Formal Opening Ceremony 2nd Quarter NEC Meeting
The formal Opening Ceremony of the FIDA Nigeria Second Quarter National Executive Council Meeting was held on the 22nd of June, 2022, at Command Guest House, Bauchi State. The Chairperson of FIDA Bauchi, Fatima Abubakar as Hostess, warmly welcomed all to Bauchi State.
In her Address, the Country Vice President (CVP) FIDA Nigeria Amina Suzanah Agbaje appreciated the state government for the support FIDA Bauchi has enjoyed since its inauguration. She acknowledged and most especially appreciated H.E the Wife of the Governor of Bauchi State Hajia Aisha Bala Muhammad for the key role she played towards the establishment of the state branch and continuous support. She similarly acknowledged all key stakeholders for their efforts.
The CVP appealed for more support for the young branch to get it working optimally in achieving set objectives
In attendance were special guests including: the Secretary to the State Government Alh Hashimu Ibrahim SSA Political, representative of the Speaker Bauchi State House of Assembly Hon Musa Wakili Nakwada, the Representative of the Chief Judge of Bauchi State Hon. Justice Fatima Jibrin
The Representative of the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice Bauchi State Shawanatu Yusuf, the Representative of the Emir Alh Usaini Jibo Dan Saran Bauchi, UNFPA Coordinator Bauchi State Mrs Ladi Alabi, Commissioner of Police Bauchi State Command Umar Sanda Mamman, the Chairman NBA Bauchi Branch Jibrin Sa’id Jibrin also, the Representative of the Commandant of Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps Bauchi state Nurudeen Abdulahi.
The Event was declared opened by the Representative of the Chief Judge Hon. Justice Fatima Jibrin. Afterwards, a Keynote Address was delivered on ‘’Bauchi State Child Protection Bill: The Need to Pass the Law’’ presented by Dr. Umar Alkali a UNICEF consultant and Assoc. Prof. Faculty of Law, University of Maiduguri.
Goodwill Messages were received from well-wishers and partners amongst which were the NBA, Royal Father and the SSG Representative Alh. Hashimu Yakubu who assured FIDA of support from the state executive. The opening ceremony concluded with exchange of pleasantries amongst members and above all a great expectation on the events to follow.
FIDA Nigeria NEC Cocktail Party
FIDA Nigeria NEC Meeting Delegates were warmly welcomed to Bauchi and hosted to a beautiful Cocktail by the host branch FIDA Bauchi. The NBA Bauchi Chairman Jibrin Sa’id Jibrin and members of the Executive were also on hand to support the occasion as they welcomed delegates from over twenty-eight states of Nigeria to Bauchi.
FIDA Nigeria Outreach to Bauchi State Correctional Centre
FIDA Nigeria as part of her 2nd Quarter National Executive Council Meeting Activities was hosted by her Bauchi State Branch, ably led by the Chairperson Fatima Abubakar.
The line-up of activities commenced on Tuesday, the 21st of June 2022 with an outreach to the Bauchi State Correctional Centre where FIDA working in collaboration with her partners namely, Al-Muhibbah Foundation, Nigerian Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Self-discovery Empowerment Foundation, Medical Women Association of Nigeria Bauchi and Attah Sisters Helping Hands Foundation visited the Bauchi Custodial Centre.
Legal Clinics were held where cases of inmates were taken, psychosocial support and medical aid was also given particularly for the female inmates.
The First Lady of Bauchi State (Dr) Aisha Bala Mohammed, Founder of Al-Muhibbah Foundation, who is most passionate about support to the less privileged in our society was present with a large entourage which included the Deputy Governor’s wife Hajiya Aishatu Alhaji Baba Tela and wife of the SSG Hajiya Habiba Ibrahim Kasim. Words of encouragement and prayers were offered while necessary items such as toiletries and other materials were donated.
Furthermore, we ensured the release of some inmates by the payment of fines, fulfilment of bail conditions and so forth
At the end of the outreach, inmates expressed immense gratitude for the interventions while airing out on some of the challenges they faced with the legal processes/ system, the available infrastructure and inadequate facilities of the prison service.
They however commended the personnel ably led by the Controller DCC Aminu Yusuf whom they said were doing a great job nevertheless.
The FIDA Nigeria CVP, Amina Agbaje sincerely appreciated all support and interventions
Capacity Building Workshop for Judges, Judicial and Legal Officers on Countering Trafficking-in-Persons, Bauchi State
FIDA Nigeria conducted a four-day capacity-building workshop in Bauchi, Bauchi State for judges, judicial and legal officers drawn from the judiciary, and the ministry of justice across Bauchi and Katsina States respectively in the Northern region. The workshop which held between 20th -23rd June 2022 at Chartwell Hotel & Suites Bauchi, Bauchi State was centered on Countering Trafficking-in-Person.
The workshop was organized with the intention of strengthening the capacities of judges, judicial and legal officers in the North to diligently prosecute and adjudicate in cases bordering on issues of trafficking-in-persons in their various capacities towards ensuring improved justice delivery in Nigeria. The workshop which spanned a 4-day period included different activities such as training sessions manned by facilitators, group presentations, focus group discussions, questions, feedback, networking, training pre and post-evaluation, and ice-breaker sessions. FIDA Nigeria employed a peer-learning and highly interactive approach to effectively actualize the objective of the workshop.
At the end of the workshop the capacity of the judges, judicial and legal officers to diligently prosecute, prevent & respond to cases of trafficking-in-persons in their various states was enhanced. Certificates of recognition was also issued to the participants at the end of the activities.
FIDA Nigeria Strategic Roundtable Dialogue for CSOs On Gender Responsive Bills and The 2023 General Elections
On the 14th of June 2022, FIDA Nigeria conducted a Strategic Roundtable Dialogue for Civil Society Organizations On Gender Responsive Bills and The 2023 General Elections, An activity under the ActionAid We-You Project.
Discussions were centred around women and youth participation in politics with a panel session on gender-responsive bills, the outcome of the Federal High Court judgement on 35% affirmative action for women and their implications for women’s participation in politics. Also, strategies on the way forward since the passage of the gender-responsive bills were discussed. The panellists included Madam Ene Ede, Lois Auta and Madam Benjamin Dayo.
Some points highlighted during the panel session include:
– The need for Civil society organizations to engage with the media for broader reach by demystifying the concept of Gender through step-down trainings, simplification of the laws, statistics representation via info graphs, and regular publication on issues as they affect the right of women.
– Leaving no one behind by engaging women at all levels of the society in advocacy.
– The need to start the groundwork for women interested in vying for elective offices in the 2027 general elections.
Upon conclusion of the panel session, strategies on ensuring the inclusion of women in governance processes post-2023 general elections was also discussed.
World Day Against Child Labour 2022
Theme “Universal Social Protection to End Child Labour”.
To commemorate this year’s International Day Against Child Labour FIDA Nigeria joins the call for increased investment in creating systematic social protection policies and programs which protect the child against all forms of labour.
With the efforts and strategies put in place by UNICEF to fight against Child Labour, in its 2021 report on Children Protection, “the number of children in child labour has risen to 160 million worldwide – an increase of 8.4 million children in the last four years – with 9 million additional children at risk due to the impact of COVID-19.
It is estimated that without mitigation strategies, the number of children in child labour could rise by 8.9 million in the world by the end of 2022, due to higher poverty and increased vulnerability.
The resultant effects of heightened poverty in our communities on already vulnerable children and their families is inextricably linked with rising levels of homelessness, inadequate nutrition and food insecurity, inadequate childcare, lack of access to health care, unsafe neighbourhoods, and under-resourced schools which forms a basis of child labour.
Although the Nigerian Government has in the past made moderate advancements in efforts to eliminate child labour, it has not been effective enough, even with the hiring by Government of over 400 new labour inspectors and with the enactment of the National Social Behavioural Change Communication Strategy for Elimination of Child Labour in Nigeria (2020–2023).
Children in Nigeria are therefore subjected to the worst forms of child labour which we must collectively aggressively work to stop.
• Children hawking on the streets rather than being in school
• Children forced to work as farm hands, housemaids, quarrying granite, artisanal mining, commercial sexual exploitation, slavery or similar practices
• Child trafficking in all ramifications whether for drug production and sale or other illegal acts, including debt bondage
• Forced recruitment into armed conflict
• Hazardous work that can cause injury or moral corruption.
FIDA calls for suitable and adequate Social Protection measures to therefore be put in place to end Child Labour or indeed strategically reduce child labour in our communities such as:
• Increased access and support to ensure children can attend and stay in well-equipped schools
• Well laid out and properly implemented plans to improve economic growth in communities, particularly at the grassroots levels
• Improved and impactful social support measures to aid the vulnerable, accessible directly by them without too many technicalities
• Low-cost housing accommodation built for the vulnerable in communities to provide shelter at minimal rates
• Government-owned safe spaces/homes for vulnerable children should be increased and made very conducive for the children
• Working diligently to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals
• All key Stakeholders must take their legal and social responsibilities seriously; government must effectively guard the system and promptly punish defaulters to serve as a deterrent
If the above is effectively implemented, it will ensure a protective and conducive environment for the best development of the child
Furthermore, the Child’s Right Act has been adopted by only 25 out of Nigeria’s 36 States, leaving the remaining 11 states in northern Nigeria with legal statutes that do not meet international standards for the prohibition of child trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation, and illicit activities. It is important that all states address issues concerning their laws and legal framework
It is additionally worrisome and pertinent to note that the minimum age for work in the Labour Act does not apply to children who are self-employed or working in the informal economy. This calls for an urgent action to be taken to address some of the real challenges faced and the gaps in the system which enable child labour
With the grave security challenges all around the country, children are forced out of their burnt/ destroyed homes and communities; displaced such that they must take refuge in an IDP camp where as young as 8 years of age, a child ends up as head of his home forced to fend to provide for their surviving families. This trend must STOP!
As we mark the World Day Against Child Labour 2022, we stress that the battle to protect that child concerns everyone because children are the leaders of tomorrow, we must deliberately shield and protect, educate and empower our children to be the best they can be
Mrs. Amina Suzanah Agbaje
Country Vice President/National President
Night out with FIDA International Historian Gladys Mbuya
The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) led by her International Director, Ezinwa Okoroafor recently hosted a night out with FIDA International Historian and Country Vice President (CVP) of FIDA Cameroon, Gladys Mbuya in Abuja. Gladys was accompanied by Ramatu Abdu, Coordinator of the Association for the Welfare of Women and Indigenous People of ASOWWIP Cameroon.
The fun-filled evening was graced by past Regional Country Vice Presidents of FIDA, Chief Mrs. Victoria Awomolo, SAN, and Barr. Mrs. Oby Nwosu., the CVP of FIDA Nigeria, Mrs. Amina Suzanah Agbaje, CVP Emeritus Rhoda Prevail Tyoden, past FIDA Nigeria Financial Secretary, Ijeoma Agwu, Chair of FIDA Abuja, Chibuzo Maureen Nwosu, past FIDA Abuja Branch Chairs Ngozi Ikenga and Rekia Rachael Adejo-Andrew, past branch Vice-Chair, Ozioma Izuora, Past PRO Chioma Onyenucheya-Uko, other members of the branch, Roseline Tasha and Lillian Okenwa, Editor-in-Chief, Law & Society Magazine.
Source: Lillian Okenwa
FIDA Condemns the Sporadic Shooting and Horrific Massacre of Innocent Worshipers at the St. Francis Catholic Church Owo, Ondo State
Another bloody weekend in Nigeria where yet again innocent citizens, this time worshipers in church on a Sunday are in broad daylight gunned down by unknown gunmen for no just cause, resulting in the great loss of many lives while leaving several others wounded, not to mention the wanton destruction of property and breach of peace at a place of supposed sanctuary and refuge where worshipers assemble
The government, its agencies and officials cannot continue to pay lip service to the terrible plight of Nigerian citizens when they are sworn to protect and defend them. We are tired of hearing government’s excuses and condemnation of the evil activities of criminals. We demand decisive action from them
The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Nigeria continues to strongly condemn the inhumane treatment of Nigerian citizens who now live in abundant fear and cannot freely move around the country
The dastardly act of the sporadic shooting at the congregation of St. Francis Catholic Church, Owa-luwa Street, Owo Kingdom, in Ondo State is a shame on the government who have once again failed her citizens
FIDA Nigeria is greatly saddened by the high rate of ongoing killings due to religious intolerance in many parts of the country. This is a major threat to the basic human rights of Nigerians, consequently, government must put an end to this menace
Nigerians being entitled to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion as well as the right to freedom from discrimination on grounds of religion must be protected from such attacks steered at depriving them of the enjoyment of their rights as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution
Government must similarly live up to the expectations of defending and protecting her citizens, especially as the recent security situation in Nigeria has continued to grossly deteriorate, leaving confusion, disorder, breach of peace, and security as the new order of the day.
This is intolerable as Citizens are entitled to enjoy their right to life and property. We must appreciate that without peace and social order, there cannot be stability, growth, and development. As such, our people cannot reach their full potential, and this is a great loss and a tremendous disservice to the nation.
FIDA Nigeria condemns this attack (on the worshipers and the church) which is one too many in Nigeria and demands that the culprits be arrested and made to face the full wrath of the law.
FIDA stands resolutely behind justice and speaks out strongly against all forms of evil perpetuated in the society against vulnerable citizens
FIDA Nigeria commiserates with the families of the deceased and the good people of Owo, Ondo State, we urge the Federal Government and the State Government to spare no effort in bringing those responsible for these heinous crimes to justice
Mrs. Amina Suzanah Agbaje
Country Vice President/National President
Courtesy Visit NEEM Foundation
On the 6th of June 2022, FIDA Nigeria received a delegation from NEEM Foundation. The courtesy visit was aimed at re-establishing a working relationship with FIDA Nigeria on the re-opening of the One-stop centre with support from UNFPA.
The Country Vice president in her remarks commended the NEEM Foundation and UNFPA for coming. The CVP however expressed her concerns for the continuity of the One-Stop Centre after the duration of the project and a need for survivors to trust the structure to outlive project lifecycle. She however pledged the unwavering support of FIDA Nigeria in rejuvenating the Centre whilst providing free legal representation to the Centre’s clients.
Capacity Building Workshop on Countering Trafficking in Persons for Judges, Judicial & Legal Officers
FIDA Nigeria with support from USAID under the Palladium SCALE project organized a capacity-building workshop for Prosecutors and Judges on countering trafficking in persons. This was a four-day intervention between 6th June – 9th June 2022, With participants drawn from Delta, Osun and Ebonyi States.
As a result of the training and to ensure the sustainability of the program, FIDA has established a working group in form of a Network Sector for all trainees. The aim of the group is to apply strategies in seeing to the mitigation of trafficking in persons in their respective states.
The four-day training came to an end with presentation of certificate, participants were charged to apply the training in curbing incidences of trafficking in persons.