Returning Nigerians’ stolen millions

The stakes are high in the planned distribution of US$322 million in stolen Nigerian public money.

Of the estimated US$20-40 billion stolen annually from developing countries and hidden abroad every year, sometimes a small proportion is successfully confiscated and returned to the country it came from.

In Nigeria, plans are in motion to distribute US$322 million recovered in Switzerland from the late General Sani Abacha, the country’s former military ruler. Abacha is suspected of looting between US$3 and $5 billion in public money.

Where institutions of accountability are not working well, such cases pose a complex problem: how to make sure that the money is not embezzled again, and actually benefits the real victims of corruption – the ordinary people whose state finances were plundered. In 2006, US$723 million illicitly acquired by Abacha’s family was returned to Nigeria from Switzerland. A significant amount of these funds remains unaccounted for.

That past experience led Switzerland to controversially […]

Addressing the plight of irregular migrants

By Gloria Chinyere Okwu

“Migration is an expression of the human aspiration for dignity, safety and a better future; a part of the social fabric, part of our very make-up as a human family,” says the former Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban-ki Moon.

The aforementioned therefore, describes migration as a phenomenon that will remain a part of human existence as humans continue to move from one place to another to better their existence.

Fundamentally, there are two forms of migration—regular and Irregular migration. This piece will focus mainly on irregular migration which possesses severe and disastrous consequences.

Irregular migration causes numerous challenges to the migrants, countries of origin, transit and destination. Migrants in this situation are particularly vulnerable to discrimination, abuse and also in danger of being exploited by crime organizations involved in migrant smuggling and human trafficking.

They are exposed to torture, starvation and death. Nigeria has the highest number of […]

Mitigating the impact of climate change in Nigeria

By Salmat Abdulwaheed and Gideon Ojigi

Climate change remains a serious development threat to the present generation with dreadful impact manifesting disproportionately across globe.

Nigeria as a developing country with a population of about 190 million is likely to be adversely affected by the impact of climate change giving its vulnerability and low response capability.

Realising the significance and inevitability of the environment for survival of man, environmental experts have been arguing boisterously that without the environment man cannot exist since human activities are made possible by the existence of his environment.

While climate change constitutes environmental threat of the 21st century, the current experience alongside its adversity has left nations to seek immediate measures to adapt and mitigate impact.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) defines ‘climate change as a change which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere over comparable […]

Human rights abuses and the inconsistencies in recruitment, selection for peacekeeping missions

By Abubakar Jimoh

There are indications that faulty recruitment and selection processes by the security forces could be major contributory factors to persistent human rights abuses and violations by Nigerian peacekeeping troops in various United Nations’ missions.

These hints are contained in a 78-page report titled “Nigeria: Navigating Secrecy in the Vetting and Selection of Peacekeepers” published by the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) in collaboration with Asia Centre for Human Rights, supported by Open Society Institute, New York.

The report attributes persistent human rights violation and abuses by peacekeeping troops to systemic corruption and inconsistencies associating with personnel recruitment and selection of troops for peacekeeping where “personal relationships and political positioning drive the promotion and assignment” activities.

While the reported cases of misconduct by Nigeria and other security forces during peacekeeping missions triggered the development of uniform standards of conduct for all personnel by the United Nations, the report however faults […]

Ethnocentrism: as an impediment to peaceful coexistence

While persuasion is better than force as a means of drawing public support or attention, the intuition remains that some speeches are in fact dangerous to the peaceful co-existence of the society. In this piece, SALAUDEEN HASHIM presents the impacts of ethnocentrism with resultant tendency for hate speech.

Hate speech mostly originated from ethnocentrism has hitherto been regarded as a dangerous but often neglected phenomenon that has set many countries ablaze and sent many more into cold war.

While hate speech is largely borne of deeply entrenched ethnocentric tendencies, it is undeniable that through malicious rhetoric, one time German Chancellor, Adolf Hitler stirred up murderous hatred that claimed the lives of over six million Jews.

In the bible book of Esther, Haman sort to instigate his people against the children of Israel by making them believe that the Israelites had no regard for their king. His plan almost worked, but for […]

Buhari and the six new laws

In December, 2017 President Muhammadu Buhari assent to six different bills that brought to limelight specific laws that will henceforth abolish a devastating practice in the nation’s health care emergency response system, eradicate the use of torture to extract confessional statements in investigation process, ensure adequate financing for NDDC to effectively pursue its objectives, establish a coordinating national institution to through rigorous research detect and prevent cancer diseases, among others.

By Abubakar Jimoh

As Nigerians prepared for the New Year celebrations, the nation witnessed the much awaited development from the executive arm with President Muhammadu Buhari signing into law six different bills.

The new laws which include Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshot Act, Anti-Torture Act, Niger Delta Development Commission (Establishment) Amendment Act, National Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment (Establishment) Act, Federal Capital Appropriation Act, and Federal Capital Territory Water Board (Establishment) Act, came at the moment when […]

Promoting Culture of Openness in the Legislature

By Abubakar Jimoh
The recent global commemoration of International Day of Democracy freshened discussions on legislative openness, which aims at ensuring core democratic functions of legislature like lawmaking, representation and oversight are as transparent and inclusive as possible at all levels.
Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has observed that having an open legislature helps the legislators adapt to social and technological changes, respond to citizen demands and stay close to the constituents. Through open legislature, a legislature provides more information and expands citizen participation in a deliberate and meaningful way that makes it more effective in delivering democratic dividend to the electorate.
It is a proven fact that every citizen regardless of his or her social, political, economic, education and ethno-religion background has the right to obtain information, as defines under Section 1 (1) of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, 2011, which states: “No matter what any other Law or […]

What the New Legislators must understand

By Abubakar Jimoh
Legislature as a law-making body of a political unit, usually Federal and State Government, has power to enact, amend, and repeal public policy. Just as the legislature has the mandate to control through legislation all economic, social and political activities of the nation, it also scrutinizes the policies of the executive and provides the framework for the judiciary to operate.
The evolution and application of the doctrine of separation of powers created a platform for the operations of the three governmental organs (legislature, executive and judiciary) in a democratic process.  The legislature makes law which in the words of Salisu Abubakar Maikasuwa, Clerk to the National Assembly Abuja, is “the mirror, guide and regulator of society”. The remaining organs of government rely on legislative output to discharge their functions for without law, the executive would have nothing to implement, whilst the judiciary would lack an object of […]

National Confab: Understanding the Implications of Regional Autonomy

By Abubakar Jimoh

As delegates begin debates on the reports of the 20 committees formed to deliberate on issues in the ongoing National Conference, the Yoruba ethnic nationality has said they will not accept anything short of regional autonomy. The group which recently met in Ibadan, Oyo State capital for five hours endorsed a 15-point agenda which it hopes to canvass. Prominent among them is the demand for regional autonomy.

The ethnic nationality also demanded for a new Nigeria consisting of a central union and six regional governments (based on the current six geo-political zones) operating federal and regional constitutions respectively. Key Yoruba leaders from south-west were reportedly unanimously endorsed the agenda and put a curse on anybody, or group of people that will betray the race in the national conference. The document also stated that any ethnic group or groups within a state wishing to align with any other state […]

Understanding Legislative Oversight on Maternal & Child Health

By Chioma Blessing KanuAs part of its efforts to advocate for maternal and child mortality-free environment, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) with support from MacArthur Foundation, recently organized two-days Town Hall Meeting focusing on: Strengthening Existing MDGs Committee and Understanding Legislative Oversight Functions on Maternal Health both with Katsina and Kaduna State Houses of Assembly. Strengthening Existing MDGs CommitteeThe Town Hall Meetings on Strengthening Existing MDGs Committee held in Katsina and Kaduna States aimed at brainstorming exhaustively on the possibility of achieving effective maternal and child health by 2015 and review the legislative oversight functions toward the Millennium Development Goals (Goal 4 & 5). In his keynote address, the Executive Director of CISLAC, Mr. Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani) represented by Chioma Blessing Kanu of CISLAC, noted that maternal and child health (Goal 4 & 5) were declared, primarily to give practical effect to basic woman and child rights’ […]