Last Updated: Thursday, 26 May 2016, 08:56 GMT

Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2005 - Nigeria

Publisher International Federation for Human Rights
Publication Date 22 March 2006
Cite as International Federation for Human Rights, Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2005 - Nigeria, 22 March 2006, available at: [accessed 26 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Harassment of Mr. Chidi Odinkalu72

On 2 August 2005, agents of the State Security Service (SSS) besieged the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI) offices in Abuja. Although these agents did not present any warrant, they declared they were ordered to arrest Mr. Chidi Odinkalu, OSJI Africa programme director and coordinator of the campaign for the indictment of Mr. Charles Taylor, former President of the Republic of Liberia, before the Special Court for Sierra Leone. When they realised Mr. Odinkalu was not at the office, the SSS officers ransacked the premises and detained the OSJI staff members as hostage for several hours. Mr. Odinkalu was then summoned in abstentia for questioning at the SSS headquarters.

In October 2005, the SSS general director once again called in Mr. Odinkalu and threatened him with judicial proceeding for "subversion".

In addition, Mr. Odinkalu was briefly detained at Murtala Mohammed airport on 21 November 2005 as he was about to leave the country.

Reports confiscated73

On 14 October 2002, the Lagos customs office had impounded 2,000 copies of the report published by OMCT and the Centre for Law Enforcement Education, Nigeria (CLEEN), entitled Hope Betrayed? A Report on Impunity and State-Sponsored Violence in Nigeria.

CLEEN had then lodged a complaint against the customs services with the Federal High Court in Lagos which, after numerous adjournments, declared on 6 October 2004 that the confiscation and non-distribution of the reports "[were] unconstitutional, null and void" . The Court had also ordered the Nigerian customs office to pay compensation of five million naira (3,000 euros) and either return the 2,000 copies of the report within seven days, or pay an additional compensation of four million naira (2,400 euros).

By the end of 2005, the compensation had not been paid yet nor the reports returned, whereas CLEEN had still not received the additional compensation for the non-restitution of the reports.

[Refworld note: This report as posted on the FIDH website ( was in pdf format with country chapters run together by region. Footnote numbers have been retained here, so do not necessarily begin at 1.]

72. See Urgent Appeal NGA 001/0805/OBS 065.

73. See Annual Report 2004.

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