By / 20th March, 2017 / projects / Off

CURE-Nigeria has continued its advocacy for justice reforms and respect for human rights across the country. Here is one of such events on the 6th March, 2018 in Asaba, Delta State.

 On The Role of the Rule Of Law And Human Rights In Reforming the Criminal Justice System in Delta State Organized By Citizens United For The Rehabilitation Of The Errants (Cure) – Nigeria And Bonum Seeds Foundation In Collaboration With High Court Of Justice, Delta State At Orchid Hotel, DBS Road, GRA, Asaba, Delta State. …Read More

Advocacy Visits

One critical part of our work involves visiting places of detention to assess physical conditions of detention facilities and how these affect detainees’ social, health welfare being. Also, we assess human rights condition of inmates. The findings from these visits form part of our advocacy programming and activities.

Here, the Executive Director, Mr. Sylvester Uhaa, visits SARS Detention Facility in Abuja, in partnership with the National Human Rights Commission, Nigerian Bar Association, the National Committee Against Torture and NOPLIN, ASO Radio, to assess human rights conditions and access to justice for inmates in the facility. This visit was conducted in the wake of the national outcry for the reform of SARS following series of human rights violations.

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The Executive Director with members of the National Committee Against Torture on a visit to the SARS in Abuja

Visit to Senator David Umaru

Visit to key stakeholders such as the law and policy makers, law enforcement, religious and traditional institutions, among other, is a vital part of effort to achieve justice reforms  and promote human rights in Nigeria. Here, members of CURE-Nigeria paid a visit to Distinguished Senator David Umaru, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Human Rights and Judiciary at the National Assembly.

Among other things, CURE-Nigeria asked the Committee to visit places of detention to assess human rights and prison conditions, as well as take steps to ensure the full implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, particularly, the use of alternatives to incarceration. We also brougt to his attention some serious loopholes in the Act and the urgent need for amendment of those parts for effective and efficient justice administration in Nigeria. The Senator was pleased with the visit and promised to take our requests to his Committee for consideration and necessary action.

Senator David Umaru (middle) and the Executive Director with members of his team

Media Advocacy

In November 2017, CURE-Nigeria carried out an intensive advocacy on the perennial issue of high rate of awaiting trial inmates in our prisons through the use of press conferences to reach relevant stakeholders. This became imperative as most of the ills in our prisons are linked to congestion due to the large awaiting trial proportion of our prison population. More than 70% of the people in prisons in Nigeria are awaiting trial. CURE-Nigeria visited prisons in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kano and Enugu, states that are amongst those with the highest awaiting trial population before the press conferences were done at these locations.

Some pictures from the press conference

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Two of CURE-Nigeria’s main activities are advocacy visits to stakeholders and training of criminal justice actors. Through these visits, we challenge policies, legislations and practices that do not conform to domestic and international law, and make suggestions for reforms.
Through the training, we are able to train stakeholders such as judicial, police and prison officers, as well as prosecutors on the law and international standards. We invite experts to deliver presentations on various topics, and participants are given plenty of opportunity to ask questions, share ideas and learn from each other. This has contributed to justice reforms in Nigeria. Also, major decisions have been reached at some of these trainings which have huge impact on justice reform in Nigeria. For example, at our training in 2012, a representative of the Federal Ministry of Justice announced the Ministry’s decision to withdraw its proposal to the Federal Government to build more prisons following CURE-Nigeria’s persistence argument that the country does not need new prisons in order to de-congest the prisons, as contained in a letter to the then President Goodluck Jonathan. See link to the letter…….

Here are pictures of some of our advocacy visits and training sessions.

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Visit to CP, Borno State, 2015

 

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Visit to a police station in Borno State, 2015

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Visit to the Governor, Kaduna State, 2015

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Visit to Prison HQTR, Benin, 2008

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Visit to the Oba of Benin, 2008

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Visit to SARS Office, Borno State, 2015

2011 conference, organized by CURE-Nigeria and supported by International CURE; Federal Ministry of Justice, Nigeria; and Jane Addams School of Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA.

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A cross section of participants at the conference

2011 training in Abuja, organized by CURE-Nigeria and the Federal Ministry of Justice, Nigeria

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Abdullahi Yola, Solicitor General and Justice Mary Odili at the training

2012 training in Lagos, organized by CURE-Nigeria and the Federal Ministry of Justice, Nigeria.

2015 training in Abuja, organized by CURE-Nigeria, National Human Rights Commission, Federal Ministry of Justice, and High Court of Justice, Federal Capital Territory

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Hon. Justice Uwais and Hon. Justice Bello at the event

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Justice Uwais, Justice Bello, Rep of French Embassy and Sylvester at the event

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A cross section of magistrates, prosecutors and other participants in attendance

Training in Makurdi, organized by CURE-Nigeria and the High Court of Justice, Benue State

Exec. Director

Sylvester, making a point

 

Pic from Justice Actors Roundtable in Makurdi

Justice Kwahar; Sylvester; Barr. Hon, SAN; Hon. Justice Hwande, CJ, Benue State; and ASP Dimka

 

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Magistrates and prosecutors, and lawyers