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#OccupyNigeria: What You Should Know if Arrested While Protesting in Nigeria
January 8th, 2012 by AfricaMusicLaw™
￼On January 9th, 2012, there will be massive protests against the removal of fuel subsidy across Nigeria, barring any intervention. As one who has handled a large amount of criminal defense cases within the past ten (10) years of practicing law, I know that when there is a massive gathering like the ones anticipated protesting actions by the establishment, it increases the likelihood of altercations and arrests. Accordingly, this is a cheat sheet on what to do if you are arrested in Nigeria while protesting against the removal of fuel subsidy this upcoming Monday. Share this article with as many people as possible and tell them to share with others that will also be protesting.
What You Should Know if Arrested While Protesting in Nigeria
Chapter IV, Sections 39 and 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria gives you the constitutional right to a freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. This is a guaranteed right and means you may assemble and protest peacefully against the removal of fuel subsidy, as you intend to.
You DO NOT, under the constitution, have a right to fight, steal, hit others or engage in any criminal activity or conduct just because you are protesting. Such actions means you can and will most likely be arrested, charged if you are lucky, and prosecuted. If you are unlucky, as many incarcerated defendants in Nigeria’s jails and prisons are, then you could be arrested and detained indefinitely i.e. locked up and the keys thrown away with absolutely no due process accorded to you, despite the due process mandate provided in Nigeria’s constitution.
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), an organization that regulates lawyers and the practice of law in Nigeria, is available, per the decree/order of the NBA President Joseph ’Bodunrin Daudu, to provide free legal services to secure your release and dismissal of charges filed against you; should you be arrested while legitimately protesting against the removal of fuel subsidy.
You should have the contacts of the appropriate NBA staff handy. For all contacts visit the NBA here. Lagosians, I have listed at the end of this article, NBA representatives and their contacts to have handy culled from the website.
Finally, understand your legal rights and how Nigeria’s Criminal Procedure works when you are arrested. The gist of it is as follows:
What Court has the Power to Hear Your Criminal Case if you are Arrested While Protesting?
The State Federal High Court where you are arrested. This means, for example, if you are arrested in Lagos, then expect Lagos courts to have jurisdiction (power) to hear your case. Please review the structure of Nigeria’s Legal system here.
What Law Governs?
Nigeria’s Federal Criminal Procedure Act and the respective state criminal procedure laws.
What is Criminal Procedure?
It is the rules of the criminal justice system that help your criminal defense lawyer, prosecutors, judges and the police navigate the criminal courts. This is independent from Nigeria’s Federal Penal Code. The Penal Code sets forth the actual criminal violations you allegedly committed. For example, breach of the peace, unlawful assembly, battery, assault etc.
What Can You Be Charged with While Protesting?
If you do not commit any criminal act, hopefully nothing. If you do, then you can be hit with felony and/or misdemeanor charges. For example, Felony criminal assault, misdemeanor battery e
NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION CONTACTS FOR LAGOS STATE
Adebamigbe Omole Chairman, NBA Ikeja Branch Bar Center High Court of Justice Ikeja, Lagos 08023283831 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Dare Ogunlana Secretary Bar Centre High Court of Justice Ikeja Lagos firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Chief V.A. Odunaiya Nec Rep No. 34 Abeokuta Street Anifowoshe Opp. Wazobia Hotel Ikeja 08023303860
Kazeem A. Adebanjo Chairman 19, Oriwu Road Beside Ikorodu Post Office Ikorodu Lagos State 08028136747, 08034551474, 08054849898, 080977060798 firstname.lastname@example.org
Lookman T. Ganiyu Secretary 19, Oriwu Road Beside Ikorodu Post Office, Ikorodu Lagos State 08028136747, 08034551474, 080548499898, 08097706078 email@example.com
Jagun Bakiru Nec Rep 27, Oriwu St. Itaelewa(After Methodist Church) Ikorodu Lagos State 08023050763 firstname.lastname@example.org
Chijioke Okoli Esq. Chairman, Lagos Branch NBA Secretariat Court of Appeal Lagos Island Lagos 08023120470 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.orgOR
3A, Ologun Agbaje Street Victoria Island Lagos
Onu S.B. Secretary 17A, Hawley Street (1st Floor) Lafiaji Lagos 08033006834 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretariat Court Of Appeal Lagos Island Lagos
Foluso Fayokun Nec Rep Almasol Building (1ST Floor) Fed. Palace Hotel Victoria Island, Lagos 08033198915 email@example.com
The Kano #OccupyNigeria Protest witness a large number of Protesters calling for the reversal of the Goodluck Jonathan Led Government over Fuel Subsidy.
The #occupyNigeria Protest is presently going on in different states in the Country. And the Nigeria Labour Congress and other organized Labour are also calling for a Nationwide strike by Next Week Monday, 9th of January, 2012.
Follow the #hashtag #OccupyNigeria on Twitter and other Social Network for update.
The situation didn’t improve any when the protests disrupted traffic on the Maryland bridge during rush hour. When Occupy decided to go nation-wide, it seemed all but certain that the protesters would succeed in if everybody join in the struggle
The authorities have ruined any such luck. Instead of ignoring or even laughing at the way the protesters were carrying on, they decided to try to evict them, arrest them, and otherwise be abusive to them. Instead of fading away, it now appears that the protesters have strengthened their resolve and will stick out any abuse.
In the face of idiotic violence, one doesn’t need a platform, ideology, or aims. One’s stance can be nothing more than to stop idiotic violence, which is a pretty persuasive advocacy.
Camping out in front of public buildings, in parks, or elsewhere is annoying. It’s also a strange way to go about changing policies. But to abuse the annoying occupiers will only empower them.
When violence is used, power and authority evaporate. The modern mind tends to equate power and authority with violence because those in power are the only ones allowed to use violence, but this distorts the relationship. When a person’s parents tell them not to stick their hand in the electrical socket, the child obeys not because the parent beats them but because the child trusts that the parent knows what they’re talking about. A child who is abused eventually loses faith in that knowledge and will stick its hand in the socket when no one is around. Nigeria the time has come to tell our corrupt leaders that they are not greater than nigerian, let join hand to occupy Nigeria. it is now or never.
New Joy, new hope, new life, new smiles, New Grace, new testimonies, new health & new wisdom. All dis are my wishes 4 u & ur entire household dis new year & always. Once again, API NEW YEAR!
The name Boko haram is never know to any Islamic organisation in Nigeria.
The Jama’atul Islami wa jihad in Borno are different to Boko Haram
Boko Haram are name coined by the media for some political thugs used by some governors and so-called powerful people in Nigeria and Niger to achieved their covetous aims
The group membership includes northerners and people from Niger (includes muslims and few nothern christians).
They coined this Islamic names so as to have solidarity and support from the Muslims.
Two christians governors are associated with them already by SSS.
Some powerful rich Muslim northerners who are playing on people inteligents with the aims of controlling the political powers are sponsoring the bombing.
The Yusuf Muhammed killed was not part of Boko haram (But Jama’atul Islami wa Jihad). His concern was most wealthy northerners are corrupt and amazing wealth made for masses.
The present Boko haram just hijacked the situation to acheived their own evil aims.
The arrainged Boko Haram leader arrested had confessed how they tried to join the group and use their name to carry out their evil act.
No Islamic organisation in Nigeria registered with the name BOKO Haram
Boko haram means Book Haram and no Islamic teachings support that.
No Muslim should sympathise, support or attached themselves with the group.
Activities carried out by Boko haram should not be attached to Islam just like activities carry out by MEND, EGBESU BOYS, or NIger Delta Militant Groups should not be associated with Christians.
Any evil done by a muslims does not means Islam support it just like any evil done by Christians does not means christianity support it.
Both Muslims and christians should fight injustice, cheating, immorality and anything antithentical to commomn sense.
HAPPILY, “Unemployment” was a major theme in President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s Budget address, which he recently delivered to a Joint Session of both houses of the National Assembly.
If I do not want to sound pessimistic, the Budget of 2012 is a good beginning. But what Nigeria’s 16-plus million unemployed persons (conservative estimates) are waiting for is a happy ending—Forgive me for drifting back to pessimism so quickly, but unfortunately, this may not really be close at hand.
This has nothing to do with Government’s—or anybody else’s—sincerity. It’s just that the problem is complex, daunting and deeply entrenched. It has almost become a way of life. Having a job is a luxury and begging our way co-exists alongside our dignity, not in conflict with it.
Unemployment has both quantitative and qualitative dimensions. A lasting solution requires structural and institutional reform as well as infrastructural expansion. It needs attention. In my political organisation we have a saying, “Remember the youths because the young shall grow.” We would all do well to heed this sentence.
All of this, of course, is already in progress—and the centrality of unemployment in the 2012 Budget has certainly added crucially important impetus.
Said the President, “…it is time to give the Nigerian youth an opportunity to enjoy the dignity of a job…along with the security of an income that contributes to our economic development”.
Still, job applicants should not start counting their chickens (or their pay checks) at this point, because hatching is going to be slow; and there are plenty of hazards to contend with.
Even saying what unemployment is, can be tricky. The International Labour Organization (ILO), for instance, defines an “unemployed” individual as one who has lost or left his/her job and is seeking work.
But this definition is not as straight forward as it seems. It does not apply to persons under 15 or over 64, even though they may be jobless and looking for work. Nor are persons who work at least one hour per week included.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has modified the ILO’s definition, to suit Nigerian conditions. It defines the unemployment rate, as “the proportion (in percentages) of those who worked for at least 40 hours during the reference period to the total currently active (labour force) population”.
Using this criterion, NBS paints a grim picture indeed. According to its figures, Nigeria currently has 16,074,205 unemployed persons—23.9 percent of the total labour force. Over the past five years (2007 to 2011), an average of 1.8 new job-seekers entered the labour market, including 2,127,691 this year.
That is not the worst of it: More than 60 percent of the unemployed in Nigeria are between the age of 15 and 44 (37.7percent are 15-24; and 22.4percent are 25-44). What this means, in social terms, is that a majority of jobless individuals either have not started families or have only recently done so. I for one prefer the statistics I collect to guide me on a solution.
Nothing mentioned above gives me the picture I need. Who are these unemployed, where are they, what skills do they have, when did they acquire them? Any serious government can collect this information in no time. How else can you solve a problem if you can’t truly understand it?
Nevertheless, one doesn’t need to be an evolutionary biologist or a sociologist to grasp the strategic implication of these figures. After all, the primary function of a nation state is to create an environment, in which a people’s opportunity to produce and rear offspring successfully is maximised.
The impact of unemployment on crime, is usually the main justification for investing in job creation schemes. But the insidious genetic consequences are far more important. Jobless young males cannot choose mates and start families. Males with families, and no work, won’t rear offspring successfully.
Threats of this kind, to the reproductive process, cry out for urgent attention and effective action. In the past, I must say, we’ve had a lot more of the former than the latter. Much attention has been focused on the unemployment crisis–but mostly to little or no avail.
The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) was introduced in 1986, for instance, with great fanfare, to create jobs through public works, agriculture, small enterprises and graduate employment prorgrammes. But as the Federal Government’s own figures show, NDE has had minimal impact.
Confirming this, Mike I. Obadan and Ayodele F. Odusola, of the National Centre For Economic Management And Administration, noted, a decade after NDE’s creation, that “an annual average of 2.8 million…graduates enter the… labour market, with only about 10 percent of them getting employed”.
For some slightly more tolerant than me, the jury is still out on the National Economic Employment Programmes (NEEDS), and its state and local variants (“SEEDS” and “LEEDS”!). Unveiled in 2004, as an unemployment super-weapon, NEEDS’ most visible legacy so far, seems to be its contribution to Nigeria’s rich lexicon of bureaucratic acronyms.
This is not an outright condemnation, either of NDE or NEEDS. I’m sure the administrators of those agencies and programmes can cite many achievements. All I’m saying is that, if unemployment statistics are anything to go by, none of the old schemes have had any appreciable effect.
Yes, the Boko Haram are bombing!
Whatever their religion may be
they are not peace lover
they are part of problem
they are not solution
Yes! The Niger Delta Militant bombed
and they abducts people for exchange of money
Whatever their religion may be
They are not peace lover
they are part of problem
You fight and argue with your colleague in the office
By defending the inhumane action of boko haram
in the name of supporting your religion
By accusing and calling innocent friend,
“You Boko haram people”
You are part of the problem
You are not a solution
You are a Pastor! spitting fire in the church
shouting “blood for blood”, we must retaliate!
“Holy ghost fire burn them all”
You are an imam, Preaching the hatred in the mosque
sermonizing that “These useless people are accusing us for nothing”
“This is JIHAAAAD!!!! Let us fight them all”
You are part of the problem
You are not a solution
Do you stand in the street, calling the veil ladies
“Boko haram people, don’t bomb us ooo!!!
You saw a man in a white garment and shout “esu o wo bata”
(devil without sandal)
You are apart of problem
You are not a solution
What did you utter to others?
What did you say to the next person?
Are you building or destroying?
Are you saving or killing?
Are you caring of tearing?
Are you for good or bad?
May be you are worse than Boko haram with your speech
May be you are harmful than Militant group with your utterances
May be you are part of this nation problem
May be you never think of solution
YOU ARE THE BEST PERSON GOD HAS RAISED FOR THIS GENERATION
LIVE PEACE, PREACH PEACE AND ACT PEACE WITH JUSTICE