The crisis in the North-East region of Nigeria has resulted in widespread displacement, violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, protection risks and a growing humanitarian crisis, with reports of grave human rights violations which are largely unaddressed and unresolved. The project was conceived to address these issues, and is being coordinated by the United Nations Development Programmes (UNDP); funded by the Government of Japan and implemented by Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS). The project is focused on bridging the existing gaps by contributing to providing immediate access to justice as part of stabilization and early recovery from conflict. Other key stakeholders/partners in this project namely: National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Federal Ministry of Justice (FMoJ) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Legal Aid Council (LAC), Defence Headquarters (DHQ), Nigerian Police Force (NPF), Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Nigeria Prisons Service (NPS).
Objectives and Activities (2017 -2018)
1. Ensuring that compliance with human rights and international humanitarian law form an integral part of the response to the insurgency in the North-East, while recognizing the legitimacy of national security concern of the government;
2. Ensuring that in the returnee communities, there is not only a minimal presence of law enforcement, judicial, criminal justice and human rights institutions, but that these institutions are adequately resourced to provide effective and timely service delivery especially to the marginalized and traumatized people in the region;
3. Strengthening trust and confidence-building between the security agencies (who have often been accused of committing human rights violations) and communities through an inclusive and participatory approach for all stakeholders in the design, development and implementation of rights based policing and law enforcement strategies.
4. Strengthening systems to respond to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), in full compliance across all sectors with the IASC Guidelines on Integrating GBV Interventions in Humanitarian Action, as well as systems to protect all children and safeguard their best interests.
5. Finally, the project’s work will be integrated into existing UNDP projects in the same communities to ensure the achievement of results and impact.
The project activities started with a Community Based Mapping Exercise (CBME) that determines and confirms the level of presence and accessibility of core security and rule of law institutions in North East Nigeria, which sought to equip appropriate stakeholders with relevant data imperative to strategizing for the provision of timely and effective monitoring, reporting and response to human rights violations particularly those that are sexual and gender based. However, an orientation workshop and training for the CBME was organized before deployment of field officers to the respective states of study. A validation workshop was also organized following their return from the field.
The validation workshop and its findings further spurred training of Health Care Providers on SGBV/Post Exposure Prophylaxis to build the capacity of health providers in the use of post-exposure prophylaxis among clients of sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) and strengthening systems to respond to SGBV, in full compliance across all sectors with the IASC Guidelines on Integrating GBV Interventions in Humanitarian Action, as well as systems to protect all children and safeguard their best interests.
Additionally, a Training of Trainers workshop to enhance efficiency and effectiveness of services in support of access to justice and rule of law was organized at the close of 2018, specifically to build capacity of participants who are expected to undertake training of their colleagues on an ongoing basis to acquire critical knowledge skills that will enhance their efficiency to provide services in support of justice and rule of law in their various communities.
• A three-year rule of law project for North-East Nigeria with catalytic access to justice, security and human rights priorities was established to address the effects of conflict in the three most affected States (Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States )
• Nine Community-Based Mapping exercises documented the presence of core justice and security institutions, and recorded the available services.
• Successfully build the Capacity of Health Care Providers from various affected communities on the Screening of Victims of Sexual and Gender Based Violence and administration of Post Exposure prophylaxis and HIV Kits (PEP KITS) to ensure SGBV cases prevention and responses.
• Successfully build the capacity of traditional religious rulers, paralegals, lawyers from various affected communities through a Training of Trainers (ToT) who have undertaken to train their colleagues on an on-going basis to acquire critical knowledge skills that will enhance their efficiency to provide services in support of justice and rule of law in their various communities.
Although the project is on-going, it should be noted that the major beneficiaries of this project will be the Government of Nigeria (represented by Ministry of Budget and National Planning) and the three North-Eastern states (Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states respectively. The project’s work will be integrated into existing UNDP projects in the same communities to ensure the achievement of results and impact on the communities.
The NIALS-Centre for Comparative Law (University of Cape Town) Research Partnership, December 2015 – December 2017
The NIALS/CCLA (University of Cape Town) Partnership, also called the Energy Law and Policy for Development project was a TY Danjuma funded project that was geared towards a research in the Energy Law and Development in Africa. The partnership commenced with a Research methodology workshop comprising representatives of both NIALS and the Center for Comparative Law, University of Cape Town (UCT). This workshop was scheduled for researchers from NIALS to meet with South African energy law researchers at UCT to develop a methodology for the project. The Energy Law and Policy for Development in Africa research workshop was scheduled for 23rd and 24th November 2015 at the CCLA Meeting Room, Faculty of Law, University of Cape Town (UCT). Lead Investigators/Editors were Professor Yinka Omorogbe (NIALS) and Dr. Ada Ordor (CCLA).
NIALS was represented at this Workshop by Professor Yinka Omorogbe, Mrs. Helen Chuma Okoro and Mrs. Nnenna Joy Eboh. Deliberations at the meeting included identifying key research areas in the area of Energy Law in Africa, drawing up timelines within which the project would be concluded as well as identifying the human resources to contribute to the book project. The project period spanned from December 2015 to December 2017.
Activities and Objectives
This research project was concerned with the legal resolution of one of the pressing problems of the 21st century, and a fundamental and critically important issue of our time: the enablement and empowerment of the world’s 1.7 billion people living in poverty and medieval conditions as a result of their dependency on basic biomass for meeting their energy needs, through the provision of modern energy services in their respective communities, wherever they were located.
This internationally recognized issue underpins the declaration of the United Nations of 2014-2020 as the decade of Sustainable Energy for All. It also underpins the realization a few years ago that the Millennium Development Goals were all premised on the provision of access to energy services.
This research was premised on the imperative for the creation of sound and appropriate legal frameworks that promote universal access to energy services to as many previously energy-deprived persons as possible.
This research project was a meaningful effort to advance the implementation of activities to promote energy access, using the law as an instrument of change.
The research project produced a book titled ‘Ending Africa’s Energy Deficit and the Law: Achieving Sustainable Energy for all in Africa.’ It captures perspectives and national efforts highlighted by academics and energy practitioners within and outside Africa, on the effective implementation of energy access in Africa
L-R: Heleen van Niekerk, Helen Chuma-Okoro, Henri Mostert, Nnenna Eboh, Dr. Ada Ordor, Dr. Tobias Schonwetter, Prof. Salvatore Mancuso at the Investigative workshop at the CCLA, University of Cape Town, South Africa.
NIALS/UNDP Project on Access to Justice and Rule of Law in The North-East.
In September 2017, the United Nations Development Programme collaborated with NIALS for the implementation of the research project titled ‘Support to Access to Justice and the Rule of Law in the North East of Nigeria’. The Project, which is conducted and implemented in phases, seeks to contribute to the stabilization and early recovery in the North-East through support for the re- establishment of core justice and security services in accessible areas, and the enhancement of timely and effective access to justice especially for those most affected by the insurgency. The overall expected outcome of the project is the enhancement of effective security and justice delivery in the accessible areas of the North East.
Other responsible partners in the research project are the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Federal Ministry of Justice; National Human Rights Commission; Legal Aid Council; Nigerian Police Force; Nigerian Bar Association and the Nigerian Prisons Service.
In furtherance to the objective of the project, NIALS in collaboration with UNDP has carried out the first phase of the project in 2017.
Through a Community Based Mapping Exercise (CBME) that determines and confirms the level of presence and accessibility of core security and rule of law institutions in North East Nigeria, the first phase of the project sought to equip appropriate stakeholders with relevant data imperative to strategizing for the provision of timely and effective monitoring, reporting and response to human rights violations particularly those that are sexual and gender based. An Orientation workshop and training for the CBME was organized before deployment of field officers to the respective states of study. A validation workshop was also organized following their return from the field.
Subsequent phases of the project are currently on-going.
UNODC/NIALS Project on Human Rights and Criminal Justice Response to Terrorism
In the United Nations (UN) Resolution on Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (R/RES/60/288), member states collectively stated that ‘effective counter-terrorism measures and the protection of human rights are not conflicting but mutually reinforcing; and so recognized the need for international collaboration in terms of providing technical support (for states that require it) to counter terrorism while upholding the principles of human rights. Hence, the Nigerian government approached the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to provide an enhanced programme of specialized counter-terrorism capacity building and technical assistance to the authorities in countering terrorism in the country. Capacity building and technical support was provided by UNODC as part of the ‘Nigeria-UNODC-CTED Partnership on Strengthening Criminal Justice Response to Terrorism’ which was fully funded by the European Union. The objective was to help criminal justice entities to strengthen their capacity to effectively bring perpetrators of terrorism to justice.
Activities and Objectives
To achieve this objective, there was a need to develop key tools that would be available to national criminal justice entities; and for capacity building. In order to develop tools that would be amenable to the Nigerian justice system, UNODC went into partnership with NIALS, which is Nigeria’s premier legal training institution to develop training modules. The training modules were written by, Associate Professor Emmanuel Okon, Mr David Oluwagbami, Dr Chinyere Ani, Dr Fatima Waziri-Azi and Dr Ibe Ifeakandu (NIALS) as well as Ulrich Gams and Ruth Kiragu (Programme Officers at UNODC) under the management of Professor Adedeji Adekunle, SAN (Director-General, NIALS) and George Puthuppally (Chief, Implementation Support Section II (Sub-Saharan Africa) of UNODC).
The modules were used in a series of fully residential Training of Trainers (ToT) workshops, organized by UNODC (funded by the EU) with focus on human rights aspects of terrorism. The idea was to enhance the capacity of participants to train other criminal justice operatives. Participants were drawn from a number of agencies, including NIALS, NJI, NBA, DSS, CID, Police, Complex Case Group (DPP Office, Federal Ministry of Justice), among others. Participants from NIALS include, Mr David Oluwagbami, Dr, Ibe Ifeakandu, Mr. Benedict Agu and Mrs Vivian Madu. During the period that the trainings took place, NIALS staff were periodically required to make presentations on issues bordering on human rights and terrorism. Certificates were awarded to participants at the end of the trainings.
Overall, the collaboration was rewarding as capacity of NIALS staff to train criminal justice operatives involved in the counter-terrorism fight was enhanced and fully utilized in a series of trainings undertaken by NIALS for frontline counter-terrorism operatives in North-East Nigeria.
UNDP and NIALS