Full Text of The Nigerian Dream & The Rights Of The Youths, The Oppressed & The Voiceless

Origin of Social Contract 

 

 

Presenter: Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chair, Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law

 

Education: B.Sc., Criminology & Security Studies, M.Sc., Peace & Conflict Studies

 

Topic: The Nigerian Dream & The Rights Of The Nigerian Youths, The Oppressed & The Voiceless

 

Nigeria as an independent democratic country is instituted with presidential system and governed by a set of rules or laws chaired by its 1999 Constitution. It follows that Nigeria, measuring over 923,000 square kilometers of land mass, is constitutionally organized and governed by a body of elected and appointed public office holders; numbering approximately 17,500. The country is also a heterogeneous or pluralistic society of over 380 tribes with dominant being Igbo, Hausa-Fulani and Yoruba. It is composed religiously of Christianity, Islam and others.

 

Other laws governing Nigeria are derived from the Laws of the Federation principally the Acts of the National Assembly and others deemed modified under Section 315 of the Constitution. Ratified regional and international treaties are also part of the Laws of Nigeria; likewise Laws of the State and Administrative others. Legislative powers of the Federation are vested in the hands of the National Assembly under which laws made by the 36 States are forbidden from rising in seniority contest or incompatibility with those of the National Assembly. See Section 4(5) of the Constitution.

 

The executive powers of the Federation are vested in the President and his Presidency while the judicial powers are vested in the Judicial Courts of the Federation and those of the States with the Supreme Court and its CJN as the most senior. These are contained in Sections 5 and 6 of the Constitution. The Constitution of Nigeria 1999 is somehow modeled after the US Independence Constitution, proclaimed and ratified on 4th July 1776, which took effect from 1789. The present Constitution of Nigeria also contains inherent defects and lacks authorization from the People of Nigeria via plebiscite or referendum. It was created by Decree 24 of 1999 by Nigeria’s last political meddlesome interlopers (Abubakar’s military regime).

 

The Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution, like its US counterpart; contains social contract; classified under Chapter Two as Fundamental Objectives & Directive Principles of State Policy; provided in Sections 13-24. Its Section 13 provides for mandatory compliance of the executive, judicial and legislative public office holders with all the provisions in the Chapter Two. The Chapter Two ends with Section 24 which contains six constitutional duties of the citizens.

 

Insertion of Ouster Clauses in the Constitution to Impede Human Rights Dev

 

Major defect of the Chapter Two is its ouster clause contained in Section 6, sub 6 (c) of the Constitution. In the Chapter Four proper (Fundamental Human Rights), the military administration of Gen Abdul Salami Abubakar and its civilian collaborators injuriously inserted some ouster clauses to stampede the operability and enforceability of some of its important sections including right to life in Section 33.

 

But the good news is that the said ouster clauses in the Chapter Four have alternatively been silenced or neutralized by the domesticated African Rights Charter of 1981 (Cap A9, Laws of the Federation 2004). The African Rights Charter was domesticated in 1983. That of the Chapter Two is also being neutralized using other technical legal and non legal advocacy means; pending its total removal from the Constitution via amendment or invocation of a new brand Constitution for the People of Nigeria by the People of Nigeria via Electoral College.

 

Three Tier Governance Lists in the Constitution

 

In the 1999 Constitution also lies clear separation of governing duties or responsibilities commonly called exclusive legislative list, concurrent legislative list and the rest deemed residual list. These lists are shared among Nigeria’s three tiers of government of: Federal, States and Local Government Areas. By Section 1 (2) of the 1999 Constitution, military takeover and other forms of undemocratic governance are forbidden and by Section 1(3), the Constitution is supreme and above any other law in matters of the latter’s  inconsistency with the former.

 

Social Contract & Human Rights Obligations as Condition for Indivisibility & Indissolubility of Nigeria

 

By Section 2 of the Constitution, Nigeria is one indivisible and indissoluble sovereign state to be governed by the name of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This is strictly subject to full compliance and strict adherence by the 17,500 top elected and appointed Public Office Holders in the country to the social contract obligations in the Chapter Two (Sections 13-23) as well as the justiciable Chapter Four or Citizens’ Fundamental Human Rights in Sections 33-46.     

 

Role of African Rights Charter in the Development & Advancement of Human Rights in Nigeria

 

The African Rights Charter which is fully part and parcel of the Nigerian municipal body of laws concurs with the said Chapter Four of the Constitution and further fills the related gaps or lacunas inherent in the Constitution (i.e. rights to self determination using nonviolence; existence, ethnic identity and development). The African Rights Charter, domesticated since 1983, is presently cited as African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement Act, Cap A9, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004. 

 

The Charter in its Section 20 guarantees right to democratic self determination using nonviolence. The said domesticated Law of Nigeria also provides for rights to ethnic identity or indigenous existence, religion or faith as well as individual and collective development. African Rights Charter not only coherently operates with the Constitution but also takes over from where the Constitution stops.

 

See also the operability and enforceability of the African Rights Charter via Nigeria’s Supreme Court decision in Gen Sani Abacha & Ors v. Chief Gani Fawehinmi (2000) 4 FWLR 533. The relationships between a Member-State of AU and its citizens are also clearly spelt out in Article 19 of the important Rights Charter; ratified and domesticated by the Federal Government of Nigeria on 17th March 1983 and now cited as African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement Act, Cap A9, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

 

Location of Social Contract in Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution

 

In the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended, the Service to Humanity or Social Contract obligations (duties of public governance administrators) of Nigeria’s 17, 500 Public Office Holders are clearly provided in the Chapter Two or Fundamental Objectives & Directive Principles of State Policy. This is also called Charter of Responsibilities for Public Office Holders in Nigeria.

 

By its Section 17, “the State Social Order is founded on ideals of Freedom, Equality and Justice”; 17(2) “in furtherance of this social order: (a) every citizen shall have equality of rights, obligations and opportunities before the law”; 17 (2) (b) “the sanctity of human person shall be recognized and human dignity shall be maintained and enhanced”; 17 (2) (c) “government actions shall be humane”

 

By its Section 17 (2) (d) “exploitation of human and natural resources in any form whatsoever for reasons, other than the good of the community, shall be prevented”; and 17 (2) (e) “the independence, impartiality and integrity of courts of law, and easy accessibility thereto shall be secured and maintained”.

 

Also by  its Section 14, “the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be a State base on Principles of Democracy and Social Justice”;  14 (2) it is hereby declared that sovereignty belongs to the People of Nigeria from whom government through this Constitution derives all its powers and authority; 14 (2) (b) the security and welfare of the People (human security) shall be the primary purpose of the Government; and 14 (2) (c) “the participation by the People in their Government shall be ensured in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution”.

 

By its Section 14 (3), “the composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few States or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or any of its agencies”.

 

By its Section 15 (1), “the motto of the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress”; 15 (2) accordingly, “national integration shall be actively encouraged, whilst discrimination on the grounds of place of origin, sex, religion, status, ethnic or linguistic association or ties shall be prohibited”. By Section 10 of the same Constitution, the Government of the Federation or of a State shall not adopt any religion as State Religion.

 

And very importantly by Section 13, it shall be the duty and responsibility of all organs of government, and of all authorities and persons, exercising legislative, executive or judicial powers, to conform to, observe and apply the provisions of this Chapter (Two) of this Constitution.

 

 

 

 

 

It therefore, follows that the oneness, indivisibility and indissolubility of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as contained in Section 2 of the Constitution can never have any effect or be validated unless they are mandatorily linked and grounded in Social Contract or Fundamental Objectives & Directive Principles of State Policy and the Fundamental Human Rights Charter separately provided or entrenched in Chapters Two and Four of the Constitution.

 

In the event of default in the two chapters by the public office holders manning executive, legislative and judicial powers of the government in Nigeria, numbering 17,500, which presently and recklessly is the case; the oneness, indivisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria become totally challenged and unrealizable.

 

Relationship between Human Rights & Social Contract

 

Citizens’ freedoms and personal liberties have their origins from the creation of members of the human family by the Almighty Creator. As far back as 313AD, the right to freedom of worship and religion was proclaimed by Emperor Constantine De Great (AD306-337) during the Christian Roman Empire. There also existed the Edict of Milan of AD313 or decriminalization of Christian worship, which started in April 311AD with the enactment of the Edith of Religious Toleration.

 

This explains why human rights are concisely defined as those attributes inherent in human being from creation, without which no human being can exist in his or her completeness and happily? Rightly put, it is the monumental failure of the society to respect and ensure these core or non-tradable attributes or natural gifts of members of the human family that led to formation of social contract society or a society of collectivism and egalitarianism governed by chosen men and women of nobility. A society without social contract attributes, as captured by Prof Thomas Hobbes, is short, brutish, barbaric, nasty-and a society of cannibalism where the fittest survive.

 

As a matter of fact, social contact has its origin traced to human rights, meaning that human rights and social contract are interwoven or inter-related. It follows that social contract are codified human rights, aggregated and packaged for collective purposes including societal application, delivery and enforcement using instruments of governance. The modern idea of human rights is that they are third party oversight arrangements or advocacy mechanisms put in place to checkmate and ensure steady compliance of the public office holders to their social contract obligations; for their society to exist harmoniously, prosper, develop and be secured.

 

Collectivism in human rights is today referred to as democratic society or arrangement founded on social contract and expressive freedoms. Under this arrangement, personal liberties and freedoms are preserved, advanced, promoted and protected; provided they do not impinge on legitimate collective rights and welfare of the entire society. In the event of major conflict (i.e. for the purpose of legitimate public good and good governance), the latter prevail while the former are not crushed but remedied.

 

 

 

Laws especially popular or peoples’ constitutions are created and put in place by the people through referenda or Electoral College to govern relationships within government; between government, citizens and institutions; and between citizens and institutions.  It follows divinely and sequentially that God created people, who in turn, created government and the constitution and other laws. Government governs the people through legitimate electoral mandate, using constitution and other popularly recognized body of laws. People again abrogate their constitution and its government especially when it loses legitimacy or can longer ensure the safety of the governed as well as their rights, liberties and pursuit of happiness.

 

Origin of Social Contract 

 

In his 1690 famous book called the Second Treatise of Civil Government, John Locke saw and called for a situation where a free, equal and independent people agreed to be governed in return for certain secure enjoyment for their individual rights, which the courts and police powers of a government can enforce leading to every free individual having a moral right to be protected from arbitrary interference by government or other individuals, of his or her sacred rights.

 

The visionary and philosophical work of John Locke and ors were later in 1776 reviewed by American founding fathers including Thomas Jefferson, who drafted or wrote the US Independence Declaration Speech delivered on 4th July 1776. Thomas Jefferson later became the third President of the United States from 4th March 1801 to 4th March 1809. This was the origin of the enshrinement of the famous Social Contract in the US Constitution till date. The American Independence Speech holds as follows:

 

We hold these truths to be self evident that all men (and women) are created equal and endowed with certain natural and inalienable rights, and most important being of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And to protect these rights, men set up government whose authority rests on their consent.

 

And whenever a government ceases to do what it has been set up for, its citizens have a right to change it or its order and put in place a new government or a new order that will provide for their safety and happiness.

 

Tragedies of Leadership Failure on Human Rights & Economic Development in Nigeria

 

The problem of Nigeria yesterday, today and perhaps tomorrow is leadership failure and absence of charismatic leaders. Granted that part of Nigeria’s problem is inherited from its foundation (i.e. British led western slavery, gun culture, colonialism and foreign religion with its strange and locally incompatible doctrines); but failure of successive and present Nigerian political leaderships to provide charismatic leadership and right the wrongs of the past, has compounded the country’s flurry of social problems and put it in the present path of seeming irremediable perdition or doom.

 

 

 

 

 

It is so bad that Nigeria, till date, acutely lags behind in matters of measuring up with seven modern dimensions of Human Security; namely: political security, personal or physical security, economic security, health security, environmental security, community security and food security. The UN’s new concept of Human Security was developed in 1994 by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). It emphasizes on the expansion of the concept of security from its old gun culture and State monopolistic concept to the new concept of human security-a radical or geometric shift to citizens’ freedom from want and fear.  The concept of Human Security is also called “peopling security”.

 

Nigeria is also acutely eluded by two concepts of negative peace and positive peace. Negative peace represents absence of large scale personal or physical violence while positive peace represents absence of structural violence or policy against political exclusion and institutional segregation. Lack of the above has spiraled group violence and escalated youth militancy and unchecked use of illicit small arms and other weapons of death in Nigeria. The Nigeria Police Force and other security forces including the Nigerian Army have responded to increasing group violence in Nigeria crudely and through other approaches that are outside the law.

 

The Nigeria Police in particular, also recklessly and brazenly resorts to racial discrimination in the course of controlling and managing street crimes in the country while the Nigerian Army indulges in reckless and excessive use of force and other mindless violation of int’l rules of engagement; in its response to group expressions such as democratic free speeches and street protests. In the world over under the UN System, national armies have no single business in managing and policing both aggressive and nonviolent assemblies other than armed resistance or struggle. Policing organizations are empowered and equipped to do so.

 

International Laws & Treaties Binding on Nigeria

 

They include the UN Covenant on Civil & Political Rights and the UN Covenant on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights of 1976; the UN anti Genocide and Torture Conventions of 1948 and 1985; the UN Convention for Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance of 2009;  UN Women & Child Rights Conventions of 1984 and 1990; the UN Statute on Refuge of 1951; the Rome Statute of the Int’l Criminal Court of 1998; UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials of 1979; UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force & Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials of 1990; UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) of 1948; the African Charter on Human & Peoples Rights of 1981; UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People of  2007; and more importantly, the Geneva Conventions or Laws of War of 1949, enacted to regulate inter State and intra State conflicts and treatment of non combatants including refugees and IDPs affected by intra and inter State conflicts. Nigeria is a State Party to the above and also morally bound by them till date.

 

Obligations of Nigerian Government to Its Citizens under UN System

 

The UN’s new concept of sovereignty as a responsibility or citizens’ sovereignty and maintenance of international peace and security as the core foundation of the Purposes of the 193-member Organization; is inviolably binding on Nigeria as a key Member-State. Nigeria is also bound by the Customary International Law under UN System particularly those that are inviolable by virtue of their doctrine of “substantial uniformity by substantial number of States” or “Opinio Juris”.

 

The UN’s principle of Opinio Juris binding on its 193-Member States including Nigeria literally means a general belief binding on all Member-States that a non-treaty is legally binding on States. This is in addition to another important principle of UN called “Jus Cogens” (i.e. absolute rules of general international law binding on UN Member-States for which no derogation is permitted). Instances of the latter include rules against use of crude or deadly force on vulnerable and unarmed populations; perpetration of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity; massacre of unarmed and defenceless citizens in non war situations, slavery, mass rape and torture, etc.

 

Int’l Procedures for Policing Aggressive & Peaceful Assemblies (Non-War)

 

Numerous regional and international procedures binding on Nigeria abound. Specifically, Nigeria as a leading member of the UN and international community is bound by the Basic Standards or Procedures of International Law & Humanitarian Principles. Under this are the ten basic rules or standards for policing aggressive and peaceful assemblies in any member-State; which expressly recognize the rights of the citizens of all Member-States of the UN including Nigeria, to peaceful assemblies and expressions other than armed conflict or resistance-and strictly outline ways through which these assemblies shall be managed or policed by policing agencies of member State other than their armies.

 

The ten basic standards of the international law put in place for policing agencies of Member-States of the UN for management of civil assemblies and free speeches as well as arrest, detention and prosecution of citizens accused of commission of municipal crimes of relevant municipal code definitions are:

 

(1)everyone is entitled to equal protection of the law without discrimination on any grounds, especially against violence or threat..; (2) treat all victims of crime with compassion and respect, and in particular protect their safety and privacy; (3) do not use force except when strictly necessary and to the minimum extent required under the circumstances.

 

Others are (4) avoid using force when policing unlawful but nonviolent assemblies; (5) when dispersing violent assemblies, use force only to the minimum extent necessary (i.e. in line with proportionate use of force and avoidance of application of excessive force on unarmed(i.e. not bearing automatic rifles or firearms) but violent or aggressive assemblies), (6) lethal force should not be used when arresting nationals suspected of committing municipal or local crimes except when strictly unavoidable in order to protect your life or lives of others. Note: peaceful or provoked violent assemblies do not amount to commission of municipal crimes other than insurrection, mutiny or armed struggle; (7) arrest no person unless there are legal wounds to do so and ensure that the arrest is carried out in accordance with lawful arrest procedures; (8) ensure that all detainees have access, promptly after arrest to their families and legal representatives and to any necessary medical assistance.

 

The rest are (9) all detainees must be treated humanely and avoid infliction, instigation or toleration of any act of torture in any circumstance and refuse to obey order to do so; (10) do not carry out, order or cover up extrajudicial executions or disappearances of the arrested or the detained and refuse to obey any order to do so; and report all breaches of these basic standards to your senior officers and to the office of the public prosecutor and do everything within your powers to ensure steps are taken to investigate these breaches.

 

 

 

In policing or managing such civil assemblies and free speeches, particularly if they become uncontrollable  and capable of breaching public peace and safety,  policing agencies and their officers must apply the following modern crowd control methods and approved kits:  tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper spray, electric tasers, batons, whips, water cannons, long range acoustic devices, aerial surveillance, police dogs, etc; with their handlers bodily aided or protected by body protective devices such as anti crowd helmets, face visors, body armor (i.e. vests, neck protectors, knee pads, etc), gas masks and anti crowd shields.

 

Int’l Rules of Engagement for Protection of Civilians in Violent Conflicts

 

Under circumstances of war or situations of internal conflict, the military and humanitarian handling or management of same are strictly regulated regionally and internationally. On humanitarian and use of force aspects, Nigeria is a party to UN Statute on Refuge of 1951 and allied rules for treatment of IDPs. Nigeria is also a State Party to the Statute of the International Criminal Court of 1998. Nigerian armed forces and police are further strictly bound by the UN’s Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials of 1979 and the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials of 1990.

 

Under war or conflict situations, Nigeria is bound by the Geneva Conventions or Laws of War of 1949 and their Four Protocols including the doctrine of rules of engagement and its principles of use of force, self defence, and related others. Nigeria is also a State Party to anti Genocide and anti Torture Conventions of 1948 and 1985 respectively.

 

The Rules of Engagement, traditionally and universally associated with internal and inter -State violent or armed conflicts or wars, are the integral part of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 or Laws of War and their Four Protocols of 1977.  They originally came from the three war related doctrines of Jus Ad Bellum (justification and ground for going to war); Jus In Bellum (ethical rules of conduct during war, such as ethical standards expected of soldiers or combatants in wartime or rules of engagement); and Jus Post Bellum (regulations on how wars are ended and facilitation of transition from war to peace).

 

These are also called the Standard Rules for the People of the War. The People of the War here literally means parties in the conflict who occupy the conflict areas such as fighting parties, non-combatants or civilians or IDPs and refugees as well as other third parties  directly or indirectly participating or affected by  the conflict.

 

There are six key features of the internationally standardized Rules of Engagement strictly applicable in war or conflict situations and they are (1) legitimate use of force, (2) proportionality of use of force, (3) legitimate self defense, (4) treatment of prisoners of war or conflict, (5) avoidance of attacks on non-military necessity or civilian targets or properties, (6) avoidance of attacks on civilians or non-combatants, (7) treatment of the wounded, (8) avoidance of attacks on culture symbols or places of worship, (9) avoidance of attacks on humanitarian agencies and personnel/human rights activists; (10) legitimate treatment of other peoples of the war (i.e. spies and journalists).

 

 

 

Short Statistics on State use of Deadly Force against Nigerian Youths & Ors

 

By our recent statement, dated 4th of June 2018 (killing of 150 Pro Biafra Activists during Army Python Dance II in Abia State & related ors), the combined authorities of the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Air Force are responsible for killing of no fewer than 456 defenseless and unarmed citizens of the country in 2017 alone. The killings included jet-bombing of no fewer than 236 Christian IDPs at Rann IDP camp in Kale-Balge LGA of Borno State on 17th January 2017.

 

There were also no fewer than 20 supporters of Biafra Indigenous People, shot and killed by soldiers at pro Trump Rally in Port Harcourt on 20th January 2017; no fewer than 50 rural Christians bombed to death in Numan, Adamawa State on 4th December 2017; and no fewer than 150 mainly supporters of Biafra Indigenous People killed on 12th, 13th and 14th of September 2017 in Afara-Ukwu, near Umuahia (105 deaths), Isiala-Ngwa(20 deaths) and Aba (25 deaths); where not less than 100 unarmed and defenseless others were shot and wounded particularly in Afara-Ukwu; which witnessed the highest number of injuries and Aba with the second highest number of injuries.

 

In 2016, the Nigerian Army, joined by Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies killed no fewer than 200 pro Biafra activists in Aba on 18th and 29th of January and 9th of February (60 deaths including 16 slain bodies dumped in two burrow pits and over ten recovered slain bodies) and 29th and 30th of May 2016 at Nkpor, Onitsha and Asaba (140 deaths with only about 15% bodies of the slain recovered and buried by their families).

 

In 2015, the Nigerian Army, joined by Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies killed no fewer than 50 unarmed pro Biafra campaigners. They were killed at Awka and Onitsha on 30th August; again in Onitsha and Aba on 2nd December and lastly for the year in Onitsha on 17th December at Niger Bridgehead. Out of no fewer than ten killed in Aba on 2nd December 2015 along Aba-Port Harcourt Road, five slain bodies were later dumped inside a burrow pit.

 

The remaining number of deaths associated with army massacre of pro Biafra Campaigners came from other violent crackdowns that greeted their street protests between 2015 and 2016 in Asaba-Delta State, Enugu-Enugu State, Abakiliki and environs-Ebonyi State, Yanogoa-Bayelsa State, Port Harcourt-Rivers State and Uyo-Akwa Ibom State. There are also unreported others technically classified as dark and grey figures of crimes. In the above highlighted massacre operations targeted at unarmed pro Biafra activists and ors, no fewer than 500 were shot and maimed with some crippled for life and a number of others died from injuries sustained.

 

The Nigerian Army is also responsible for killing between 12th and 14th of December 2015; of no fewer than 1000 members of Islamic Movement in Nigeria or IMN. The killings took place in Zaria, Kaduna State during the annual sacred procession of the sect. Subsequent killing by security forces in 2016 and above; of the unarmed Islamic sect members also led to no fewer than 120 deaths.

 

 

 

There are also other military killings resulting from custody related deaths in Northeast Nigeria. These deaths perpetrated in conflict environment and outside military necessity, clearly constitute war crimes. They include torture-deaths (including starvation and malnutrition) in army detention centers involving hundreds of civilians including new born and others aged not above five.

 

 Among such deaths were 240 deaths recorded in the Giwa Military Barracks in 2016 in Borno State. Statistics relating to these custodial deaths are contained in the reports of Amnesty Int’l including its 2016/2017 and 2018 reports on Nigeria, which also released another report on 24th May 2018 detailing widespread rape and other sexual harassments perpetrated by personnel of the Nigerian Army in some IDP camps in Northeast Nigeria.

 

In all, through illegitimate use of force and its crudity or regime violence, the Nigerian Army, joined by Nigeria Police Force, Nigerian Air Force and other security agencies are responsible for no fewer than 2,150 killings between June 2015 and September 2017. These did not include police custody and torture related deaths which have intensified and risen to national monthly average death of 250 uninvestigated and unprocessed arrested and detained citizens; with yearly average of 3000. 

 

That is to say that Nigeria Police Force may most likely have killed as much as 9000 uninvestigated and unprocessed detained citizens since mid 2015. The victims are those arrested and taken into police custody from where they are tortured to death or shot and killed outside the law. The authorities of the Nigeria Police Force usually refer to them as “slain armed robbers and kidnappers shot in gun duel or attempted custodial escapees”. A good number of the slain victims are victims of racial profiling policing policy in Nigeria mainly targeted at members of the Nigerian Youth population of Igbo stock.

 

Death of 107,500 Citizens outside the Law since June 1999

 

Non State actor killings and maiming have also intensified or escalated in Nigeria; with most victims being the youths and children. Youths are usually those in 18-35years age bracket. They are also referred to as active members of the national population. No fewer than 107,500 unarmed and defenseless citizens mainly from members of youth population have died outside the law in Nigeria since June 1999.

 

The not less than 107,500 deaths outside the law since June 1999 included victims of vigilante violence, police custody deaths, civilian deaths in military invasions of Zaki Biam, Odi and Gbaramaturu; communal violence, ethno-religious group and mob violence; civilian deaths in Niger Delta militancy violence; Boko Haram and Fulani Herdsmen’s anti Christian and other terror violence; military killings in Zaria, Southeast and South-south; civilian deaths in military custody in the Northeast; civilian deaths in the Nigerian Air Force  jet-killings in Borno and Adamawa  as well as victims of Zamfara Bandits’ terror violence in Zamfara and Kaduna States.

 

 

 

 

 

Death outside the law occurs when a citizen who is unarmed and defenseless at the time of his or her death is killed by his or her fellow citizen or a State armed officer or a violent member of armed opposition group or a member of street criminal gang. It includes death arising from deadly use of force in non war situation or that occurring from non military necessity attack by armed parties in a violent conflict; or death arising from police custody-usually from torture or deliberate shooting and killing in custody.

 

Importantly, by law and criminology, a criminal is not one until he or she is fully subjected to the processes of arrest, detention, investigation, investigative indictment, fair trial including fair hearing and fair defense; conviction and sentencing.

 

Increasing Non-State Actor Killings & Perpetration of other Heinous Crimes in Nigeria

 

In the first five months of 2018 (January to May 2018), no fewer than 1800 defenseless persons have been killed by the trio of Fulani Herdsmen, Boko Haram and Zamfara Bandits’ terror organizations. Many, if not most victims of the killings are members of the Christian faith in Northern Nigeria. While Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen solely target Christians, the Boko Haram terror group also target Christians, but sometimes kill Muslims collaterally; likewise the so called Zamfara Armed Bandits who kill and kidnap both Christians and Muslims. Roughly half of the victims are members of the youth or active population.

 

By the account of Vanguard Newspaper of 29th March 2018, in the first ten weeks of 2018 (January to middle of March 2018), no fewer than 1,351 defenseless and innocent persons have been killed by the duo of terror Fulani Herdsmen and Zamfara Islamist Bandits as well as street criminals and auto accidents. Boko Haram has also killed no fewer than 120 people in the first six months of 2018.

 

By the account of the Daily Trust Newspaper of 12th May 2018, no fewer than 121 innocent persons have been killed in Kaduna State by the Islamist Zamfara Bandits. The killings took place between January and first week of May 2018 in attacks carried out in eleven locations including Gwaska and Birnin Gwari areas of Kaduna State.

 

Also by the account of This Day Newspaper of 30th April 2018, no fewer than 861 defenseless and innocent persons all members of Nigerian Christian faith have been killed in the past first four months of 2018 (January to April 2018) by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen. The killings took place in old Middle Belt Region of Nigeria which is now part of Northern Nigeria; an area dominated by Muslims.  They include Benue, Southern Kaduna, Plateau, Kogi, Taraba, Adamawa and Kwara States; which collectively have the largest concentration of estimated 30m Northern Christians in Nigeria. 

 

The Government of Benue State in North-central Nigeria also disclosed on 21st May 2018 during the burial of 19 slain Catholic faithful including two Priests killed by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen on 25th April 2018  that no fewer than 492 Christian lives have been lost in the hands of Jihadists in the State between January and May 2018. The Christian Association of Nigeria, Benue State Branch, through its State Chairman, Rev Akpen Leva, also disclosed on 14th March 2018 that not less than 500 Christian churches were destroyed or burnt to ashes by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen in the State between 2011 and March 2018; with over 170,000 Christians internally displaced.

 

Also, by the expert report of Ms Arne Mulder in her 154-page research findings for the Open Doors Int’l (2015), “over 13,000 Christian places of worship (Churches) have been destroyed in Northern Nigeria by Boko Haram insurgents as at December 2014 or between 2009 and December 2014. Over 1500 Christian Schools were also destroyed; with 11,500 Christians killed and over 1.3m of them fled their areas to escape being hacked to death by Boko Haram Jihadists”.  Our organization, Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety), estimates credibly that no fewer than 16,000 churches and 1600 Christian schools must have been destroyed in Northern Nigeria by the duo of Boko Haram and Fulani Herdsmen insurgencies since 2009. 

 

The killings above, credibly estimated at 107,500 defenseless citizens since June 1999, did not include battle-fields related death of government and opposition combatants,  victims of street crimes of armed robbery, domestic violence including rape; kidnapping/abduction, arson, murder, ritualism,  suicides, cult and drug related violence as well as auto, aviation, marine, rail and industrial accidents. For instance, at one strike in Offa, Kwara State, North-central Nigeria, in a major bank robbery operation that took place on 5th April 2018, no fewer than 50 innocent persons were killed by dare-devil armed robbers.

 

Incessant Kidnappings in Nigeria

 

No fewer than 200 defenseless and innocent Nigerian citizens traveling to Northern Nigeria through Birnin Gwari Federal Road and its vicinities in Kaduna State have been kidnapped in the past 30 days or between 13th May and 9th June 2018 by the so called Zamfara Bandits. Also no fewer than 250 persons in all must have been kidnapped across Nigeria in the past six months of 2018. By the account of the Daily Trust Newspaper of 9th June 2018, Nigeria recorded no fewer than 300 kidnap cases in 2017 with Kaduna State taking the lead with 157 kidnap cases, followed by Rivers State with 61, Niger State 37, FCT (Abuja) 22 and Ondo State  21.

 

By the account of the Daily Post Online of 14th May 2018 and other media reports, 87 innocent persons were kidnapped along Birnin Gwari Federal Road in Kaduna State on Sunday, 13th May 2018. On 23rd May 2018, according to Daily Telegraph Newspaper and other media reports, 44 persons were kidnapped on the same route on Tuesday, 22nd May and 23rd May 2018. The victims of Tuesday evening kidnap attack, numbering over 17 passengers, were traveling on a Sharon Bus while those of Wednesday morning kidnap attack, numbering 21 traveled on three Gulf Cars with each carrying seven passengers.

 

On Friday, 8th June, according to the News Express Online though its new Northern Regional editor, Garba Muhammad, no fewer than 23 passengers including a nursing mother were kidnapped along the same Birnin Gwari Federal Road in Kaduna State and on Saturday, 9th June 2018, by the same media account, no fewer than 40 persons were kidnapped in the same route.  This is despite the Federal Government’s claims of heavy security presence in the area including the establishment of a battalion of the Nigerian Army and a Police Area Command by the Nigeria Police Force. Till date, pieces of credible information regarding the safety (whether alive or tortured or dead) of the abductees as well as the amount, if any, paid as ransom by the released, if any; have remained unavailable.

 

 

 

Leadership Failure & Economic Collapse in Nigeria

 

Leadership success and its accompanying economic turnaround or growth and development are possible only where there is a charismatic and visionary leader. The hyper economic growth and development in China today are a clear case in point. The divisive tendencies and other signs of divided society with which the People’s Republic of China was known for until late 90s and early 2000s, has long and largely become a thing of the past owing to its robust economy and end of international isolationism. China is approximately eight times more populated than Nigeria, yet it is presently the world richest economy and third most powerful country after USA and Russia in terms of military capacity and size.

 

Twelve Core Achievement Parameters of an Accomplished Democratic Leader

 

They are (a) winning of election by popular votes (input legitimacy), (b) ability of the elected to serve the people in the context of service to humanity (as opposed to transactional governance), (c) avoidance of call to squander and heeding of call to serve, (d) formation of a sizeable cabinet composed of persons of conscience; with technical expertise in various sectors of public governance, (e) a cabinet type devoid of favoritism and nepotism.

 

Others are: (f) financial prudency or fiscal responsibility and maintenance of a moderate monthly wage bill, (g) drastic reduction in governance running costs most especially in the areas of security votes and overheads and allowances of the political appointees, (h) near zero or zero debts culture and ability to adequately mobilize both statutory and non statutory (non loan funds) within and outside the country for massive capital development of the governing area.

 

The rest are (i) aggressive or multi sectoral and infrastructural development and provision,  delivery and sustenance of social services and public utilities, (j) provision of enabling environment and social incentives for the FDI inflows, private sector participation and general wellbeing of the citizenry including security and welfare (human security), (k)periodic justice sector reform, promotion and advancement  of human rights and (l) rendering the account of stewardship at the end of  every fiscal year and elected tenure.

 

Nigeria’s Past & Present Budgets of Squander-mania

 

Statistically, by findings generated from our national investigation carried out in February 2016 and updated  in our statement of 2nd April 2018, titled: How  $302b (N66.7t) was budgeted, squandered and siphoned by past & present Federal Government of Nigeria since 2003..), successive and present Federal Government of Nigeria had budgeted and spent over $302b or N66.7t since 2003; while all the three component units of the Federal Republic of Nigeria: Federal Government, 36 States and the FCT and 774 Local Government Areas budgeted and squandered a total of $724b or N140.8t under the same period; without anything concrete to show for it. See www.intersociety-ng.org (public advocacy news section).

 

 

 

The following are the breakdown of Federal Government budgets of $302b (N66.7t) budgeted and squandered in the past 16 years or since 2003 (2003- 2018). They are N1.44 trillion made in 2003; N1.18 trillion in 2004, N1.8 trillion in 2005, N1.9 trillion in 2006, N2.3 trillion in 2007, N3.58 trillion in 2008, N3.76 trillion in 2009, N4.6 trillion in 2010, N4.48 trillion in 2011, N4.7 trillion in 2012, N4.98 trillion in 2013, N4.92 trillion in 2014 and N4.5 trillion in 2015, supplementary budget of N575 billion in 2015; N6.07 trillion in 2016; N7.44t or $24.5b in 2017 and N8.6t or $28.1b proposed for 2018; totaling N66.7t or $302b (using official exchange rate of N305 per US$); with less than 30% budgeted for capital expenditures.

 

Borrowing to Become World Capital of Poverty

 

Also, by the recent findings of our organization, contained in our statement of 5th April 2018; titled: other countries borrow to transform, Nigeria borrows to become world capital of poverty, Nigeria had again sunk itself into the pariah status of highly indebted poor country, by borrowing since its int’l debts exit in 2006, a total of over $55b. This is out of the country’s official total public debts of $71b or N22t as at 31st December 2017. Nigeria’s total official public borrowing as at June 2015 was $41b or N12.1t and between June 2015 and December 2017, the debts skyrocketed to $71b or N22t.  As at June 2007, the country had a total debt overhang of N1.8t for its internal debts and $3.5b for its external debts; totaling about $16b.

 

In other words, total debts of $55b had been incurred by the country since June 2007 and in spite of this, there is little or nothing to show for the huge borrowings economically and developmentally. By the end of the 2018 fiscal year, the present central Government of Muhammadu Buhari must have incurred not less than $35b or N10.6t, using the present official exchange rate of N306 per USD.

 

Disastrous Effects of High Governance Costs on Funds Meant for Public Good in Nigeria

 

By the provisions of “Salaries & Allowances for Certain Top Public Office Holders Act of the Federation 2002 (amended in 2008)”; there are a total of 17,500 top public office holders in Nigeria, out of which are 1,083 statutorily recognized top elective and appointive public offices at the Federal level; comprising 469 federal legislators, 142 federal judicial officers or judges of the federal courts and 472 federal top executives including president and vice president and others not below the posts of special advisers.

 

At the State level, the Act recognizes 4,608 State executives, judicial officers and lawmakers including governors and deputy governors, speakers and deputy speakers. In others words, there are 1,152 State lawmakers, 2,664 State executives not below the posts of special advisers and 792 State judicial officers or judges of State courts. At the country’s 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs), the Act recognizes 11,788 top LGA office holders including 3,096 LGA executives and 8, 692 LGA councilors.  The Act captures all the salaries and allowances of the said 17,500 top public office holders and mandates the country’s Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission as well as the Salaries & Wages Commission to ensure steady implementation, enforcement and compliance with its provisions.

 

By the recent report (February 2018) of the Federal Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, the total staff or public service strength of the Federal Government of Nigeria is 607, 843; comprising 291, 685 police officers and 316, 158 staff of 469 Ministries, Departments and Agencies or MDAs including 90,000 federal civil servants; 100, 822 members of paramilitary organizations (i.e. Custom, Prisons, Immigration, Security & Civil Defense Corps, Fire Service and Federal Road Safety Corps) and 120, 000 members of the Armed Forces (army, navy, air force, SSS and NIA).

 

This brings to 608, 926 the entire public service strength of the Federal Government when added to  1,083 federally elected and appointed top public office holders, clearly defined in the Remunerations or Salaries & Allowances of certain top Public Office Holders Act of 2002, amended in 2008. The 608,926 federal public servants strength was recently captured in the Government’s Integrated Payroll & Personnel Information System (IPPIS), in which 80,115 sworn police officers were questionably excluded.

 

In other words, public funds meant for public good in Nigeria are mindlessly pocketed annually by the above named 17,500 top public office holders and other 607, 843 public servants. These they do unchecked  through open and codified corruption under several  phony names such as security votes, running costs, logistical supports, sitting allowances, exco sitting allowances, legislative constituency projects, legislative financial autonomy, overhead costs, operational allowances, traveling allowances, allowances for medical trips/holidays, severance allowances, car allowances, newspaper allowances, wardrobe  allowances, security guard allowances, house allowances, monetization, to mention but few.

 

Apart from hundreds of billions of naira spent on over-bloated governance running costs under different phony names, 90% of statutory remunerations paid to Nigeria’s public servants including the 607,843 federal public servants and the 17,500 top elected and appointed public office holders are spent on sundry allowances. This is majorly responsible for acute under-development of the country and social crises till date.

 

For instance, by the provisions of the said Remunerations for top Public Office Holders  Act of 2002, amended in 2008, out of N40.9billion spent on 1,152 State legislators annually and as at 2013 (five years after the Act was reviewed), only N5.09billion was spent on their salaries, with N35.8billion going into their allowances. It is presently estimated that N1.5t or $5b is spent annually in Nigeria to service the country’s 17,500 top Public Office Holders. Also in the 2018 budget of N8.6t, the non debt servicing recurrent expenditures or funds set aside to service federal government including its statutory 1,083 office holders and 608,926 staff strength; amounted to N2, 005t or $6.5b.

 

Further, out of N550billion spent on 11, 278 elected LGA officials annually as at 2013, only N49.5billion was spent on their salaries while staggering N500.5billion went into their allowances; and out of N90billion (now increased to over N150b) spent on 469 federal legislators annually as at then, only N10billion was spent on their salaries. The worst of it  is that members of the National Assembly and those of federal executive and judiciary as well as their counterparts in 36 States have since abandoned the said Remunerations Act and its provisions and resorted to use of federal and state appropriation laws and administrative others to jerk up their sundry allowances and hyper governance running costs.

 

The Nigerian Dream

 

It is an irrefutable fact that Nigeria as presently constituted and manned by its present crop of politicians or political actors and public office holders; largely drawn from doyens of corruption, heartless political mercantilists and profiteers of human misery and other unnatural social tragedies; is chronically baptized with hopelessness. That is to say that Nigeria of today has no worthwhile dream or vision. The Nigerian Dream is only possible if present members of the Nigerian Youth population could disconnect from the present status quo and chart a new course after dipping their mindsets and philosophical re-engineering or revivalism into the good ways of life of the people of the former generations who lived nobly within and beyond the shores of Nigeria.

 

Way Forward for the Nigerian Youths, the Oppressed & the Voiceless

 

It is the strong belief of this speaker that with the above facts laden explanations, the reasons and circumstances for continuation of oppression and denial of the rights and development of the youths, the oppressed and the voiceless in Nigeria by the country’s political class are no longer farfetched. This they do by mindlessly abandoning the very essence why civil or limited government was founded; especially the realization of and compliance with the Government’s sacred social contract obligations.

 

One striking way to truly evolve a New Nigerian Dream is for members of the Nigerian Youth population particularly their educated segment to a have a total disconnect from the present crop of political actors with the exception of very few achievers in the likes of former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi and his celebrated Obinomics, effectively deployed for massive development of Anambra State between 2006 and 2014.

 

There are also several safeguards or mechanisms available locally, nationally, regionally and internationally, put in place or created for the purpose of promoting and protecting the rights of the Nigerian youths and addressing or remedying the oppression and abuses of the rights and welfare of the oppressed and the voiceless.  Aspiring for leadership positions; strictly for rendering selfless services to humanity and building a decent society for all and sundry; and not for primitive accumulation of ill-gotten wealth and perpetration of regime atrocities, is also one of such available solutions or way out.

 

Importantly, this public lecture is prepared to meet the requirements or satisfy the eight key features of intellectual or academic discourse, namely: debate, scholarship (i.e. literature, research and references), argument, criticism, analysis, evidence, objectivity and precision. Its references or citations are from findings contained in our recent researches and investigations on critical public issues including human rights, economy and public and citizens’ security and safety. For easy references, see the public advocacy section of our website on: www.intersociety-ng.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Peoples’ Advocate Award

 

The Peoples’ Advocate Award, bestowed on this speaker on this date (8th June 2018) by Chairman, LAWSA Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights & Legal Matters (Nwachukwu Timothy Chukwuma) and the Students Advocacy & Justice Network, on behalf of the Senate of the Law Students Association of Nnamdi Azikiwe University; is an award too many as well as a big encouragement for this speaker to double his efforts by continuing to speak out courageously and factually at all times and rendering of selfless services to humanity. Similar award of Defense of Human Rights Veteran Award was on Tuesday, 22nd June 2012 bestowed on this speaker by the Law Students Association (LAWSA) of the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu State University, Igbariam, Anambra State, Nigeria.

 

Thank You

 

(Being Public Lecture Presented On 8th June 2018 At A Conference: The Nigerian Dream: Prospects & The Role Of The Youths; Organized In Awka By The Senate Of The Law Students Association Of  Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria)

 

Speaker’s Contacts:

 

Mobile Line/WhatsApp: +2348174090052

 

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URL: www.intersociety-ng.org