ohaegbu, has said the agency will soon
visit public schools in the nation’s capital to ensure that the teachers are professionally qualified to teach.
“We are preparing to visit all the schools in the FCT to make sure that teachers in the schools have sound background in
education,” the commissioner said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Friday.
Ohaegbu said the objective of the inspection was to bring positive change to the schools, adding that “Teachers need to be trained
and retained in the education sector to equip them for the teaching profession.”
He further said the commission would also visit prisons in the FCT to find out if cases were treated promptly. He added that there
were cases of people arrested for an offence that carried a maximum sentence of about three years but who had been in detention
for more than four years awaiting trial.
“We are going to see the prisoners, who are awaiting trial, to find out the last time they went to court, what the cases are about,
and whether they are represented by lawyers. These are the things we are going to look at. So, if we find out that a case is minor
and because he or she has no fund to get a lawyer, we can assist the person,” Ohaegbu said.
He explained that the commission would also meet with relevant agencies that could assist in the monitoring of prisons, as well as
conduct seminars to enlighten the public on the role, mandate and the objectives of the commission.
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President since 05 May 2010
Vice President since 18 May 2010