NCICC Pays Tribute to Steering Committee Member, Oby Nwankwo

The world human rights community have lost the amazon herself, Oby Nwankwo. This is an unbelievable loss of a pillar of human rights promotion and equal opportunities advocacy in Nigeria and across the world. A member of UN CEDAW and highly respected activist. We cannot mourn you enough. Your legacy and pioneering work at NCICC, CIRRDOC, Coalition on Affirmative Action, Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill which you personally initiated and drove, UN Women, Coalition for Int’l Criminal Court, Nigeria Community Paralegal initiative and the many more lives that you touched, people you built and mentored etc.

You are an angel going home so soon, but rest in the bossom of the Lord, whom you diligently served when you were here.

Adieu Oby.

-Chairman, NCICC


Trial of Over 1600 Boko Haram Suspects Begins October…

On Monday, 9 October 2017, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) will commence trial of more than 1600 Boko Haram suspects at a Special Court set up by the Federal Government. Trial will begin with detainees in the Wawa Barracks, in  Kainji, Niger State, for which a list of prosecutors to handle the cases have already been approved, and the Legal Aid Council has equally released a list of lawyers to stand in for the suspects.

Beyond this, four judges from the Federal High Court have also been drafted to sit on the cases at Kainji and dispose of them expeditiously. Mr. Salihu Isah, Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the Minister in a statement issued 24th September,  listed some of the challenges against the prosecution of the suspected Boko Haram terrorists to include poorly investigated case files arising from pressure during the peak of conflict at the theatre, over reliance on confession based evidence, lack of forensic evidence, absence of cooperation between investigators and prosecutors at pre investigation stages and poor logistical facilities to transport defendants from detention facility to court for trial, among others.

Isah stated that the trial would be in four categories, including “Boko Haram suspects who were, hitherto, investigated by the Joint Investigation Team set up by the Defence Headquarters, otherwise known as DHQ/JIT, and case files transmitted to the AGF; and after a careful review of the cases based on their individual merit, it was discovered that they have no prima facie cases that will sustain a charge against them in any court of law, hence, were recommended for release and handed over to the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) for rehabilitation and/or de-radicalisation.

“The second category is the set of suspects that the Attorney-General found prima facie cases against them and charges already filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja Division, who are also mostly in the detention facility under reference and may be willing to plead guilty for a lesser sentences.

“The other category are the suspects whose case file are either recommended for further investigation or that have no investigation conducted on them at all, hence, they do not have case files that will warrant the Attorney General of the Federation to form any opinion in respect of their case.

“Lastly, the fourth category is the suspects whose cases were reviewed and a prima facie were found and may be willing to opt for a full trial.”

He noted that given the above categorisation, the number of the suspects affected by any of the aforementioned categories would only be determined when the trial has commenced.


International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

26th September marked the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, which, according to the United Nations, ‘provides an occasion for the world community to reaffirm its commitment to global nuclear disarmament as a high priority’. Global nuclear disarmament is one of the oldest goals of the UN and was the subject of one of the General Assembly’s first resolution in 1946. Today, more than 15,000 nuclear weapons remain, however the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons which was adopted on 7 July 2017 marks an important step and contribution towards the common goal of a world without nuclear weapons. To read more about the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, click here.


International Criminal Court to receive 2017 Stockholm Human Rights…

The 2017 recipient of the Stockholm Human Rights Award was announced two weeks ago as the International Criminal Court (‘ICC’ or the ‘Court’). Given in recognition of work advancing international justice and strengthening respect for human rights, the Award is bestowed annually by the Swedish Bar Association, the International Bar Association and the International Legal Assistance Consortium.

In Stockholm, Sweden, on 20 November 2017, in the presence of Their Majesties King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia and an audience of eminent individuals in international law, the Principals of the ICC – the President, Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi; the Prosecutor, Dr Fatou Bensouda, and the Registrar, Mr Herman von Hebel  – will receive the Award jointly on behalf of the Court. Read more about the award on the International Bar Association Website here.

image source: News

AMNESTY: Boko Haram Resurgence Kills 381 Civilians Since April

“Boko Haram is once again committing war crimes on a huge scale, exemplified by the depravity of forcing young girls to carry explosives with the sole intention of killing as many people as they possibly can,” said Alioune Tine, Amnesty International’s director for West and Central Africa.

“This wave of shocking Boko Haram violence, propelled by a sharp rise in suicide bombings, highlights the urgent need for protection and assistance for millions of civilians… Governments in Nigeria, Cameroon and beyond must take swift action to protect them from this campaign of terror.”

Amnesty highlights that this spurt in Boko Haram attacks has claimed nearly 400 lives in Nigeria and Cameroon since April, which is double the amount of the previous 5 months. Out of this number, at least 223 civilians died in Nigeria since April, underscoring that the real toll could be far higher.

“Between May and August, seven times more civilians were killed than in the preceding four months, while 100 civilians were killed in August alone,” it said.

Boko Haram is waging an insurgency in a bid to establish a hardline Islamist state in Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north.

At least 20,000 people have been killed in violence since 2009 and more than 2.6 million people have been left homeless. More than five million people are starving as the fighting has devastated farmland, leaving farmers unable to sow or cultivate crops for several years.

In neighbouring Cameroon, Amnesty said since April at least 158 civilians died in Boko Haram strikes, a figure four times higher than the preceding five months.

“The recent spike in casualties has been driven by increased suicide attacks, with 30 –- more than one per week –- carried out since the beginning of April,” it said.

The deadliest attack took place in the town of Waza on July 12 when 16 civilians were killed and at least 34 injured after a young girl was forced to carry and detonate a bomb in a crowded video game centre.


UN Names First Victims’ Rights Official to Combat Sexual…

The UN has been shaken by a series of allegations against its peacekeeping soldiers stationed in multiple African countries. In 2016, accusations surfaced that blue helmets on a peacekeeping mission in the CAR had committed sexual crimes including sexual assault, rape, abuse of minors and transactional sex. After investigating, the UN identified 41 suspected soldiers from Gabon and Burundi in December 2016 before passing proceedings onto those countries.

The in June 2017, the Republic of the Congo withdrew around 600 of its troops in the CAR in relation to sexual abuse allegations, leaving some 140 Congolese soldiers under the UN banner.

Peacekeepers in Haiti have also allegedly committed sexual exploitation crimes.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres thus announced last month that Jane Connors will become the organization’s first Victims’ Rights Advocate, to eliminate sexual exploitation committed by peacekeeping troops… read more

Source: News

International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances

August 30 marks the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, where the UN commemorates victims of enforced or involuntary disappearances in various regions of the world, including arrest, detention and abduction. Enforced disappearance has frequently been used as a strategy to spread terror within the society. The feeling of insecurity generated by this practice is not limited to the close relatives of the disappeared, but also affects their communities and society as a whole.

Enforced disappearance has become a global problem and is not restricted to a specific region of the world. Once largely the product of military dictatorships, enforced disappearances can nowadays be perpetrated in complex situations of internal conflict, especially as a means of political repression of opponents.

To read more about International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, visit the UN page here.

Press Releases

NCICC Commends Establishment of Judicial Commission for Probe of…

PRESS RELEASE, August 7 2017

On Friday, 3 August 2017, the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo announced the establishment of a 7 man Judicial Commission headed by Justice Biobele A. Georgewill of the court of appeal, to review compliance of the Nigerian Armed forces with human rights obligations and rules of engagement, especially in local conflict and insurgency situations.

The Nigerian Coalition for the International Criminal Court (NCICC) commends this move by the Federal Government, which will finally see to the impartial investigation of the Nigerian Military for alleged human rights violations, and any other alleged acts of international humanitarian and human rights law committed on Nigerian soil. This move is a step closer to Nigeria’s fulfilment of international obligations under international law, to not only prevent violations of atrocity crimes, but see to justice for victims across the country.

In recent years, NCICC has collated detailed information from thousands of these victims, who have suffered severe violations of human rights and serious abuses of humanitarian laws in North-Eastern Nigeria by the Military. We therefore stand by the government in its efforts and express our availability to work with the Judicial Commission to meet its targets. As always, NCICC urges the Federal Government to continue unwaveringly in this path to bring to justice all perpetrators of crimes under international law, and other serious violations of human rights in conflict situations in Nigeria.


Press Releases

International Justice Day #WarAfterWar

Yesterday, 17th July marked International Justice Day which commemorates the historic adoption of the Rome Statute on 17 July 1998 by an overwhelming majority of the world’s countries.

Since then, the International Criminal Court (ICC) celebrated 15 years since opening its doors,  and has made significant progress in holding perpetrators of atrocities to account, placing international justice firmly on the international agenda.

However, global access to justice remains uneven. Many governments continue to deny the ICC jurisdiction where it is most needed. As such, the ICC must continue to evolve into the global court the world demands of it.

The Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC) now stands at 2,500 member organizations, ranging from community and grassroots groups in 150 countries to prominent international human rights NGOs, and NCICC is one of them.

On this important day, NCICC calls on its members and Nigerian citizens as a whole to continue to work for the protection of human rights at the national, regional and global levels through the ICC and Rome Statute system of international justice

International Justice Day is a reminder for all states committed to fair and impartial justice for victims of the worst crimes around the world: to urgently ensure continued support for the international justice system.


ICC marks its 15th Anniversary with Campaign to run…

On 1 July 2017, the International Criminal Court (ICC) marked its 15th anniversary. On this occasion, the ICC has invited all those interested to tell their stories about being 15, and how events in their youth shaped their sense of justice using the hashtag #whenIwas15. This online campaign aims to engage with a broad community of those for whom justice matters, celebrate achievements thus far, and look to the future to build a more just world.

Read more “ICC marks its 15th Anniversary with Campaign to run till 17 July”

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