guests, it gives me the highest pleasure to welcome you all to the Policy Brief
Dissemination on Counter-Terrorism Legislation in Nigeria. I want to express my
profound appreciation to everyone here seated for honouring us with your
presence in spite of your very busy schedules. I am also delighted to see in
our midst representatives of the National Human Rights Commission and security
agencies who have partnered with the CLEEN Foundation to improve inter-agency
collaboration and respect for human rights in countering violent extremism in Nigeria.
To the policy brief consultants here today, I say thank you for working
assiduously and closely with CLEEN Foundation for the review and production of
five policy briefs on counter-insurgency legislation in Nigeria.
CLEEN Foundation is a
non-governmental organisation established in January 1998 with the mission of
promoting public safety, security and accessible justice through the strategies
of empirical research, legislative advocacy, demonstration programmes and
publications, in partnership with government, civil society and the private
In furtherance to its public safety
and security initiatives, CLEEN Foundation, with support from the Open Society
Foundations, is implementing a project targeting at improving security sector
accountability and human rights compliance in countering violent extremism in
In a bid to address the violent
extremism and terrorism in Nigeria, the former administration of President
Goodluck Jonathan enacted various counter- terrorism legislation beginning with
the Terrorism Prevention Act (2011, amended 2013) and various other key
policies and strategies. In 2014, the National Counter Terrorism Strategy (NACTEST)
was developed. This strategy was revised in 2016 to address some notable gaps
inherent in the former document. One of the work streams of NACTEST is to identify.
Central to this stream is to ensure an increase in the capabilities of
security agencies to detect, prevent, investigate and prosecute terrorism
offenders. Nevertheless, these laws, policies and strategies have their obvious
For instance, aspects of the
Terrorism Prevention Act (2013, as amended) directly contravene fundamental
human rights standards and principles whereas Nigeria is signatory to the
Convention Against Torture (CAT) and its Optional Protocol that seeks to
prevent torture and other cruel inhuman treatments. Since its ratification, the
country has not domesticated the instrument, and police brutality continues to
occur in the course of administering justice to perceived offenders. Section
1(2) of the amended Act explicitly states the maximum penalty of death sentence
for anybody who has aided directly or indirectly acts of terrorism.
Further, the Administration of
Criminal Justice Act (ACJ), 2015 with innovations to significantly alter the
administration of criminal justice in Nigeria were later passed. This Act which
merges the Penal Code (operational in the north) and the Criminal Code (applied
in the south) also states clear modalities under which people can be arrested
and tried for various offences. However, two years after its passage, most
states are yet to domesticate the law while rights violations of those in
detentions have continued unabated.
The draft National Policy Framework
and Action Plan on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism Strategy
(launched in July, 2017) is complementary to current CVE legislations in
Nigeria. The strategy recognizes the role of various stakeholders to change
violent extremism narratives and build institutional capacity on preventing and
countering violent extremism.
is against this background that the CLEEN Foundation reviewed counter terrorism laws/documents
based on the findings from the field and produced a
finalized standard tool for assessing citizen’s perception and awareness on
countering violent extremism strategies and legislation in Nigeria.
This workshop is intended to make public the policy statement
on CVE legislation issues and police accountability. The workshop is structured
to offer opportunity of engagement between and among the state security actors,
civil society organizations and the media.
again, I would like to extend a special appreciation to our collaborator- the
National Human Rights Commission, and the funding support from the Open Society
Foundation (OSF) Special appreciation also goes to the participating security
agencies, the media and other civil society organisations and technical experts
who will provide important contributions to the discussion. Thank you all once
again for finding time to come for this occasion and I wish you all a
successful and fruitful deliberation.
Benson Olugbuo PhD