- Office Address: New Magistrate Court Building (1st Floor)High Crt Complex, PH
- Phone No: 08050213100, 07059997721
- E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
- Facebook: FIDA Rivers
- Twitter: @FIDARiversState
- Instagram: @FIDARiversState
Date of branch inauguration: 16th May , 1987
1987 – 1989
Chairperson – Hon Justice Mary U. Peter – Odili (JSC)
Vice Chairperson – Hon. Justice Daisy W. Okocha (Retired Chief Judge of Rivers State)
Secretary – Rev. (Mrs) Gloria Akara (nee Kumbin)
Treasurer – Mrs Esther Igho-Joe
Publicity Secretary – Mrs Julie Tamuno Koko
2009 – 2011
Chairperson – Lady Florence Fiberesima
Vice Chairperson – Hon. Ngozi Paul Ajayi
Secretary – Pastor Mrs Ngozi O. Odukwe-Ighosevbe
Assistant Secretary – Mrs Gift Sovins
Treasurer – Magistrate Helen Hardy
Assistant Treasurer – Mrs Nnenna Igbokwe
Publicity Secretary – Mrs. Florence Itamunoala
Assistant Publicity Secretary – Hon. Justice Augusta Uche K. Chuku
Financial Secretary – Mrs Tonia Osademe
Assistant Financial Secretary – Mrs. Nancy Obinwa
Ex Officio – Hon. Mrs Inime I. Chinwenwo – Aguma
Ex – Officio – Hon. Justice Douye C. Green
2011 – 2013
Chairperson – Mrs Eucharia Somiari – Pepple
Vice Chairperson – Pastor Mrs Ngozi O. Odukwe – Ighosevbe
Secretary – Mrs. Evelyn Membere – Asimiea
Assistant Secretary – His Honour Cynthia Ezra – Jumbo
Treasurer – Nnenna Igbokwe
Assistant Treasurer – Jane Don – Pedro
Publicity Secretary – Hon. Justice Augusta Uche K. Chuku
Financial Secretary – Mrs Anthonia Osademe
Assistant Financial Secretary – Mrs Sarah Emmanuel Apia
Assistant Publicity Secretary – Ms Fortune Ada Ndah
Ex Officio – Lady Florence Fiberesima
2013 – 2016
Chairperson – Mrs. Florence Itamunoala
Vice Chairperson – Mrs. Tonia Osademe
Secretary – Hon. Justice Augusta K. Chuku
Assistant Secretary – Mrs. Adata Bio Briggs
Treasurer – Mrs Nancy Obinwa
Publicity Secretary – Mrs Mariam wokocha
Assistant Publicity Secretary – Mrs. Veronica Obuzor
Financial Secretary – Ms Endurance Dan – Jumbo
Assistant Financial Secretary – Mrs. Dada Emere – Johnson
Ex Officio – Mrs. Eucharia Somiari -Pepple
Ex – Officio – Mrs. Evelyn Membere Asmiea
2016 – 2019
Chairperson – Mrs. Tonia Osademe
Vice Chairperson – Mrs. Bibian U. Okogbule
Secretary – Mrs. Nnenna Igbokwe
Assistant Secretary – Mrs Theresa Okoye – Akpa
Treasurer – Lady Blessing Ahunnaya
Publicity Secretary – Mrs. Adata Bio Briggs
Financial Secretary – Pastor Dada Emere – Johnson
Welfare Secretary – Ms. Fortune Ada Ndah
Ex Officio – Mrs. Florence Itamunoala
Ex – Officio – Hon. Justice Augusta K. Chuku
Chairperson – Nnena Igbokwe
Secretary – Esther Mabadeji (2019 – 2020)
Acting Secretary – Mercy Hirse-Damina
Financial Secretary – Lady Blessing Ahunaya
Publicity Secretary – Flora Festus Ifode
Welfare Secretary – Sarah Emmanuel Apia
2022 – 2024
Chairperson – Adata Bio-Briggs
Vice-Chairperson – Tamunoibuemi Jim-George
Secretary – Iniobong Irene Pepple
Asst. Secretary – Chioma Stanley- Amaehule
Financial Sec. – Virginia Kalio Otonye
Treasurer – Erefaka Dumotari Boma
Welfare Secretary – Anthonia Allaputa Onyekere
Publicity Secretary – Sophia I.J Afolayan
Asst. Publicity Secretary – Concellia Obiageri Enwereuzoh
Ex-Officio – Nnenna Joy Igbokwe
Ex-Officio – Mercy Hirse-Damina
Commemoration of International Boys Day
In commemoration of the International Day of the Boy Child, FIDA Nigeria Rivers State Branch visited Enitonna Boys School, an all Boy’s School on the 16th of May 2022
In line with the theme of this year’s celebration, which bothers the Boy and his Mental Health, the boys were educated on the importance of mental health as well as the environmental factors that affect same. They were admonished to break all gender stereotypes, discover themselves and be confident in who they are. They were further advised to eschew all bad influences in society and focus on their education which is their primary responsibility.
Other topics discussed with the boys were; Sexual Offences and their consequences and the Rights of the Boy Child as provided under the laws of Rivers State.
It was an educative, enlightening, and insightful session for the boys and their teachers. Sophia I. J. Afolayan Publicity Secretary/Editor FIDA Nigeria Rivers State Branch.
Visit to Porhacourt Remand home
The Prison Watch Committee of FIDA, Nigeria, Rivers State Branch held its first Legal Clinic for the year, yesterday the 17th day of March 2023, at the Port Harcourt REMAND HOME.
The Executive of the Prison Watch Committee and members turned up for the visit.
Highlights of the Legal clinic were lectures on the provisions of the ACJL and Child Rights Law.
The sessions were interactive and responsive
The focus of the Legal Clinic was basically for inmates who have no legal representation and those whose cases were transferred from other jurisdictions. Statistics of the inmates are. Girls -3 and Boys-17.
The PWC carried out it’s legal duties at the Remand Home seamlessly.
It was indeed an amazing time with the inmates and staff of the Remand home, the excitement on their faces was a good sight to behold.
The Matron appreciated FIDA Rivers State Branch for their love, care and sacrifices towards the remand home.
The Children and staff were treated to some light refreshments. It was a successful outing
International Women’s Day 2023
As part of activities to commemorate International Women’s Day 2023, FIDA Nigeria, Rivers State Branch, on the 9th of March 2023, held a Town Hall meeting with the Women of Abuloma Community.
Questionnaires on the experience of the women on the Just concluded Presidential/National Assembly and House of Representatives election were distributed amongst the Women to get their views on the welfare and treatment of Women, the aged and elderly as well as people living with a disability during the Elections.
The Chairperson Mrs. Adata Bio-Briggs gave an insight on the Theme of this year’s International Women’s Day Celebration DigitAll: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality” She spoke extensively on the need for increased participation of Women in politics and the need to embrace gender equity.
She further emphasized the benefits of getting more girls into Tech and the importance for everyone to move towards technology in Nigeria. The women were further educated on salient Laws that deal with the protection of the rights of women and children which includes: The Rivers State Law of the Prohibition of the Curtailment of Women’s Rights to Share in Family Property of 2022, Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law (VAPP) of 2020, amongst others.
The session was followed with questions from the Women and answers were provided by FIDANS. Copies of the book Relevant Laws Beneficial to Women in Rivers State were Presented to the Women Leaders. The chairperson of the women association thanked FIDA for doing them the honor to come and prayed to God to strengthen FIDA to further carry out its cause. Light refreshments were provided for the women as part of the celebrations.
FIDA Nigeria Validation workshop
Validation workshop on the proposed Content of a Practice Direction for Speedy Dispensation of Justice in Prosecution of Corruption Cases organized by FIDA Rivers State Branch in collaboration with the MacArthur Foundation,
held today the 2nd of March 2023 at the Chief Nyesom Wike Hall of the NBA Port-Harcourt Branch house, Moscow Road, Port-Harcourt, Rivers State.
Following the success of the previous workshop and the resolutions of participants, a draft practice direction was developed which necessitated this validation workshop to affirm the validated document and to make additional inputs.
The session was very engaging and was a Huge Success
International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation 2023: “Transforming Social and Gender Norms with Men and Boys”
Today, February 6th, marks the 12th annual International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, established by the United Nations General Assembly as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This day provides a platform for governments, NGOs, activists, and other stakeholders to raise awareness and recommit to ending the harmful practice of female genital mutilation.
This year’s theme, “Partnership with Men and Boys to Transform Social and Gender Norms to End Female Genital Mutilation,” recognizes the importance of involving men and boys in the effort to end this practice. With only eight years left in this decade of action, engaging men and boys as partners in change has great potential to accelerate the elimination of female genital mutilation.
FIDA Nigeria, Rivers State Branch, joins the world in marking this important day. By partnering with men and boys without losing focus on women and girls, we can ensure that families, communities, institutions, and policymakers support and invest in girls to bring an end to female genital mutilation.
The global community and all relevant stakeholders are called upon to join forces with men and boys, and to amplify the voices of women and girls in our society, in the shared goal of ending this harmful practice.
Adata Bio-Briggs Esq, Chairperson of FIDA Nigeria, Rivers State Branch
Sophia I. J. Afolayan Esq, Publicity Secretary/Editor of FIDA Nigeria, Rivers State Branch
HUMAN RIGHTS DAY- 10 Dec 2022
Women’s Rights are Human Rights.
As the 16 days of activism ends today with the Human Rights Day, everyone is enjoined to stand up and defend their rights. Remain focused, gender-based violence still persists.
We must UNITE at all levels to say NO to gender-based violence. There is a part for everyone to play, so we must be responsive and pragmatic in our responsibilities toward achieving a violence-free society.
Enforcement and implementation of our laws remain the key. Enough of the rhetorics. Human Rights is a fundamental Rights.
Available laws in the protection of women’s and children’s Rights in the State include;
⚖️The 1999 Constitution of Nigeria(as amended)
⚖️Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Law, 2020, Rivers State
⚖️The Criminal Code
⚖️The Child Rights Law of Rivers State, 2022
⚖️Dehumanizing and Harmful Traditional Practices(abolition)(amendment) law, 2
FIDA Nigeria, Rivers State Branch today the 10th of December, 2022 received an award certificate in recognition of her valuable contributions to the community of persons with Disability in Rivers State, Nigeria. This comes on this day which marks the end of the 16 days of Activism and one year Anniversary of the Mrs. Adata Bio-Briggs-led Exco. Congratulations 🥳🎉 FIDA NIGERIA RIVERS STATE BRANCH. Sophia I. J. Afolayan Esq AICMC Publicity Secretary/Editor FIDA Nigeria, Rivers State Branch
Strengthening Women’s Voices, Institutions, Women’s Rights and Ending Violence Against Women and Girls
In the implementation of the “Strengthening Women’s Voices, Institutions, Women’s Rights and Ending Violence Against Women and Girls In Nigeria Project”, FIDA Nigeria, Rivers State branch in partnership with Nigerian Women Trust Fund and under the sponsorship of Ford Foundation successfully translated the Rivers State Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law (VAPP LAW) into pidgin English which was utilized in the paralegal training of fifty local community leaders from Okrika Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The Paralegal Training which was held on the 20th day of October 2022, in Okrika, had in attendance local community leaders from the traditional council, religious groups, youth groups, vigilante groups, women groups, and representatives of the Nigerian Police force
The Participants of the training were intensively trained in four engaging sessions on categories of gender-based violence, strategies for ending gender-based violence/ increased participation of women in Leadership positions, and how to effectively serve as paralegals for effective implementation of the VAPP Law.
At the end of the intensive sessions, participants resolved to use the law as an instrument to curtail gender-based violence and to achieve a significant increase in the participation of women in leadership positions.
FIDA Rivers Marks International Day of The Girl Child 2022.
In celebration of the International Day of the Girl Child, the Rotary Club of Port Harcourt in partnership with FIDA Rivers organized an event where 5 Girls schools were represented, in commemoration of the International Day of the Girl Child.
The representative of FIDA Nigeria, Rivers State, Chizaram Obanu educated the girls on Early Marriage as a violation of their right. The children were educated on what constitutes a valid marriage as well as the recommended age for marriage under the Nigerian laws.
The children were also taught the provisions of the Child Right Law and how early marriage is a violation of the rights provided under the laws. The girls were advised to break the culture of silence and to speak up whenever their rights are violated or likely to be violated.
Other speakers addressed the issue of empowerment of the Girl Child as well as the importance of personal hygiene for every Girl.
SGBV Prevention and Response Network in Rivers State
FIDA Rivers, represented by the Secretary, Irene Pepple, on the 28th of July, 2022, was part of the newly inaugurated SGBV Prevention and Response Network in Rivers State.
The event featured other stakeholders including but not limited to the Ministry of Social Welfare, Ministry of Justice, CSOs, and CEHRD the organizers. The agenda featured a brief recap of the VAPP law, the purpose of the preventive and response network, roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder.
FIDA Nigeria, Rivers State branch on the 22nd of July 2022, held a sensitization outreach with people differently enabled at Cheshire Home, Port-Harcourt.
The outreach featured talks on Fundamental Human Rights, the Rivers State Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law, Rivers State Persons with Disability Welfare Enhancement Law and a special session on Depression by Mrs. Stephanie Yinkere of Wumsy Cares.
This was immediately followed by a question and answer session and a Legal Clinic where the residents of the Home shared their legal and other Concerns.
The team of FIDANs present also seized the opportunity to carry out a market Sensitization at the New Market and FSP markets, where they educated the women on their Rights as enshrined in the Laws.
Fida Rivers will continue to dislodge deeds of Ignorance with the tools of right conviction, by the law and equity combined.
MDAs/Consultation Forum held on 20th July,2022
FIDA Rivers branch ably represented by Anthonia Allaputa Onyekere (Welfare Secretary) of the Branch and Daba Iketubosin attended an MDAs/Consultation Forum held on the 20th July, 2022 at Aldgate Congress Hotel Abacha Road Port Harcourt.
The program was organized by Rivers State Network of Non- Governmental Organisations RINNGOS MDAs/CSOs dialogue on Civil Society Organization harmonization frameworks at sub- national levels.
Key issues discussed were identification of landing ministries for prospective donors, working relationship and issues of multiple taxation of CSOs /NGOs.
A draft bill for a law to harmonize mechanisms between development organizations and Rivers State Government to ensure that intervention projects are well organized and managed was also proposed at the end of the event.
Sensitization visit to Crown Heights Academy, Nvuigwe Woji, Port-Harcourt
Members of the Project Committee FIDA Nigeria, Rivers State Branch, On the 24th of June 2022, embarked on a school Sensitization visit to Crown Heights Academy, Nvuigwe Woji, Port-Harcourt.
It was an educative and interactive session, where the children were taught about the provisions of the Child Rights Law, various forms of sexual violence, body Safety Rules, manners and etiquette.
The children were also educated on the right use of the internet, how to prevent bullying, how to ace in their studies and become respectable members of the society.
The management and staff of Crown Heights Academy were grateful to FIDA Nigeria, Rivers State Branch for choosing to visit their school, and they expectantly look forward to having FIDA visit again.
Monthly Sensitization and Advocacy Visit.
On the 16th of June 2022, In line with FIDA Nigeria, Rivers State Branch work plan, The Chairperson Mrs. Adata Bio-Briggs led the Excos and other members of the branch to Ngo Community, in Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State, for its monthly sensitization and Advocacy visit. The visit also doubled as the celebration of the Day of the African Child.
The team was welcomed by the Chairman of the Council, Mr. Erasmus Owotu Esq.
FIDANs took time to Educate the women on proper marriage, Domestic Violence, teenage pregnancy, The VAPP Law, and remedies available in cases of failure to supply Necessaries. A short talk on the significance of the day of the African Child and the need to ensure children are given proper education was delivered. Questions were taken and FIDANs provided answers to the questions.
The women were very excited to have FIDA in their community.
The Vice-Chairman Mrs. Telma Christopher thanked FIDANs for choosing their community.
WORLD DAY AGAINST CHILD LABOUR
JUNE 12TH 2022
FIDA Nigeria, Rivers State Branch, joins the rest of the World to celebrate “The World Day Against Child Labour”
The theme for this year’s celebration is “Universal Social Protection to End Child Labour”.
The world day against Child Labour started in 2002 when the International Labour Organization (ILO) launched World Day against Child Labour to stern the tide in the rise of Child labour and to create awareness among people about the plight of children working instead of schooling.
This year’s theme focuses on the investment in social protection systems and schemes to establish a solid social protection network to protect children from Child labour, knowing fully that the major cause of child Labour is Poverty. Poverty has led parents and guardians to use their children to generate income for the family instead of going to school. Children are seen during school hours hawking on the streets and thereby exposing them to dangers such as kidnap, Defilements and other societal ills.
Child labour of any kind affects a child’s growth and wellbeing mentally, physically, socially, or morally and is harmful to the children and society in general.
This day raises a call for action on the relevant Stakeholders to invest more in the society and fight poverty and bring a drastic reduction and end to the ills of child Labour
FIDA Nigeria, Rivers State Branch, reiterates this call and holds that Child Labour cuts the dreams of millions of children across the globe and our dear state and nation. Every child has the right to study and fulfill their dreams.
We hereby state emphatically, that the right to education is a fundamental right of every child and so should not be aborted. It is our collective duty to ensure that no single child should be exploited. Every child deserves a better life and a good standard of living.
Do not take away a child’s childhood by handing them work tools! Hand them pens and books and make their future bright!
Sophia I. J. Afolayan
Publicity Secretary/ Editor FIDA Nigeria Rivers State Branch.
Second Quarterly Meeting of The Administration of Criminal Justice Monitoring Council, Rivers State Supported by Macarthur Foundation
FIDA Rivers supported the second quarterly meeting of the Administration of Criminal Justice Monitoring Council, Rivers State as part of the activities under MacArthur Foundation project 2.0. on the 31st of May 2022
In attendance were twenty participants comprising of the Chairman of the Council – Hon Chief Judge of Rivers State, Judges, representative of the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Legal Aid Council Of Nigeria, Nigerian Correctional service, National Human Rights Commission, FIDA, NBA, the DPP, the Rivers State Judiciary Chief Registrar, the secretary of Council, the chairman of the Rivers State Multi door court house and others.
Discussions were prioritized around council activities, workplan for the third quarter and possible interventions in improving the fight against corruption through an involving criminal justice system.
FIDA Rivers Celebrates International Children
FIDA Nigeria, Rivers State Branch, on the 28th of May 2022, continued the children ‘s day celebration with a visit to the children at the Port-Harcourt Remand home. The team was ably led by the Chairperson of the Branch, Mrs Adata Bio-Briggs, alongside with the Chairpersons of the Children’s day committee Mrs Damilola Nwaribe with members of her commitee and the Chairperson of the Prison watch commitee with members of her team.
The team seized the opportunity to carry out a legal clinic, counselled the children and prayed with them. The children also cut the children’s day cake presented to them by FIDA. Thereafter Gifts and packed food were distributed to the children and their care givers.
In her address, the Matron of the remand home thanked FIDA Nigeria, Rivers State branch for her continuous support for the inmates and prayed for God’s blessings upon the organization.
FIDA Nigeria, Rivers State Branch, today joined the rest of the world in celebrating children. The branch put together a special seminar for students in Secondary school with the Theme “Better Future for every Child”. The event which took place at the NBA House, Bank Road Port-Harcourt, had representatives from 12 schools drawn across the State.
The special guest of the occasion was the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Women Affairs, Mrs. Uche Uriri. Also in attendance was the Director of Education, Ministry of Youth Development Mr. Samuel Miebaka, the Deputy Country Vice President of FIDA Nigeria, Mrs. Evelyn Membere Asimea, The Secretary of FIDA International Hon. Florence Adokiye Amiesimaka, Immediate past President of the Medical Women Association of Nigeria, Port-Harcourt Branch, Dr. Vetty Agala, a representative of Wumsy’s care, and a psychologist Faith Omalu.
The Event featured a Seminar presentation/talk on Bullying in Schools and how to cope with it by Faith Omalu, personal Hygiene by Dr. Vetty Agala, and Sexual Harassment by Erefaka Dumotari Boma Esq.
Representatives of the different schools presented playlets, dance, spoken word poetry, and choir renditions. They also partook in various entertaining and educative Games.
Thereafter Gifts were presented to the winners of the games and the essay Competition. Indomie representatives were on ground to serve the children freshly cooked noodles and also presented gifts to all who participated in the various games.
FIDA Nigeria, Rivers State Branch appreciates all FIDANs for putting smiles on the faces of the children through their various contributions towards the success of the program
Courtesy Visit to Deputy Controller General (DCG) of the Port Harcourt Correctional Centre
The FIDA Rivers Chairperson, Adata Bio-Briggs alongside some of her executive members with the Prison Watch Committee Chairperson and the secretary, on the 27th day of May, 2022, paid a pre-scheduled courtesy call on the new Deputy Controller General (DCG) of the Port Harcourt Correctional Centre.
The FIDA team members were well received by the DCG. The FIDA Chair introduced herself and her team as well as intimate him with the activities of FIDA through the Prison Watch committee and prayed the DCG to continue granting FIDA the same smooth access to the facility to carry out her mandate as did his predecessor
Sensitization Visit at Rumuokwuta Community Town Hall
FIDA Rivers embarked on a sensitization visit on Wednesday 26th May 2022 at Rumuokwuta Community Town Hall.
The sensitization began at 9:05 am with an opening prayer by the Community Development Chairman (CDC Chairman) – Engr. Gabriel L. Wolunche. The Chairperson in her opening remarks appreciated the Chiefs, Leaders, and community women and men present, she commended the community for their large turnout.
The sensitization covered areas of the Child’s Rights Law, VAPP Law, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Arrest and Bail procedures as provided by the ACJL, and voter’s Education. The women were encouraged to ensure they register, get their voters card and endeavor to come out to cast their votes on election days. The Program was a huge success.
Book Presentation in Honor of her Inaugural Chairperson Dame Hon. Mary Ukaego Peter-Odili
On the 16th of May, 2022 Members of FIDA Nigeria, Rivers State Branch were present at the book presentation in Honor of her Inaugural Chairperson Dame Hon. Mary Ukaego Peter-Odili. The epoch-making event took place at the Obiwali Conference center. The event recorded a huge turnout of Judges at various levels of the Judiciary, both within and from outside Rivers State.
The Governor of Rivers State Chief Ezenwo Nyesom Wike and his lovely wife were also present at the event. Also in attendance were Governors from Abia state, Benue State, and Cross Rivers State as well as National Executive officers of FIDA Nigeria. Others are traditional rulers, Magistrates, staff of the Ministry of Justice, and various sectors of the Civil Service.
The Chairman of the occasion was Chief OCJ Okocha MFR, SAN, JP DSSRS.
Rtd. Justice Adanma Iyayi -Lamikanra was the book reviewer, who did a critical and concise review of the Five books published in Honour of the retiring Justice of the Supreme Court.
The 5 books published in her honor were unveiled by the Governor, Chief Ezenwo Nyesom Wike.
The event was indeed a huge success. We at FIDA Nigeria, Rivers State Branch wish Mi-Lord a Happy and restful retirement, while praying that the Lord continues to uphold her and her family in his infinite love.
FIDA RIVERS @ 35
35 YEARS OF CHAMPIONING THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN IN THE SOCIETY
The International Federation of Women Lawyers, FIDA Nigeria, Rivers State branch clocks 35 years today. FIDA Nigeria, Rivers State branch was formally inaugurated as a branch of FIDA Nigeria on 16th May 1987 at Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, by Mrs. Udom Azuogu, the then FIDA Nigeria Deputy Country Vice President. Hon Justice (Mrs.) Mary U. Peter-Odili, (JSC RTD) became the Inaugural Chairperson while Hon justice Denton-West (RTD) was made the Inaugural Patron of the branch.
FIDA is a not for profit, a non-political, voluntary association of women called to the practice of law in Nigeria. FIDA’s primary role is to protect, promote and preserve the rights of women and children in Nigeria. Its core values are transparency, accountability, teamwork, integrity, mutual respect, commitment, service, and nonpartisan. Its main objectives are to: promote the principles and aims of the United Nations in its legal and social aspects; establish friendly international relations on a basis of equality and mutual respect for all peoples; promote the study of comparative law; proffer advice to Government in cases relating to women and children. FIDA Nigeria, Rivers State branch actualizes its objectives through free legal representation for indigent women and children, and by advocating for gender-friendly reforms. FIDA Nigeria, Rivers State Branch is one of the over 42 Branches in Nigeria.
Today, as we turn 35, we are assured of doing even more and achieving greater heights than we have in the past 34years. We are committed to seeing a just and equitable society, where the rights of women and children are preserved and where women are given the opportunity to achieve their dreams and live a life free from all forms of barriers.
Congratulations to all FIDANs on this milestone celebration, and the heights attained so far. Together we can do even more in the society.
Sophia I. J Afolayan
FIDA RIVERS CELEBRATES THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE BOY CHILD 2022
FIDA Nigeria, Rivers State branch, in line with her core objectives of Protecting, Promoting, and Preserving the Rights of Women and Children, Joyfully joins the rest of the world in celebrating the international day of the boy child.
The Theme for this year is, “Boosting Optimism, Restoring self-worth”.
We see this celebration as very unique and auspicious.
We consider the boy Child as important and as special as the girl child.
The 10 Core Principles of the world day of the boy child are;
I)Educating and mentoring.
ii)Honouring boys who are talented and achievers.
iii)Rescuing boys from Poverty and war.
iv)Eradicating illiteracy and underachievement.
v)Addressing Discrimination against boys
vi)Promoting Positive minds and healthy boys
vii)Offering freedom and safety
viii)Championing equality and equity.
ix)Maintaining good values and morals
Aligning the above core principles with the state of the Nigerian boy Child and considering the rise in gender-based violence, there is a need for a total reorientation of the boy child.
We recognize that the boy child of today who is well-groomed will turn out to be a better adult for the future. Therefore, all hands must be on deck in ensuring the proper grooming of the boy Child in order to bring forth his self-worth.
We wish the boy child a happy “INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE BOY CHILD’’
Sophia . I.J. Afolayan
Publicity Secretary/ Editor
Visit to the Commissioner of Police
On the 9th of May 2022, the Chairperson of Rivers State Branch, Mrs. Adata Bio-Briggs, led some members of the EXCO to pay an unscheduled visit to the Commissioner of Police of Rivers State Command to express the organization’s displeasure at the inhumane treatment meted out on one of her member, a Social Welfare Officer and one other person by the Divisional Police Officer of Akpajo Police Station on the 4th of May, 2022
The Chairperson while thanking the CP for his prompt response when a call was put across to him on the night of the incident, presented a petition to the CP on the DPO’s action, and called on the CP to investigate the matter and ensure that justice is done while seeking for the protection of FIDANs in carrying out their services to humanity.
The CP assured her that the petition would be investigated, and appropriate sanctions will apply.
One Day Training Workshop on the ACJL
FIDA Nigeria, Rivers State branch with support from the MacArthur Foundation on the 29th of April 2022 conducted a one-day training on Administration of Criminal justice law and other anti-corruption legislative framework in Nigeria.
In attendance were participants from the Rivers State Judiciary, Ministry of Justice, ICPC, EFCC, RIVSIEC, Nigerian Police Force, Nigerian Correctional service, NAPTIP, Legal Aid Council of Nigeria, National Human Rights Commission, the Nigerian Bar Association, NCDC and NYSC.
The training was very impactful as participants resolved to synergize and take deliberate steps in implementing the gains of the workshop
20th April 2022
FIDA Rivers ably represented by the Deputy Country Vice President, FIDA Nigeria Evelyn Asimiea-Membere on the 20th of April 2022, was live on Treasure FM to speak on Domestic Violence and the need for Victims to seek help.
A One-day Workshop On: “Administration Of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) – Practical Approach To Arrest And Related Matters For Law Enforcement Agencies And Launch Of The Police Duty Solicitor Scheme ( PDSS) In Rivers State”.
Fida Nigeria, Rivers State Branch in collaboration with Rivers State Administration of Criminal Justice Monitoring Council, Rivers State Police Command, International Committee of the Red Cross, Legal Aid Council of Nigeria ( LACON) and Nigeria Bar Association (Port Harcourt Branch), held a one day Workshop on: “Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) – Practical Approach to Arrest and Related Matters for Law Enforcement Agencies and Launch of the Police Duty Solicitor Scheme ( PDSS) in Rivers State”.
The event held on the 13th of April, 2022 at the NBA Port Harcourt Branch House. In attendance were Honourable Judges of the Rivers State High Court and Magistrates, with 250 participants drawn from different Police Formation Division in the State and other Stake holders present.
The intensive workshop was declared open by the Chief Judge of Rivers State; Hon. Justice S.C Amadi, while the Keynote Address was delivered by the Representative of the Commissioner of Police, Rivers State.
The Workshop had four different sessions on notable provisions of the ACJL, Accessing free Legal Aid Services at the Police Station: A case study of the Police Duty Solicitor Scheme(PDSS), New Practice Direction and Police Reporting Obligations in the State. These Sessions were anchored by eminent resource persons such as; Mrs. Evelyn Asimiea (DCVP) FIDA Nigeria, Mrs.Nnenna Igbokwe (Chairperson Emeritus FIDA Rivers), and other Resource Persons from the International Red Cross Committee, the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria, FIDA Nigeria Rivers State Branch, and the Administration of Criminal Justice Monitory Council.
The workshop was indeed a huge success and will go a long way in strengthening the Criminal Justice System in Rivers State.
Abuloma community sensitization/Advocacy campaign
FIDA Rivers branch ably led by the Chairperson Lady Adata Bio -Briggs carried out a sensitization/Advocacy campaign on Friday 18th of March 2022 in Abuloma community town hall as part of its monthly sensitization in communities.
The Chairperson gave an overview of the purpose of the visit. She assured them that FIDA in line with our aims and objectives is committed to fighting all forms of Gender-based violence in communities. She urged them to always report all forms of violence to the appropriate authority including FIDA.
At the end, the Chiefs appreciated FIDA for coming to the community to empower them with the right knowledge and urged everyone to always speak out on issues of violence.
International Women’s Day 2022
On the 8th of March 2022, The Chairperson of Fida Rivers State Branch, Adata Bio-Briggs was a Resource Person at the International Women’s Day Celebration for Rivers Onshore and Offshore host Community Women organized by TotalEnergies at the Aztec Arcum Event Centre, Port Harcourt. The Honourable Commissioner of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation and United Nations Representative of FIDA International Hon. Inime Aguma was also present at the event and gave a talk on Stereotypes.
In celebrating the International Women’s Day on Tuesday 8th March, 2022, FIDA Rivers State branch was hosted in several radio and Television stations aired across 13 different programmes to discuss the need for gender equality and this year’s theme ”Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”.
FIDA Rivers Community Sensitization/ Advocacy Outreach at Akuku -Toru LGA, 9th February 2022.
FIDA Rivers embarked on a sensitization/advocacy visit on Wednesday 9th February 2022 at Abonnena Community in Akuku- Toru LGA of Rivers State, funded by the Mac Arthur Foundation on the Benefits and Proper Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL).
The event began with a sensitization visit to the Divisional Police Head Quarters at Abonnema Community, led by the FIDA Nigeria Deputy Country Vice President (DCVP); Mrs. Evelyn Membere – Asimea, the Chairperson of FIDA Rivers Mrs. Adata Bio- Briggs, the FIDA Nigeria Program officer Mercy Hirse- Damina, members of the FIDA Rivers Executive, and other noble Fidan’s.
The Team met with the representative of the DPO, and other Officers on duty, they were presented with hard copies of the simplified version of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) Rivers State 2016 and sensitized on the benefits and proper administration of the law. The session was successfully concluded with a question and answer.
International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, 07 Feb 2022
FIDA Nigeria Rivers State Branch as part of her activities to commemorate International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation took the Campaign to Omokwa Community in Abua/Odual LGA where the practice was still strongly practiced.
The campaign was headed by the Chairperson, Lady Adata Bio-Briggs alongside Exco members and volunteers.
The session was interactive and interesting as women were vehemently opposed to ending FGM. They gave instances of death as a result of non-circumcision. After serious advocacy both in local language and special English, at the end of the session, most of the women were convinced of the dangers of FGM
Visit to the Chief Judge of Rivers State
The Executive Committee of FIDA Nigeria Rivers State Branch on 25th January 2022, in company of Deputy Country Vice President (DCVP) Mrs. Evelyn Asimea-Membere and some senior members, visited the Chief Judge of Rivers State, Hon Justice Simon Amadi to notify him of the change in leadership and to discuss other issues affecting the Branch.
The CJ graciously agreed to increase the specialized GBV magistrate courts and notified the exco that the previous specialized GBV magistrate court established by his predecessor was still in operation, though the Hon. magistrate formally in charge was transferred. He pledged to support the Branch to enable her to achieve her mandate.
National Executive Election 2022 – 2024
FIDA Nigeria, Rivers State branch on the 10th day of December, 2021, held her election and the following persons were elected:
Chairperson: Adata Bio Briggs, Vice-Chairperson: Tamunoibuemi Jim George, Secretary: Iniobong Irene Pepple, Welfare Secretary: Anthonia Allaputa Onyekere
International Day of the African Child June 16, 2021
FIDA Rivers in celebration of the International Day of the African Child visited two schools in Rivers State. Highbrow Montessori nursery, primary and secondary school, Port Harcourt and Community Secondary School, Kalio Ama, Okrika. The children were sensitized on their Rights and Responsibilities, positive use of the internet, Smartphone use tips for students, preventing sexual violence against a third party, PANTS Rules, and many more
International Day of the Girl Child 2020
In commemoration of the International day of the girl child, 11th October, 2020, FIDA Rivers in collaboration with Rhema Care Integrated Development Center in a sensitization advocacy program carried out in Ogbogoro Community, encouraged everyone and particularly the girls in attendance on the need to speak out on every SGBV meted out on them or any other person.
Day 4: Activity on Effective implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice law in Rivers State.
Date : Friday, 18th September, 2020.
Compered by Okorite Yobo Briggs and Stephanie Ekpebulu, the day’s event being the last (grand finale), commenced with an opening prayer by the Assistant Comptroller of the Correctional Service, T. S Spiff, followed by introduction of participants.
In his welcome\opening remarks, the FIDA National representative Horsfall Ugboji intimated participants on the core objective of the ACJL and FIDA’s desire to secure a just and peaceful society hence the sensitization of key stakeholders to ensure effective implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice law in the 14 implementing states, which includes Rivers State.
In her presentation as facilitator for the day, Hon. Justice Florence Atili Fiberesima, enlightening participants drawn from the Bench, Bar, Police and Correctional Services. commenced by saying the ACJL has 49 parts, 505 sections and Forms found in the Schedule.
Highlighting sections relating to stakeholders in ensuring easy application of the law in the course of duty, Her lordship drew attention to clarity of purpose in these words “When the purpose of a thing is known abuse is reduced “. Asking what the stakeholders can contribute to ensure the applicability of this law in the interest of all concerned, Her lordship lamented the under utilization of the provisions of this law especially regarding the forms set out for the prosecution to enable them draft charges appropriately.
Speaking further, Justice Fiberesima reminded participants of the need to distinguish trials of children and young persons’ otherwise categorized as vulnerable persons, using the Child’s Right Law as the ACJL has no provisions for the child except in issues of bail.
Emphasizing the importance of excluding unnecessary parties when taking the evidence of a child, Justice Fiberesima further highlighted sections dealing with Parole and non-custodial consideration as a means of decongesting the Correctional Service Facilities,
Rounding off her presentation, the erudite Justice Fiberesima appreciated the role of FIDA for giving a platform for all stakeholders to get the knowledge of the law, appreciate it’s beauty and proffer methods of effective application in and from their perspectives.
The activity which rounded off with a break out session had representatives from each group , presenting action plans for sustainability of the network to enable smooth administration of the law.
A communique compiling activities from Tuesday the 15th September through today, was read by the Branch Chairperson Ngozi Odukwe Ighosevbe.
Day 3: Activity on Effective implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice law in Rivers State. 17th September, 2020.
Participants for the day who are Magistrates from the State’s Magistracy, had the Director, Rivers State Legal Aid Council, Jane Frances Bianeyin taking them through some “key ” sections of the law that deals specifically with the Bench to ensure justice is served on parties especially Defendants who are victims of some peculiar circumstances.
Citing instances and sharing some of her experiences in the exercise of her duties \mandate in ensuring that justice is served, Bianeyin, emphasized the need for periodic appraisal and meetings with stakeholders to shed some light on some of the provisions that is not in consonance with the Practice Direction to enable lawyers and litigants appreciate the beauty of the law.
Elucidating further, Frances Bianeyin summarized her concerns about the law as it relates to her line of duty thus;
Speedy dispensation of justice and decongestion of the Correctional Service Facilities, timeline in criminal proceedings, parole and non-custodial sentencing, plea and sentence bargaining, power and right of a Magistrate to pay supervisory visits to police stations within their jurisdiction and recording of witness evidence electronically in peculiar circumstances.
Citing and reading relevant sections of the law to get the message passed, Bianeyin engaged participants in an intellectual discuss that got brilliant suggestions for the smooth application of the law by all stakeholders in the interest of the general public.
The day’s session rounded off with a break out session wherein participants presented action plans to strengthen the implementation of the law in the State.
Day 2 Workshop on Effective implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice law in Rivers State. 16th Sept, 2020
The activity, which commenced with the usual official formalities, had participants who are representatives from all Branches of the Bar in the State.
In her overview session, facilitator for the day, Evelyn Membere Asimiea commenced by tasking participants to share their expected outcome from the workshop. and took them through the innovations and respite the law has brought to stakeholders, victim, defendant and the society at large.
Further elucidating the beauty of the law, Membere Asimiea highlighted other innovations amongst others which includes but not limited to sections 7, 10, 174 sub 3, and 376 which deals with prohibition to arrest in lieu, mandatory inventory taking, right of a female person to secure bail and eight (8) days’ timeline for securing a legal advice from the office of the Director of Public Prosecution( DPP ) .
The workshop rounded off with a break out session wherein participants came up with suggestions on how all stakeholders can effectively implement the provisions of the law for the good of affected parties and the general public.
FIDA Nigeria, Rivers State Branch Meeting with the Bar, Bench, Nigeria Police and Correctional Services.
A Stakeholders meeting\workshop for the aforementioned, sponsored by the Mac Arthur foundation, commenced today the 15th day of September, 2020.
The event targeted at ensuring a smooth and effective implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice law of Rivers State by the concerned stakeholders, had participants drawn from the Police and Correctional Services commencing the week long activity. which is proposed to train \sensitize relevant stakeholders directly dealing with persons in conflict with the law.
Chief Magistrate Ilaye Brown, the facilitator In her overview and in-depth analysis of the ACJL, gave an expose of the beauty and benefits of the provisions of the law. Amplifying the dignity of the human person as enshrined in Section 36 (1) of the 1999 constitution as amended which resonates with 33 sub 1 of the ACJL of the right of a defendant to make his or her statement in the presence of a lawyer.
Highlighting further on the provisions of the law, Chief Magistrate Brown enlightened participants on the situation and circumstances when a convict can be granted parole and the possibility and instances for non-custodial sentencing.
It was an interesting and educating session as participants interacted, exchanged ideas through breakout sessions that “birthed ” ways of working together to successfully and effectively implement the ACJL.
FIDA RIVERS in Commemorating International Day of the Girl Child on the 11th of October, was present to educate Girls on their Legal Rights, centered on the Theme ‘Empowering Girls for a Better Tomorrow’. The Program was organized by LEND A VOICE INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION to celebrate the International Day of the Girl Child. In attendance were female students drawn from over 15 Schools in Ogale Eleme.
FIDA Rivers participated actively at all stages in the drafting of the Bills and formal signing into laws
- Rivers State Abolition of Female Circumcision Law:2001
- Rivers State Dehumanizing and Handful traditional Practices law: 2003
- Rivers State reproductive health Services Law: 2003
- The Child Right Law: 2010
- Assent to the Establishment of both lower and higher divisions Family Court in the State
- Women Inheritance rights
- Currently we campaigning and mobilizing support for the Adoption of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act 2015 in the State
Influence on Rivers State Ministry of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation
The Association through its work on children and the vulnerable in the State influenced the transformation of the Social welfare department to a full – fledged Ministry in Rivers State under the name “Ministry of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation” with Hon. Mrs. Inime I. Chinwenwo Aguma, a past Chairperson of FIDA Rivers as the very first Commissioner in 2007.
Democracy and Governance Programme:
FiDA Rivers in partnership with Centre for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA) empowered women from various Local Government area to participate effectively in leadership at different levels of governance through its programme on building grassroots democracy, formation of peer groups Increased participation in Community governance Voter education, advocacy and lobbying on genders issues etc. These programmes successfully yielded the nomination and fielding of a number of women as flag bearers in party elections as well as the actual election of women into the Rivers State House of Assembly and ward Councillorship positions.
We have through our print media reached out and mentored many women groups and individuals. Some of these publications include
- The Plight of the Nigerian Widow
- Women know your Rights (Courtesy Norwegian Human Rights Fund)
- Women in Governance (1998) – (Courtesy CEDPA)
- Marriage in Nigeria (1999) – Courtesy CEDPA)
- Women Empowerment in Politics (2000) – (Courtesy USLWV)
- Harmful Traditional Practices
- Violence Against Women (UNIFEM)
- Engendering legislative issues
- Empower Magazines
- Laws Affecting Women in Rivers State
- Women who dared to make a difference through the Courts
- FIDA Rivers News letter
The Scholarship scheme was launched in 1989 to assist disabled and indigent children in the State to achieve their reams in education and has been effectively administered till date. Presently we have 5 indigent children (2boys and 3girls) as beneficiaries of the scheme.
FIDA Rivers renders humanitarian services to inmates of the Remand Home, Old People’s Home, Special School for the Handicapped, Children’s Home and other Orphanages and Homes in Rivers State. We also offer Career Guidance and Counselling Services, Seminars, Life Skills Training for Primary and Post Primary Students in the State. We have also empowered women with monetary grants to start off small scale business in the State. The most recent was the economic empowerment with monetary grants ranging from 30,000 (Thirty Thousand Naira) to 100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Naira)of 30 women in celebration of our 30th anniversary in 2017.
FIDA Rivers in recognition of the necessity to garner critical mass support and partnership in pursuit of the accomplishment of its set objective developed the strategy of engaging partners from all sectors of the State like Government Agencies, Non Governmental Organizations, Community Based Organizations, Security Agencies, Civil Society groups like the Medical Women association of Nigeria, Rivers State Branch,
a. Harmful Traditional Practices
b. Violence against Women &Children
c. Women Building Peace
d. Discriminatory Taxation Law
e. Plight of Nigerian Widows
f. Voter Education
g. Women Inheritance Rights
i. Reproductive Health Rights of Women
h. Maternal Mortality
j. Women Empowerment
k. Types of Marriages in Nigeria
l. Laws Affecting Women in Rivers State
m. Post Legislative Advocacy
n. Women in Politics
o. Gender Equality
p. Enlightenment Campaign on HIV etc.
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