Credit- Google 
 As I am prone to do with my opinion pieces, I state a disclaimer; these are simply ramblings of an overworked lawyer who gets her brain fried under the hot Lagos sun daily. Permit me to exercise my inherent right of freedom of expression.

Having gotten that out of the way, I will dive straight in; this piece is not to remind us about the length of time the abducted Chibok girls have been gone, neither is it about how well or not the Nigerian government has performed or even about all the humanitarian and human rights activists’ efforts that have been contributed towards ensuring their freedom by various organisations. Far from it, I have an impression that we have all been inundated with the on-goings of all the above; 
This piece is simply an avenue to air out a gnawing train of thought that has made this writer have stray thoughts one time too many- We all clamor for our girls to be brought back altruistically and nobly, however, I would like to ask a question many of us do not think is important: Bring back our girls to what exactly?!!!!
Credit – amnestyinternational.org 

Before I have the crowd calling for my head, take a minute and think:

It will be agreed, myself being female, that the predicament of women is somewhat fragile in the society, this has nothing to do with the strength or mental acuity of women; it is a simple fact of being! Bearing this in mind, we have a group of young girls, unprotected, impressionable, young in soul and mind in an environment such as a terrorist camp; it can only be imagined the extent of horror to which they are prone to; rape, slavery, mistreatment and all sorts of inhumane treatment. Some of them will be pregnant, some of them will have their once innocent souls ripped out, replaced by hardened minds and spirits that have been molded different either through false doctrines or untold psychological hardship!
The girls who were taken away, I assure you, are not the same girls who are to be brought back.
Now, stating the stark reality before us as a nation: We are simply not equipped to handle this situation! What institution has been set up to provide the requisite psychological, physiological and mental support that these girls require? What schools will these girls attend when they return to us; a school that will nurture them, cocoon them, recalibrate their minds, a school that we will all admit we need because their impression of what a school was before they were taken, I assure you, is not the same impression they have now!! What medical help and assistance is on ground to provide healthcare to these girls? Who will stitch those who have been sore, who will give the requisite medication if they arise to treat any ailments, what tests will be carried out to ensure that the good health of these ladies have not been compromised?
Most importantly, to cut my ramblings short; to what society are you bringing them back to? I am sorry to say but as much as I am Nigerian, I do not have the requisite faith in Nigerians to say we can shoulder the necessary responsibility of providing a supportive society to cushion the effects of the trauma these girls must have been through; our society is prone to creating stigmas and labels, this is not to say we are not empathic people, we just have not learnt to be any better; if your son says he has found a wife who was a victim of the chibok kidnap ,would the average Nigerian parent embrace his decision? The community to which these girls will return, will they treat them like outcasts? What of the children of these girls for those who are pregnant or are mothers, will they be embraced wholly? Will the very relatives of these girls be patient and empathetic enough to accommodate any of the girls who have been radicalized bearing in mind that only time can heal deep wounds?
I could go on and on but I believe enough is contained here to foster a train of thought as to the structural aid we need to rehabilitate these girls and indeed, rehabilitation is what is required. To not be a doomsayer, I will attempt to voice out a solution I harbor in mind no matter how implausible it may seem: If we cannot provide the requisite structure to restore these girls, can we at least agree that we should invest in moving these girls to an environment where this can be provided? I already foresee the unpleasant reactions to this piece. Nonetheless, the truth is the truth!! We have cried #BRINGBACKOURGIRLS, let’s begin to also cry, more importantly: #RESTOREOURGIRLS!!

Dear Nigerian Army, Where Is My Friend, Captain Aliyu Musa? by Tope Atiba

Dear Nigerian Army, Where Is My Friend, Captain Aliyu Musa? by Tope Atiba

‘I’m surviving, hope you are fine too? Am in Adamawa now, close to Gwoza, my regards to all’- (Excerpts of an SMS exchanged on Friday 22nd August, 2014 between my friend and I, few hours before his disappearance or ……. death)

Exactly one week ago, during a counter-insurgency operation carried out by the Nigerian Army against the dreaded Boko Haram Sect somewhere between Mubi and Gwoza in Adamawa and Borno States respectively, Captain Musa Aliyu was allegedly shot alongside two other officers of the Nigerian army whose lifeless bodies have since been recovered. Aliyu’s body has however not been found.

While the inspiration to write this article is not unconnected with the fact that Aliyu is a close friend of mine, with whom I have shared some of the best and most memorable moments of intellectual discourses, bottles of beer and a common vision to develop this country in our separate fields, Aliyu was/is a firstclass example of an individual who places this country’s interest above his at all times. His professional responsibility to the nation consumed him and was palpable the moment you met with this fine officer. 
It was in Aliyu’s flat in the Onitsha Barracks that I characteristically spent at least a week of my yearly vacation. Arrangements were also in top gear to perform this yearly ritual when the call of duty sent Aliyu to Mubi in Adamawa State to join his colleagues in special missions against the dreaded Boko Haram sect.
This piece, while inspired by a close relationship that might be lost forever if indeed he is dead, is not entirely about one soldier, but about every officer and soldier of the Nigerian army and indeed the entire army as an institution. This is about the modus operandi of the institution, about the blanket of secrecy that over-mystifies the practices of the army, shields the financial outlay of the army from public scrutiny, and buries most Officers who die in combat in shallow unmarked graves as “unknown soldiers” after losing their lives due to inadequacy of information, strategy and weaponry caused wholly by embezzlement of the Military’s budgetary allocation.
In 2012, the office of the National Security Adviser under the leadership of the late General Adrew Azazi, got about 1 Trillion Naira in budgetary allocation. This amount was ordinarily supposed to be geared towards the acquisition of state-of-the-art arms and ammunition to be used in the Army’s counter terrorism campaign. In 2013 the Office of the NSA was allocated about N81,309,412,020 while the armed forces got about N364,415,146,885. 
In the 2014 budget, the figures are N117,725,072,907 for the office of the NSA and N349,707,339,871 for the armed forces. Meanwhile, sometime earlier in the year, Mr. Jonathan had come out to seek approval for another loan of about 1 Billion Dollars for the same purpose of acquiring arms and ammunition for the armed forces.
The apposite question then becomes, what happened to the 1 Trillion Naira that was paid to the office of the National Security Adviser under the leadership of Andrew Azazi? To follow up in quick succession, questions like: how much is the complete kit/gear of each soldier in the Nigerian Army? How much is the risk allowance of every soldier at the war front? Are the allowances paid as at when due? Why is there shortage of requisite ammunition to fight this cancerous insurgency? 
Why is it difficult to send Nigerian Soldiers to the battlefront without more than a magazine of bullets for his A.K 47 while the members of Boko Haram generally need an extra person to carry the belt of their seemingly inexhaustible bullets (as seen in the videos of the attacks on Giwa barracks and overrun of Gwoza) for general purpose machine guns, rocket propelled grenades, and even armoured tanks?
I wonder why our finest and bravest men are sent out blindly to die in the face of the obvious superior fire power of Boko Haram. 
Obviously, victory is not only a result of military training. It doesn’t require rocket science to realize that military training without ammunition will result in losses and casualties. I wonder what happened to the 5 helicopter gunships that were procured by Olusegun Obasanjo? Why does it suddenly seem like the Nigerian Airforce has been silenced in this battle as against the usual pounding of the obviously inadequate and relatively obsolete alpha jets that hitherto went before the troops and in other cases served as back ups?
It is obvious that the Nigerian Army has been abandoned and left out in the cold by thieving politicians and probably the top echelon of the army, as severally insinuated by organizations like Transparency International who have singled out corruption and embezzlement of funds voted for the equipping of the military as the cause of the seeming drought in the armoury of the armed forces.
Military contractors have been known to deliberately purchase 2nd, 3rd, 4th hand military hardware which has become the bane of the current campaign against Boko Haram and consequently resulted in the death or disappearance of my friend Captain Aliyu Musa as the case may be. Yet, due to this great act of treason, droves die and nobody has been apprehended, investigated and prosecuted. Is everybody not obviously complicit? Including the Commander in Chief? Or is he oblivious of these redundant facts?
I use this medium to request, that the Nigerian army begins a program to immortalize both officers and NCOs (Non Commissioned Officers) alike who have been killed due to the selfishness, callousness and corruption of the same government that sends them out to Defend its territorial integrity and in the process sends them to deaths that could have been prevented if these brave and gallant soldiers were properly and adequately armed and catered for.
This is not asking for too much. It is as simple as having a public wall emblazoned with all the names of those we lost (something like the Vietnam Memorial Wall in the US). These soldiers too are flesh, blood, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, parents and ‘FRIENDS’ alike. Their life is worth more than a press release and an unmarked grave.
This is only the beginning of a campaign to ensure that the 2% of soldiers that stake their lives for the 98% of civilians like us, get their due. We will as a people, question the votes for security and the armed forces and we will hopefully get to the root of this rot. We will get there, so that my friend and yours will not lose their lives in vain.
This is Nigeria.
I am Aiyé Kòótó


British Nigerian Law Forum (BNLF)
Hospital & Prison Action Network (HPAN)
invite you to a seminar on
Terrorism in Nigeria
The Nigerian Terrorism (Prevention) Act was passed in 2011. However, 2014 has seen a sharp increase in acts of terrorism within Nigeria, which has cost the lives of at least 1500 people and seen the recent abduction of over 200 schoolgirls.  
This seminar will raise questions on, amongst other things:
The effectiveness of the Nigerian law enforcement, judicial, and political institutions in dealing with this long-standing threat;
What solutions can be found to assist the Nigerian government; and 
If solutions can be gleaned from the international community and human rights laws.
Leading legal and counter-terrorism experts from Nigeria and the UK. 
Top government officials (including the Nigerian Inspector-General of Police) have been invited. 
Date: Saturday 14 June 2014
Time: 10am to 3pm
Venue: Central London (TBC)
Admission: Eventbrite link to follow.
The event is to be covered by UK and Nigerian media.
More information on this event is to follow.
For more information email info@bnlf.org.uk
For sponsorship opportunities email funmi@bnlf.org.uk
For opportunities to advertise in the forthcoming BNLF Newsletter email juliana@bnlf.org.uk
The BNLF is a professional organisation that aims to strengthen the relationship between the British and Nigerian legal communities.



Initially, the focus of this piece was to highlight a need for the average Nigerian to have a basic understanding of his fundamental human rights; what better time than the present to educate us on another rich aspect of law as it concerns our well-being.

However,as is wont to happen to overzealous minds,if the writer be permitted to be self-effacing,this piece turned into a reflective cornerstone which aims not to change the world but to sow seeds in the hope that it will ignite growth for a meaningful harvest somewhere, sometime, in someone.
Permit me the liberty to caution; if you are looking to read a constructive article of criticism or an astounding opinion put in light of a new discovery,you will be sorely disappointed! This is simply the ranting of an underworked legal mind itching to put to paper ramblings from said mind.
Having got that out of the way, I proceed to share this quote by Gustave Flaubert ‘There is no truth. There is only perception’. Before I lose all the rational thinking individuals who can educate me on the fine points of the existence of truth,I will press on with my position.
Terrorism, as we know it, isn’t the exclusive preserve of African nations,need I point out cases of the 9/11 bombing in New York, U.S.A.  or the Beslan school siege,Russia in 2004, to mention a few. Far from it! The underlying cause of terrorism is simply man’s innate penchant for mischief or to put it appropriately, wickedness. Finer points can be made on how lesser offsprings are the bane;greed,poverty,thirst for power,idealism, etc….. But I choose to pick out the underlying thread through which all these are birthed: Wickedness!!!
It is wickedness that makes you place a lesser value on another human life,same malady ails you if you feel your actions are justified for religious,political or self-enriching reasons. There is no higher value on this earth to be placed on anything than the value of human life. Whichever religion you profess to worship,the person next to you is the God you see and for those who believe in no God,the next person deserves the same respect you place on yourself as I assume you do believe in yourself.
Following from this,several facets and applaud-worthy opinions have been heard on the issue of the rising spate of terrorist activity in our dearly beloved country;the camp that blames poverty as the root cause make argument for the fact that if poverty were eradicated,there would be no room for idle and hungry minds and bellies to give in to the urge to inflict terror in the heart of the nation. On the contrary,another school opines that it is the rich and political miscreants that are the masterminds that use hapless pawns to further their own agenda and therefore call for an uprising against these class of people.
These are but a few sides to the situation that is fast becoming a plague in our great nation. Be that as it may,the only side I have not come across, or maybe my reading has been limited in some way, is; the reason why terrorism has begun to thrive in a country such as ours is YOU! Yes,YOU reading this!
We are the terror!
A typical day in Lagos State; I drive in my lane to find that some impatient people have decided to turn a 2 Lane road to a 3 Lane road or even 4. Before I say Jack,1 of the ‘self appointed road Jackie Chana’ then outmaneuvers himself and proceeds to give my car a good brushing. On proceeding to come down and address the issue like 2 mature adults,he quickly assesses the other party aka me and records the words ‘young’ and ‘female’ in his brain and goes to work trying to intimidate me with threats,shouting, basically assault quickly tending towards battery. The next thing you know an official burdened with the responsibility of assessing the situation appropriately steps in and is then pulled aside by the guy to ‘explain his side of the story through action’ (aka rubbing palms) in my very presence and by the time they are done, I begin to ask myself if I am hallucinating in broad daylight listening to the words emanating from the official’s lips! Luckily, passersby notice the gang up and come to my aid, berating the two men, before I can be adequately incensed to reduce myself to the mad woman they were awakening.
The moral of the story is we all have it in us to be terrorists! The man would have beat me quite gladly as long as he could get away with it and escape without any repercussions, I read it clearly in his eyes. And he would have gone scot free with the calibre of the official present that day.
Be it the man who wants to further his political ambition and provides funds for arms and ammunition or the man who feels he is bold enough,paid enough to waste another man’s life under the guise of hypocritical religion or the people acting out of greed or thirst for bloodshed or to advance political mayhem,we all started from somewhere! It was when he first got away with bribing his way to that political office or to obtain a license to do whatever shady business, it was when he first squandered his tuition fees or welfare money to buy alcohol to meet up with some peer standard, it was when someone in position felt the resources allocated to promote education was better used in serving personal selfish needs and instead the promotion of institutions that preached radicalism was a more thriving venture, it was when people stood aloof and refused to share information because they were not personal victims not just out of fear but feeling one group of people deserved whatever was happening to them because they did not have the same beliefs! It was when I felt that you would be a better candidate to vote for at our estate elections simply because we are of the same tribe! It started with us all!
This is not to say we are not loving, warm and unified Nigerians! Far be it from me to say so, if anything, we have shown that give Nigerians one common enemy and see them turn to a herd of bulls with one target! #BringBackOurGirls!
What I am saying,point not missed,misinterpreted or misread, is we need to be more accountable of and to ourselves! Not just our leaders but each of us! That way,we will build a system steadily where no amount of misplaced agendas will thrive and cause mayhem in our midst!!
This is how we will make Nigeria a country where terrorism will not thrive!! This is how our children will be taught that no matter the enticement you are offered or the beliefs you hold dearest,the quality of human life should be regarded as something to be placed at great value!
I do not know the truth behind Boko Haram! I do not know the true stories of the antagonists and the victims! But I can only perceive this; the answer for the future lies in you and I!
Chica Maduakolam LL.B,B.L, LL.M(London)


Introduction – Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011
Terrorism has continued to threaten global peace and prosperity. To address this criminal activity, governments all over the world, including the Nigerian government, have passed into law various legislation making terrorism very serious global criminal offences.
In Nigeria, the legislation that proscribes all manner of terrorist activity is the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011.
What is Terrorism?

Terrorism is described as the calculated and extreme use of violence or threatened violence, perpetuated by malice, to cause serious harm or violence against individuals, governments and their assets with the intention to attain political, religious or ideological goals, through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear on civilian population.
Prohibition of Terrorism

It is a criminal offence, under Nigerian law, for any person to commit, threaten, promote, assist or facilitate any act preparatory to or in furtherance of, or the actual execution of any act(s) of terrorism.
It is also a criminal offence for any person or group of persons to seize, detain or attempt to seize or detain, or threaten to kill or injure another person (or property) as a basis to induce the release of a terrorist, or to as a basis to advance a terrorist agenda, or to have the authorities forebear a terrorist offence. The penalty on conviction for these offences is ten (10) years maximum imprisonment.
Terrorism Funding
Any person who directly or indirectly provides or collects funds with the knowledge or intention that such funds will be used in full or in part for any kind of terrorist activity commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a maximum term of imprisonment of ten (10) years. Similar provisions and penalty applies to persons who knowingly solicit, receive, provide or possess any property for the furtherance of a terrorist activity or activities.

The Attorney General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is empowered to make regulations for the freezing of the assets and funds of a terrorist group or of any individual involved in terrorist activity.
Mutual Assistance, information sharing and Extradition. The Attorney General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is authorised to, on receipt of a request for mutual assistance on a matter related to terrorism from a mutual treaty country, apply to a Federal High Court Judge in chambers, in the presence of the legal Counsel or Attorney to the suspected Terrorist concerned, for such appropriate Order that will give effect to the reasonable request.

A Judge in Chambers is in turn authorised to make an Order, upon the above application of the Attorney General, imposing such conditions as to payment of debts, sale, transfer or disposal of property, search and property tracking. A Judge can also make an order freezing or forfeiting an asset related to a terrorism offence.
The Attorney General is also authorised to forward a request to any foreign country with whom Nigeria has a mutual extradition treaty and or to a Federal High Court Judge for the extradition of any terrorist suspect, document or other asset, including extradition for the purpose of giving evidence in a terrorist charge in Nigeria.

Human Rights and Terrorism
The right to peaceful assembly, association including belonging to a trade union or political party are protected under the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011.
The right to share privileged information with a person’s legal Attorney is also protected provided that the information is not in furtherance of a criminal purpose.

Terrorism Offences and Punishment
Any person who belongs to or professes to belong to a proscribed terrorist organisation commits an offence which is punishable with a maximum term of imprisonment of twenty (20) years on conviction.
Any person who does, attempts to do, threatens to do, promotes, assist or facilitates terrorism in any way or manner, or participates in terrorism financing, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to life imprisonment or to a fine of not less than N150Million or to both the term of imprisonment and the fine.
Where any act of terrorism results in death, the penalty on conviction of the terrorist individual is life imprisonment or without prejudice to the latter, death. See Section 4(4) of the Terrorist (Prevention) Act 2011.
Arranging and supporting terrorist meetings, harboring terrorists, obstructing terrorist investigations, been declared an international terrorist group or individual or failing to report terrorist financial transactions are offences which on conviction carry terms of imprisonment of not less than 3 years and not more than 20 years.
Failure to communicate to the law enforcement authorities, useful information which can prevent the commission of or lead to the apprehension, prosecution and conviction of any person involved in any terrorist activity or knowingly training terrorists, is an offence which on conviction carries.

By: Oserogho & Associates on 1/29/2012