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.