FIDA shouts out, “STOP ALL forms of violence against persons”! Enough is Enough! The COVID-19 lockdown is not an excuse for gender-based violence!
FIDA Nigeria expresses great dismay at the continuous rise in gender-based violence cases reported during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in Nigeria, often resulting in grievous bodily harm, psychological trauma and even death.
The facts of the reported cases across Nigeria are heart wrenching. Some these cases include (to mention a few):
Lagos – A 16- year old girl, Tina Ezekwe, shot to death by police; negligence leading to the death of a baby precipitated by a male partner.
Edo- A 22- year old University of Benin student, Uwaila Vera Omozuwa, raped and killed in a church.
Ondo- Tope Onifade, whose two daughters were defiled by their father who claimed the cause of their bleeding was as a result of dysentery ailment.
Osun- The headless naked bodies of a woman and her child left in a gutter.
Enugu- Baby Ebube Christy Umeh violently abused with a razor blade by a neighbour; and a woman who battered her 6 months old child with razor cuts because his father refused to marry her.
Bayelsa – A baby rescued from trafficking by his young mother.
Cross River – Chioma, a 14-year-old, raped by her landlord’s son who is a 31-year-old father of three children
Jigawa- A 12- year old girl raped by 11 men.
Osogbo- Mother tied her son in a sack and left him in her wardrobe for three days for stealing
Bauchi- A girl child bride (wife) stabbed her husband to death so she could return to her parents.
Yobe- Halima, whose hand was cut off by her husband for not taking permission to go out to attend a wedding.
FIDA condemns these daily gory tales of GBV which is indicative of a debased society bereft of a value system that emphasizes safety at home or even in worship centres, from parents, spouse or even police. This must change as the consequences and effects on the victims and their families have long term negative impact on society.
It is unacceptable that the police mandated to arrest and prosecute are presently not forth coming, leaning on compliance with COVID-19 regulations, which include social distancing in their stations and the decongestion of cells, as an excuse. They would rather push parties for a prompt settlement and compensation of the victim for an offence, regardless of the severity of such offence.
The Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act 2015, is a landmark legislation on the prohibition of all forms of violence against persons in Nigeria. The Act prohibits all forms of violence against persons in private and public life, and provides maximum protection and effective remedies for victims and punishments of offenders. Therefore, all stakeholders should call for a stop against all forms of violence against persons especially women, children and the vulnerable in our society!
FIDA calls to immediate action the following:
The Public– Closely watch children/wards and protect them so they are not raped or abused; adults to avoid antagonizing each other, especially when there are already underlining issues with abuse; be tolerant and accommodating; report cases of violence and do not stigmatize victims or shame them, or insist that they forgive offenders so to prevent their prosecution; and stop excusing offenders claiming that it is the “devil at work”; insist on punishing offenders for their offence.
The Police– Safe guard and protect the people; keep open all gender desks at each police station to accommodate reports on domestic violence and make quick responses/intervention when called; be understanding when dealing with victims; prosecute the offenders and do not compel settlement of cases.
The Government – Provide the requisite, infrastructure, equipment etc., to ensure citizens are adequately protected; enable the police to carry out their functions; set up special dedicated courts for the trial and prosecution of gender based offenders during the lockdown to send a clear warning to all; equip and enable the Judiciary to sit regularly during the lockdown to attend to such GBV matters; provide more shelters for the care and protection of victims; enable and support stakeholders collaborative rapid response teams for GBV across states.
Stakeholders– Better collaboration and coordination between all stakeholders and provision of one-stop centres for rapid response on GBV across states.
FIDA Nigeria is committed to providing legal support to the vulnerable. So, let’s work together to ensure that all offenders are brought to justice and adequately punished in line with our laws so it serves as a deterrent to others. RAPE is certainly not a family matter; it is an OFFENCE! We all have a role to play in ending the rape culture in our society. Let’s demand accountability and through our actions, say an unequivocal NO TO RAPE!
FIDA strives to bring to an end, the violence, abuse, exploitation and violation of women and children which has become very rampant in our society, especially during the COVID-19 lockdown.
If you or someone you know is experiencing such domestic violence, please report the case or contact FIDA Nigeria’s hotline- 07088496115.
Stay Strong, Stay Safe!
Stay at home, but Stop the abuse!
Stand against rape and the culture of silence!
Signed for FIDA Nigeria
Rhoda Prevail Tyoden
Country Vice President/National President
National Publicity Secretary
FIDA Webinar 2: “Stakeholders Discourse on Protecting Women and Children during the Covid-19 Pandemic”
As part of FIDA Nigeria’s intervention strategies during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, a Second WEBINAR was hosted on May 29, 2020, themed “Sharing experiences: Stakeholders Discourse on Protecting Women and Children during this Pandemic”
The purpose was to bring together key stakeholders to enable them share their experiences so we can collectively adopt new strategies to protecting the vulnerable during these precarious times
- Jacinta Ike (FCT SGBVRT)
- Ijeoma Amugo (NAPTIP)
- Dr. Minnie Oseji (MWAN)
- Chief Magistrate Adefunke Anoma (Family Court)
- Dr Fatima Akilu (NEEN Foundation) and
- Evelyn Membere-Asimiea (FIDA Nig)
Key take home points and expectations going forward included the following:
- The need for greater Sensitization on the VAPP Act
- Ensure prosecution of all GBV cases; no settlement
- Need for more collaboration by all stakeholders
- Break the culture of silence and stigmatization
- Take advocacy to the men and youth to stop VAW
- Position ourselves to be there for increased numbers of defiled and or abandoned children, teen age pregnancies etc.
- The need for greater counseling for offenders and victims
- Physcho – social intervention necessary; punishment must be combined with treatment
- More one stop intervention centers to be set up across the states
- Hotlines for easy access this period
- The need for the training of paralegals to assist at the grassroots for quick intervention
Rhoda Prevail Tyoden,
FIDA Nigeria CVP, the hostess for the program encouraged greater collaboration and quick responses by all stakeholders when called upon despite the several challenges of the lockdown.
The WEBINAR was moderated by Mrs. Eliana Martins FIDA Nigeria National Publicity Secretary. A total of one hundred and seventy persons were virtually in attendance.
FIDA Nigeria hosted her first webinar on May 14, 2020. It was themed. “Pandemics and the Protection of Women and Children using the tool of Law: The Covid-19 Experience”
Rhoda Prevail Tyoden, FIDA Nigeria CVP was the host, while Evelyn Membere-Asimiea FIDA Nigeria National Secretary was the moderator of the webinar.
The purpose was to expose how the Laws we have can be used as a veritable tool in safeguarding the rights of women and Children during Pandemics using the Covid-19 as a case study. (looking at it from the angles of the judiciary, the bar, the academic cycle and the civil society organizations)
FIDA Nigeria collaborated with her Partners
Global affairs Canada and ActionAid Nigeria in organizing this webinar.
Key speakers where
1. Hon. Justice Elizabeth Ama Oji
2. Dele Adesina, SAN
3. Professor Ine Nnadi
4. Nkechi Ilochi Omekede
The Target group was Legal practitioners, CSOs especially Feminists groups, Psychosocial therapists and practitioners.
Key take home points and expectations going forward include:
- The need for a consistent drive and push to ensure effective implementation of the plethora of laws that we have – FIDA is to therefore embark on more sensitization of the existence of these laws.
- NBA/FIDA Nigeria to come up with draft laws to push for more proactive ways of ensuring the proper enforcement of the existing laws
- The need for FIDA Nigeria to collaborate more with critical partners to ensure that issues concerning women and children are brought to the fore.
- The need for more funding for CSO’s to effectively intervene and ensure for the effective protection of the vulnerable and PLWD
In conclusion FIDA Nigeria looks forward to more collaborations particularly with the NBA and other CSO’s and NGO’s
There were a total of two hundred and seventy persons virtually in attendance.
FIDA Nigeria salutes all Frontline medical and other essential service workers; we also celebrate women working tirelessly to progress in their various fields, despite the great challenges and set backs they encounter; yet courageously defying the odds to accomplish great success. You are an inspiration and we celebrate you!
Stay Happy, Stay Safe
FIDA Nigeria extends her warm heartfelt felicitations to everyone at this most difficult time of the Corona Virus Pandemic, where great countries are being brought to a standstill and the continuous reports of sickness and deaths are overwhelming.
The fight to survive is real for everyone (countries and individuals alike) and the reliance on government and the health sector to urgently do the needful and overcome this pandemic is indeed a great burden that must be lifted without delay
The government must rise up to its responsibility to her citizens particularly to provide health care, basic amenities and security, just as citizens on their own part must cooperate with government so that in the shortest of times and with minimal casualties we can overcome as a nation
At this most difficult time, FIDA Nigeria empathizes with everyone, being that in one way or another, we are all affected whether it is through the loss of a loved one, or the many challenges of isolation, quarantine, the loss of jobs and income, the sense of frustration and fear, or the feeling of hopelessness and despondency, the lack of proper shelter and amenities, the inadequacy of the health care facilities, the children and youth out of school, the list goes on and on…it is well with us all as no one is truly alone.
We encourage everyone to have the right attitude, there is indeed a time for everything, therefore please focus on the positives, which include the opportunities presented at this time, to help, to reflect, to read, to reconnect, to encourage, counsel, to do the pending things on your To-Do list, etc. Think outside the box, what can you do help your family, neighbor, community and State, (even if it is just to stay at home and observe social distancing).
This positive attitude is preferred, rather than focusing on the disruption of your program, what you have lost or what you cannot have at this time; then taking advantage of the vulnerable, inflation and the creation of artificial scarcity of necessary items, etc. All this cannot help you or society. Rather, remember to count your blessings and be thankful regardless of all the issues around you for it could always be worse.
FIDA, therefore, appeals to everyone to obey all the rules and guidelines issued by the relevant government authorities. Be vigilant and careful, be safe; as your family and community need you.
FIDA Nigeria cares about the wellbeing of the family and society, particularly the vulnerable in it.
Closely watch your children/wards and protect them so they are not raped or abused; Adults in confined spaces must avoid antagonizing each other especially when there are already underlining issues with emotional and physical abuse; ensure also that there is no stigmatization of the sick, they need care and protection.
We charge Government (whether Local, State, or Federal) to do its part in providing the necessary medical care and facilities for its citizens especially the vulnerable in society; ensure adequate medical facilities in close proximity to the people, ensure easy protocols to be observed so it’s not too cumbersome for people who are already vulnerable, keep people at the grassroots properly informed (in simple understandable language); Provide continuous water and electricity supply and security for people and their property at this trying time, provide proper and adequate palliatives that would reach those really in need
FIDA applauds and commends State Governments who have been most proactive at this time. Thank you for your responsible governance.
FIDA Nigeria is committed to providing legal support to the vulnerable. Together we are strong and can overcome any challenge as a family and a nation.
Rhoda Prevail Tyoden
Country Vice President/National President
National Publicity Secretary
“I Am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights,”
The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Nigeria joins the rest of the world to celebrate the International Women’s Day 2020!
We declare that women all over the world are priceless, strong, focused and multi-talented beings who hold society together and deserve to be celebrated every day! But most of all, they deserve to enjoy their basic rights.
Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable society. We will achieve it when both women and men alike enjoy the same rights and opportunities across all sectors of society.
Nigerian women must be allowed to enjoy greater economic empowerment and participation; more opportunities in leadership positions and decision-making, better opportunities for a girl child education, more women in political appointments, and women allowed to inherit and own property to mention a few.
It is also key that the different behaviors, aspirations and needs of women and men are valued, favored and allowed to grow and flourish. Women can be anything they so desire without limitation and should not be stifled by stereotyping and old labor laws that are limiting and discriminatory against women.
Challenges still exist despite the enactment of relevant new laws such as Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 (ACJA), The Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act 2015 (VAPP), as we see challenges in implementing the laws, in creating enabling structures to ensure the effective implementation of women’s rights.
Human rights are tools of dignity and equality and are to be enjoyed by all human beings at all times irrespective of sex, race, color, religion, or language.
Women’s rights are likewise fundamental human rights as enshrined 70 years ago by the United Nations for every human being on the planet and guaranteed by our Nigerian Constitution.
This year’s IWD theme aligns with the UN Women’s new multi-generational campaign ‘Generation Equality’;
This year, we mark the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. FIDA congratulates all women for the successes recorded so far; and also encourages all stakeholders because though we have accomplished much, a lot more remains to be achieved.
Therefore, we must continue to engage, discuss, collaborate and review ways of further promoting gender equality in our country, while setting new standards on practical ways for greater forward growth.
Despite great strides made towards attaining gender equality, there is ample evidence to show that much more needs to still be done in the aspect of living free from violence and discrimination; education; to own property; vote, and to earn a fair wage and enjoy political appointments.
We remember with dismay the recent attacks on the character and invasion of privacy of the Hon Justice Mary Odili, JSC because of a judgement delivered by a panel she headed and more recently the infringement of human rights and discrimination against the Hon. Justice Akon Ikpeme by her non appointment as the substantive Chief judge of Cross River State. These are successful women who have reached the pinnacle of their careers yet their basic rights are still denied or infringed upon.
On the other hand, we acknowledge the progress recorded in stopping harmful practices such as child marriage and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), there is still much work to be done to completely eliminate such practices.
FIDA Nigeria, in line with Goal 5 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), pledges to continue diligently with her objective and mission in the hope that succor will come to women in achieving gender equality, empowerment and the enjoyment of basic human rights.
FIDA Nigeria, therefore, calls for:
*Full implementation of the newly enacted laws which promote gender parity and the putting in place of facilities, machinery and structures enabling the implementation of the laws.
* The Review of old laws which limit the roles women play in the labor market
* A greater gender balance all around, at all levels and in all its ramifications. This is absolutely necessary because of the great benefits which will accrue to our communities and nation.
* Economic empowerment of women to secure their homes and ensure the survival of their children;
* Guaranteed women involvement in key institutions at all levels of government, including peace-building institutions
* The passage of gender-friendly legislation in Nigeria.
Gender balance will greatly benefit our society because everyone would be carried along, and given equal opportunities, rights and benefits. Peace and social justice will reign in our society and consequently, we would be a highly productive and progressive nation which is inclusive in all respects
Let’s work together to realize the enjoyment of women’s rights
“Women’s Rights are Human Rights”
“Promote Women’s Rights”
“Promote Human Rights”
Rhoda Prevail Tyoden
Country Vice President/National President
National Publicity Secretary
FIDA Nigeria with the support of ActionAid and funding from Global Affairs Canada, is facilitating a training for Small Scale Women Farmers Organization in Nigeria (SWOFON) on access to land, land use and inheritance rights of women in the FCT. This training is to enlighten these women on how they can acquire land to promote their objectives and to charge them on how to be financially independent in order to reduce the incidence of economic violence.
Smallholder Farmers ActionAid Nigeria High Commission of Canada to Nigeria
The attention of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Nigeria has been drawn to an act of grave infringement of the human rights of Hon. Justice Akon Ikpeme by the Governor of Cross River State and some members of the State House of Assembly.
It is heart-breaking to note that at this point of our struggle to stop all forms of discrimination in our society, we will be awakened to such discrimination on grounds of ethnicity and political zoning.
Hon. Justice Akon Ikpeme has been the Acting Chief Judge of the state since March 12, 2019, following the retirement of Hon Justice Michael Edem. She has served meritoriously and despite several challenges along the way has accomplished and received a commendation from the Honourable President of the Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice Z. A. Bulkachuwa (CFR) as she then was, for her immense contribution towards achieving a sustainable and independent democracy in Nigeria.
Hon Justice Akon Ikpeme is an indigene of Akwa Ibom State but was born in Cross River State. She married a Cross Riverian blessed with children; She started her career with the Cross-River State Ministry of Justice and rose to the position of Director of Public Prosecution and further appointed a Judge in Cross River State. Even her father was a permanent secretary in Cross River and retired here. Her state of indigene cannot now be used against her. We must not allow ethnicity and politics to be the deciding factor in the appointment of a Chief Judge of Cross River State.
Justice Akon Ikpeme, being the most senior judge in the State, is the rightful person to act as Chief Judge of the State, since nothing else disqualifies her. The government cannot impose a junior based on tribalism and zoning. Issues such as geopolitical zoning, tribe have no place in evaluating this decision.
Section 271(4) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) confirms this position and is further supported by our legal professional rules of practice. The profession does not tolerate a deviation from the practice.
FIDA Nigeria restates that discrimination based on the state of origin amounts to grave injustice being that the constitution says, ‘the most senior judge of the High Court… and not the most senior indigenous judge of the High Court’.
Since there is no legal impediment against Hon Justice Akon Bassey Ikpeme who qualifies, we can conclude that the rule of law supports her confirmation.
Section 271. (1) of the Constitution says “the Governor of the State shall make the appointment of a person to the office of Chief Judge of a State on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council subject to confirmation of the appointment by the House of Assembly of the State.
The action of the Executive Governor of Cross River State in appointing a junior judge instead of the Hon Justice Akon B. Ikpeme, who is the next senior Judge in the hierarchy of Cross River State Judiciary is a grave injustice
We, therefore, appeal to his Excellency, the Governor and the Speaker of the State House of Assembly to retract his action which is discriminatory and a breach of the constitution.
FIDA condemns in its entirety the practice of Chief Executives of States attempting to impose their preferred candidates for an appointment either as Judges or Chief Judge of a state. The National Judicial Council is independent and should remain so; there is an order of precedence involving the appointment of a Chief Judge of the state.
FIDA Nigeria unites with other groups in strongly condemning the undue interference and discrimination. This position is sad at a time like this when we are planning towards the celebration of the International Women’s Day, IWD themed: ‘Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights’ … this is a clear infringement of the rights of an honourable woman.
We, therefore, call on His Excellency, the Governor of Cross River State to do the right thing and prove to the world that he abhors all forms of discrimination by swearing in the most senior Judge who has been acting effectively.
FIDA NIGERIA stands against all forms of discrimination and injustice. Let’s stop undue interference with the Judiciary and its processes. The independence of the Judiciary must be assured and guaranteed.
Rhoda Prevail Tyoden
Country Vice President/National President
National Publicity Secretary
The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Nigeria is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation made up of over 2,000 female lawyers with several years of experience in utilizing the law to address social problems in Nigeria. The organization’s mandate is the enhancement, promotion, protection and preservation of the rights and welfare of women and children in Nigeria. FIDA Nigeria implements key projects and activities aimed at providing access to justice to indigent persons, particularly women and children.
FIDA Nigeria is recruiting to fill the position below:
Job title: Monitoring & Evaluation Officer
Vacancy Type: One-year fixed-term, renewable
Terms of Reference
This position will be responsible for monitoring and evaluation of projects implemented by FIDA Nigeria. The M & E Officer will work under the overall guidance and supervision of the FIDA Nigeria National President/Country Vice President, National Secretary and other National Executives, and report to them through the Program Manager.
Duties and Responsibilities
The successful candidate will carry out the following tasks:
- Develop and strengthen monitoring, inspection and evaluation procedures;
- Monitor all project activities, expenditures and progress towards achieving the project output with impact indicator;
- Monitor and evaluate overall progress on achievement of results;
- Provide feedback to the Program Manager on project strategies and activities;
- Suggest strategies for project management to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the project by identifying bottlenecks in completing project activities and developing plans to minimize or eliminate such bottlenecks;
- Report monthly, quarterly, half-yearly and annual progress on all projects to the Country Vice President/ National President, Deputy and Program Manager;
- Conduct capacity assessment on existing monitoring and evaluation system;
- Provide inputs, information and statistics for periodic reports to the project management team and development partners;
- Participate in annual project reviews and planning workshops and assist the Program Manager in preparing relevant reports;
- Perform other duties as required.
- Demonstrates professional competence in women and children’s rights and rule of law as well as, knowledge of related policies and practices at the national, regional and international levels;
- Demonstrates knowledge of programme management cycle, including monitoring and reporting;
- Ability to identify and contribute to the solution of problems/issues with a display of persistence;
- Conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines, and achieving results;
- Motivated by professional rather than personal concerns;
2. Team work:
- Ability to collaborate with colleagues within and outside of FIDA Nigeria to achieve organizational goals;
- Ability to solicit inputs by genuinely valuing the ideas and expertise of others;
- Willingness to learn from others;
Support and act following the team and organizational decisions.
3. Planning & Organizing:
- Ability to establish priorities and to plan, coordinate, and monitor work while prioritizing competing demands;
- Foresight for risks and contingencies when planning.
- Ability to write clearly and concisely and to communicate effectively with a range of audiences, including the ability to prepare reports and make presentations in a variety of fora;
- Ability to conduct presentations by clearly formulating positions on issues, articulating options concisely, conveying maximum necessary information as well as making and defending recommendations.
- At least 5 years of experience in the design and implementation of M&E in development projects implemented by national/international NGOs/UN bodies/Government;
- Experience in designing tools and strategies for data collection, analysis and production of reports;
- University Degree preferably in Business Administration, Economics, Statistics or any of the social sciences;
- Expertise in analysing data using statistical software;
- Strong training & facilitation skills.
Qualified candidates should send their curriculum vitae and application addressed to the Country Vice-President/National President to email@example.com.
The subject of the e-mail should be “Application for the Position of Monitoring and Evaluation Officer”.
Deadline: 28 February 2020.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.