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By Oluwafunke Ishola An NGO, African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL), says it has trained some lawyers in Lagos on whistleblowing and protection of whistleblowers to assist in building fair and equitable society. Mr Chido Onumah, AFRICMIL Coordinator, made this known in Lagos, during the training, which was part of the NGO’s good goverce initiative programme tagged: “Corruption Anonymous (CORA)”. Onumah said the project seeks to build public confidence and support for the Federal Government’s whistle blower initiative and advocate for clear rules and guidelines for the safety of whistleblowers. The CORA project, supported by the MacArthur Foundation, aims at highlighting the importance of whistleblowing in the fight against corruption and the need to protect whistleblowers from retaliation. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the training was in collaboration with the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP)· Onumah, represented by Mr Kolawole Ogunbiyi, the Programme Manager of.
By Ebere Agozie Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami,SAN, on Tuesday welcomed an ECOWAS Court judgment dismissing a case filed by the trustees of the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) against the Federal Government. Malami, in a statement by Dr Umar Gwandu, his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, said the judgment has saved Nigeria from payment of billons of naira for bogus claims. He described the judgment as a clear vindication of the government’s efforts towards respecting human rights and international conventions. Malami, therefore renewed the commitment of his office to protecting the rights of citizens in all ramifications as well as protecting the public interest in the discharge of all constitutionally recognised mandate. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the judgment which was delivered on April 26, presided over by Justice Edward Asante with Justice Gberi-Be Outattara and Justice Januaria Costa as members declared.
Lagos State is to repeal public officers’ pension law that allows all former governors and deputy governors in the state to be paid pension and other benefits. Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu made the promise during a budget estimate presentation to the Lagos State House of Assembly in Lagos on Tuesday. “We will be sending an executive bill in a couple of weeks to this honourable house to repeal the pension law. “This pension law is for pension paid to former public officers such as the former governors and former deputy governors “The repeal of the act is due to the dwindling revenue to the state government’s account,” he said. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Lagos House of Assembly passed a pension bill for erstwhile governors and their deputies. According to this law, the governor is entitled to N30 million pension annually, a house in Lagos and Abuja, six.
As Nigeria celebrates 60 years of independence, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) says improving governance and social cohesion will require strengthening of institutions established to fight corruption. Mr Adetokunbo Mumuni, the Executive Director of SERAP, made the assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Thursday. He said that the country’s anti-corruption war had yet to be impressive. “The court system must be strengthened, laws must be strengthened; other institutions such as the police, established to enforce laws, must also be strengthened. “A reward and punishment system must be operated effectively. When anybody commits an infraction, he should be made accountable according to the law. There should be no attempts to favour anybody. “Individuals, who do deeds that are toward integrity, honesty and accountability in a manner that has never been done before, should be rewarded and recognised.
As Nigeria celebrates 60th independence anniversary, some lawyers, rights campaigners and groups have advised the judiciary to be more courageous, independent and corruption-free to improve justice delivery. The lawyers and others assessed the country’s justice administration in the past years, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Lagos. They expressed dissatisfaction with the performance of Nigeria’s judiciary under democracy, urging judicial officers to exhibit more hard work and commitment which, they said, characterised the judiciary during military rule. They also called on the executive arm and the Nigeria Bar Association to encourage the judiciary more, to improve justice administration. They listed financial autonomy, more transparency in appointments to the bench and discipline at the bar, as some measures that would improve justice administration in the country. A group, the Fight Against Corruption in the Judiciary (FIACIJ), said that justice administration in Nigeria had been declining..
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and Energy Consumer Rights and Responsibilities Initiative (ECRRI) on Thursday, backed ongoing probe of the power sector by the House of Representatives. The groups in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos, said there was an urgent need to review the power sector privatisation process because it had failed to yield the desired results. NAN reports that the House of Representatives on May 12, mandated its Committees on Power and Privatisation, to review the extant laws, regulations, policies and contractual arrangement guiding the Power Sector Reform. It also directed the committees to review and investigate activities of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) and submit the report within four weeks. Mr Adetokunbo Mumuni, Executive Director, SERAP, a human rights group, said that Nigerians had not enjoyed quality supply of electricity in spite of the huge funds deployed to the sector by the government. Mumuni said:.
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the Federal Government to identify, publish and use confiscated buildings as isolation centres for COVID-19 patients. SERAP made the the call in a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, which was made available to newsmen in Lagos. The letter, dated May 2, was signed by SERAP’s Deputy Director, Mr Kolawole Oluwadare. It urged Buhari to instruct the attorney-general of the federation to identify and publish such assets. It said that using confiscated assets as isolation centres would provide an enabling environment for the treatment and care of patients and improve Nigeria’s ability to respond to COVID-19 as well as protect public health. “While it is important to ramp up testing for COVID-19 to prevent the spread of the virus, asking Nigerians to donate their buildings as isolation centres will put them at greater risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19. “Rather than begging.
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has tasked governors of the 36 states of the federation to channel their security votes and life pensions of ex-governors to the fight the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Deputy-Director of SERAP, Mr Kolawole Oluwadare, on Sunday, revealed that Freedom of Information (FoI) requests had been sent to all the governors to urgently provide information on spending on COVID-19 in their respective states. SERAP said in the FoI requests that the public funds initially budgeted for security votes and former governors’ life pensions should be redirected by the serving governors to improve public healthcare facilities and access to quality education in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a letter written to the governors dated April 25, the organisation urged them to show leadership, transparency and accountability to effectively respond to the COVID-19 crisis. The organisation said in the letter: “Redirecting security votes and life.
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has demanded that Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi should reverse alleged life ban of The Sun and Vanguard correspondents from entering Government House. The correspondents are Messrs Chijioke Agwu and Peter Okutu. The journalists were allegedly banned over a report on Lassa fever outbreak in the state. In a statement issued on Wednesday, SERAP condemned the alleged ban which also prevents correspondents of the media houses from entering government facilities in the state for life. The Deputy-Director of SERAP, Mr Kolawole Oluwadare, who signed the statement, described the ban as ‘blatant’ violation of the right to freedom of expression and media freedom as guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution (as amended). He said the ban also violated the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Nigeria is a state party. “We will pursue appropriate legal action nationally and internationally against Ebonyi State authorities,.
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged Federal Government to share the N37 billion earmarked for the renovation of National Assembly complex to states as part of COVID-19 relief. SERAP said this in a statement signed by its Deputy-Director, Mr Kolawole Oluwadare in Lagos on Sunday. He said the group had written a letter dated April 11 to Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila on the matter. Oluwadare while lauding the NASS leadership on steps and voluntary contributions already made in the fight against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, urged them to make a public commitment to give N1 billion each of the amount to the 36 states, and the FCT. He noted that immediate redirection of the N37 billion would act as direct reliefs and benefits to the country’s poorest and most vulnerable people. “Nigeria is at.
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Federal Government to publish weekly details of the exact funds and other resources allocated by the authorities. It also requested for the ones received from the private sector. Kolawole Oludare, SERAP’s Deputy Director, in a statement issued on Sunday also urged the government to publish details of used and planned use of any such funds and resources, to combat the spread of Coronavirus in Nigeria. According to Oludare, SERAP is also asking the federal government to disclose information on the exact number of tests that have been carried out for high-ranking public officials and politicians. He said that the number of politicians now in self-isolation or quarantine, as well as the exact number of tests that have been carried out for the country’s poorest and most vulnerable people should be disclosed. According to him, the request was made in two Freedom.
There was outrage, when it leaked that former governor of Zamfara, Abdulaziz Yari, wrote to the state government demanding payment of his N10 million monthly upkeep arrears. In the Oct. 17, 2019 letter, Yari told the incumbent governor, Bello Matawalle, that he had not enjoyed the N10 million “upkeep allowance” since July. He left office in May. The former governor relied on a pension law he assented to two months before leaving office, in making the request. The same law allowed former governors to receive pension for life; two personal staff; two vehicles replaceable every four years; two drivers, free medical for the former governors and deputies and their immediate families in Nigeria or abroad; a 4-bedroom house in Zamfara and an office; free telephone and 30 days paid vacation outside Nigeria. The Bello Matawalle administration has repealed the law. Analysts opine that the way and manner elected political officers approve pensions and gratuities for themselves are worrisome. They drew attention to the origin of pension, which ab initio was designed for the less privileged. They traced the origin of pension to Germany, when in 1645, Duchy of Gotha Duke Ernest, decreed the creation of a fund to support widows of clergymen across his realm. In 1662, a similar fund was set up to support widows of the duchy, again; this time, widows of teachers. These two funds were among the first modern examples of what we may call pension funds. Later in the 17th and 18th centuries, pensions under the form of annuities became more and more common across Europe. These were largely granted as compensation for the loss of spouses (especially for men of rank killed in action), loss of limbs (again, mostly for the wounded in action) or in return for acts of merit, either military or civil. Even before what was happening in Zamfara came to public attention, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), had gone to court, to challenge payment of pensions to former governors now serving as ministers and members of the National Assembly and states’ pension laws. SERAP in a suit /1497/2017 filed before a Lagos High Court, prayed for an order of mandamus, to compel the attorney-general of the federation to intervene and stop double payments to former governors now occupying other political positions. Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo, in the judgment, ordered the Federal Government to recover pensions collected by former governors now serving as ministers and members of the National Assembly. “Having considered all the facts presented by SERAP on the need for the suit and the counter-affidavit against same, I find no reason why the order of mandamus should not be granted. I am of the view that SERAP’s suit has merit. “I resolve this issue against the attorney-general, in favour of SERAP. I hold that the Motion on Notice for mandamus dated Feb.6 2018 and filed on Feb.7 2018 has merit. It is therefore granted in the terms sought. “In other words, the attorney- general is hereby directed to urgently institute appropriate legal actions to challenge the legality of states’ laws, permitting former governors, who are now senators and ministers to enjoy governors’ emoluments, while drawing normal salaries and allowances in their new political offices and to identify those involved and seek full recovery of public funds from the former governors. “I take judicial notice of the essence of the creation of SERAP. I believe that SERAP has the locus standi to bring this suit. More so, this is a constitutional matter. In constitutional matters, the requirement of locus standi becomes unnecessary to a great extent as it may merely impede judicial function. This issue is therefore resolved against the attorney-general, in favour of SERAP.’’ In apparent readiness to comply with the court order, Abubakar Malami (SAN) Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, has asked SERAP to send the full list of former governors and ministers that have received and/or receiving double pay and life pensions in order to enhance and ensure compliance with the judgment of the court. In the letter dated Feb. 24, 2020, Malami said: “Kindly refer to your letter dated 6th December, 2019. I am writing to inform your esteemed organisation to furnish me with the full list of the former governors and ministers affected by the judgment of Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo, in order to enhance and ensure compliance with the ruling of the Honourable Court. Please, treat with utmost urgency.” The prompt response of the attorney-general is commendable, as the burden of checking enactments of obnoxious and anti-people laws falls within the mandate of the attorney-general. Matawalle,.
The President, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr Christopher Isiguzo, has called on journalists to engage in more advocacy to prevent passage of the Social Media Bill before the National Assembly. Isiguzo made the call on Tuesday in Lagos at an interactive session on “Promoting Media Freedom and Freedom of Expression in Nigeria’’. It was organised by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) in Lagos. “We need to engage in more advocacy, because from what I have heard, the leadership of NASS is bent on seeing the bill through,” he said. According to him, this is only possible if Nigerians fail to be vigilant in their opposition to the bill, which seeks to curtail their freedom of speech. He said that at the recent public hearing on the bill before the Senate, more than 95 per cent of memorandum received rejected the bill. “We feel that this bill constitutes.
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has enjoined Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos to obey judgment that stops compulsory blood donations in the state. SERAP’s Deputy Director Kolawole Oluwadare in a statement said on Tuesday that the group had sent an open letter to the governor to this effect. According to Oluwadare, SERAP wants him to use his leadership position to instruct the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi to immediately enforce the judgment. He said that the judgment stopped all Lagos hospitals and health facilities from demanding compulsory blood donations from patients or their relatives. He maintained this was as a precondition for medical attention either in antenatal and maternal or any other health services. “Following a suit brought by SERAP, Justice Raliat Adebiyi of the Lagos High Court held that demanding compulsory blood donation from those seeking medical attention, including maternity services, is arbitrary, unfair. “It is a violation of their human rights, including the rights.
NNN: An Ikeja High Court has ordered government hospitals in Lagos State to stop demanding compulsory blood donations from women seeking antenatal and maternity services. Justice Raliat Adebiyi, in the judgment delivered on Monday, also restrained government hospitals in Lagos from demanding blood donations from spouses and other relations of pregnant women seeking antenatal and maternity services. The Nigeria News Agency reports that the judgment was delivered following a fundamental human rights suit filed by the trustees of the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP). The respondents to the suit are; Attorney-General of Lagos State, Lagos State Ministry of Health and the Commissioner for Health, Lagos State. “The respondents contributions to child and maternal deaths stands to reason. Though no data on the child and maternal mortalities recorded as a result of the policy was provided to the court. “A policy that will deny citizens the right to medical care.
The So cio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), an NGO, has called on Senate President Ahmed Lawan to ensure that the bill seeking foreign education for repentant terrorists is dropped. In a statement issued by SERAP on Sunday, its D eputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, said that the group made the appeal in an open letter to the senate president on the issue. Oluwadare said that the group implored Lawan to ensure that the bill that would allow ‘repentant Boko Haram terrorists’ opportunities to access public funds to enjoy foreign education is immediately dropped. The group rather called on the senate to sponsor bills that would ensure access to justice and reparation for the victims of Boko Haram terrorist group. “Such bills that would ensure ad equate reparations for victims of Boko Haram atrocities and accelerate effective prosecution of alleged repentant Boko Haram members.” According to SERAP, the bill,.
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has faulted the bill seeking to give leaders of federal and state Houses of Assembly immunity from prosecution for corruption. SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare in a statement on Tuesday, said that providing immunity for presiding officers against crimes of corruption was tantamount to ripping up the Constitution. Oluwadare said it was a blatant assault on the rule of law and breach of public trust. “The leadership of the House of Representatives must immediately withdraw this obnoxious bill; we will vigorously challenge this impunity. “It is a huge setback for the rule of law that the same privileged and powerful leaders of parliament that regularly make laws that consign ordinary, powerless Nigerians to prison for even trivial offences . “Yet want to establish elite immunity to protect themselves from any consequences for serious crimes of corruption and money laundering. “Whereas countries like Guatemala has.
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) on Monday urged students to join the campaign against corruption to make Nigeria better. The SERAP Director, Mr Adetokunbo Mumuni, gave the advice at a public awareness and advocacy workshop on Anti-Corruption Social Norms and the Roles of Students and Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria. Mumuni said that SERAP, formed in 2004, had been in the vanguard against corruption which had hindered the country from attaining its potential. He regretted that in spite of efforts by the Federal Governments and its agencies to combat corruption, Nigeria was ranked 144 in corruption out of 180 countries. “Nigeria is ranked 27 out of 100 by Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index of 2018. “SERAP believes that as students and campus journalists, you have a role to play in combating corruption. “We must continue to demand that Nigeria must become better and be made great for the present.
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) on Monday called for an urgent review of the privatisation of the power sector, to find a lasting solution to Nigeria’s energy crisis. SERAP’s Executive Director, Mr Adetokunbo Mumuni, made the call in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos. Mumuni said epileptic power supply across the country was partly to blame for the rate of unemployment and poverty in Nigeria. He said that the task before the Gov. Nasir El-Rufai Committee on Power Sector Reform was to look into how the privatisation of the sector, which led to the unbundling of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), was conducted. “It seems like we pretended to commercialise and privatise, which to me has not really been done, because successive governments have been pumping in money into the sector. “The government should leave the electricity Distribution Companies (Discos) and the.
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) has partnered with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to scrutinise the execution of constituency projects by politicians. Mr Waheed Ishola, Lagos State Director of NOA made the disclosure on Tuesday at an Interactive session, organised by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), in partnership with NOA and the Department for International Development (DFID). The Nigeria News Agency reports that the interactive session was entitled: “How to Sensitise Citizens on Anti-Corruption Social Norms and Mobilise them to support and participate in the fight against Corruption.” Speaking, Ishola said the fight against corruption by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration was gaining momentum and that no “sacred cows” would be spared. “In the past, the politicians would collect money for constituency projects; you will not see the constituency and you will not see the projects. “The ICPC has partnered with the National.
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