Nigeria

Last updated: 9 May 2021

Coronavirus Response

COVID-19 curfews imposed by the Federal Government on some states remain, but most of the initial restrictions have been eased. Current curfews appear to be as much due to the worsening security situation as to any COVID-19-related issues. For more details, see ICNL-ECNL’s COVID-19 Civic Freedom Tracker entry for Nigeria.

Update

Several bills were introduced before the National Assembly, including:

– A Bill for an Act to Provide for The Prohibition of Hate Speeches and For Other Related Matters (the Hate Speech Bill);

– A Protection from Internet Falsehoods and Manipulations and Other Related Matters Bill (the Social Media Bill); and

– A Bill to Establish a Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speech.

The Bills proposed sweeping oversight powers and harsh sanctions, but are strongly opposed by Nigerian civil society, and were withdrawn after public hearings in 2019. President Muhammadu Buhari had distanced himself from the Bills and committed his government to the fundamental right to freedom of expression. However, following the #EndSARS protests of October 2020, and the publication of several false reports which fomented religious and ethnic tensions in the country, members and supporters of the Buhari administration have continued to call for the regulation of social media. Even if enacted, such legislation would have to survive any challenge based on the constitutional right to freedom of expression as well as provisions in the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Please see the Pending NGO Legislative / Regulatory Initiatives section below in this report for more details.

Introduction

Nigeria is a federal republic of thirty-six states and a Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, whose basic law is the 1999 Constitution (as amended). As a former British colony, the legal system of Nigeria follows the common law tradition, but there is also a provision for the application of traditional or indigenous customary laws and Shari’a (i.e. Islamic-based) law. Customary and Shari’a law were previously limited to civil matters where all the parties consented, but after 1999 some states in the northern part of Nigeria extended Shari’a law to criminal matters and social interaction. The country is also home to a wide variety of civil society organizations (CSOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Some of them came into existence even before the country was formed in 1914 and others in the period before independence in October 1960. Many others have formed since then.

The main laws that relate to CSOs are found in federal legislation. Because the Constitution guarantees freedom of association, there is no restriction on those who wish to join together for any kind of purpose, provided that the purposes for which the group is formed, or the methods that it uses, are not themselves illegal. The range of CSOs is as wide and diverse as the country itself, including local ‘elites’ clubs, traditional age class associations, unions in villages and small towns, and national organizations with thousands of members. While not every group or association must register, those that wish to enjoy the benefits of legal personality or the limited tax advantages that may be available must be registered or incorporated under the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), Cap. C20, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

One issue of pressing concern to civil society, and especially humanitarian groups in the northeast, is terrorism. Although the government has declared Boko Haram defeated, both Boko Haram and Islamic State-affiliate ISWAP (Islamic State in West Africa Province) have continued to make attacks in Nigeria, including targeting the convoy of the Borno State Governor in March 2019 and Nigerian army commanders in January 2020. However, the Nigerian Army has taken the fight to the terrorists, and they appear to have been unable to re-establish themselves as a ‘caliphate’ as they had done in 2014.

But life is insecure for inhabitants of states in the North-Eastern zone of the country, as they are subject to attacks or outright robbery or extortion whereby farmers are forced to deliver part of their yield to the insurgents or risk losing the entire crop. The tactics of Nigerian security agencies in the war against Boko Haram have also led to accusations of human rights abuses, to which their standard reaction has mostly been to attack the integrity, patriotism, or motives of those making the accusations (while agreeing to investigate some egregious or well-attested incidents). This has implications for the relationship between freedom of speech and the secrecy and/or propaganda associated with wars and the morale of those fighting them.

While the war in northeast is being waged, there has also been an increase in violence from ‘bandits’ in several northern states, such as Zamfara State, where the Governor complained that the security agencies were worse equipped than the criminals. Although there was a decrease in herder-farmer violence in the Middle Belt, perceptions of bias on the part of law enforcement agencies exists against the background of the crackdown on the Independent Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), an Igbo organization that seeks independence for the southeast and other adjacent non-Igbo areas. IPOB was declared a terrorist organization in 2017 and its leader was arrested, but after being released on bail, he disappeared. Rumours that then spread through social media that the Federal Government had killed him were proven false when he appeared at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. By contrast, none of the leaders of any of the sections of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, which speaks for nomadic herders who are mostly Fulanis (as is the President), appear to have even been invited for questioning or been cautioned by the security agencies, despite combative and threatening statements made in reaction to grazing bans in some states, or the establishment of a regional security outfit in the southwestern states, Àmọtẹkùn. However, individual perpetrators of attacks by herders have been arrested and charged in several Middle Belt and Southern States.

Another group which complains of being treated differently in Nigeria is the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, which was banned in July 2019 for “engaging in acts which were both terrorist and illegal” following a protest in Abuja over the continued detention of its leader, Sheik al-Zakzaky, in which eleven protesters, one journalist and one police officer were killed. The group is Shi’ite, while most of Nigeria’s Muslims are Sunni. However, other Shi’ite sects operate in Nigeria.

The herder-settler conflict and, more recently, the #EndSARS protests illustrate that Nigeria faces the same problems of deeply divisive and often false information spread through both social media and mainstream media that other countries have faced in their own democratic processes. The role of social media in spreading disinformation using false pictures (e.g., to portray armed herders and scenes of massacres which may be sourced from entirely different countries, or to portray images of persons killed in road accidents or sourced from drama sketches) presents a problem to which the government continues to respond with generalized stigmatization of all negative reports as ‘hate speech’.

The President, Vice-President, Governors and Deputy Governors elected in the February and March 2019 elections were sworn in on May 29, 2019 with fresh national elections scheduled for February 2023.

Organizational Forms Civil society organizations (CSOs)
Registration Body Corporate Affairs Commission
Approximate Number Digitization has improved record-keeping, while decentralization has improved access for those searching for information on individual companies.
Barriers to Entry 1 – Minors, persons of unsound mind, undischarged bankrupts, and those convicted within the previous 5 years of an offence involving dishonesty cannot be registered as trustees or directors.
2 – The President may issue an order to prohibit a CSO that is “dangerous to the good government of Nigeria or of any part thereof.” The Corporate Affairs Commission has stated that henceforth, registration by socio-cultural groups and organisations would not be granted without a certificate of security screening and clearance of their Board of Trustees members.
3 – Both Nigerian and foreign CSOs seeking incorporation may face hurdles in the form of various requirements.
4- Ban on the registration of gay clubs, societies or organizations.
Barriers to Activities 1 – If a CSO wishes to engage in activity that involves a government Ministry, Department, or Agency (MDA), it may need to satisfy the criteria of that MDA.
2 – Some GONGOs are perceived as undermining independent CSOs.
3 – Certain state governments have been sought to pressure and even subvert CSOs.
4- Ban on the registration of gay clubs, societies or organizations.
5- President has the power to prohibit groups even if they are unregistered.
Barriers to Speech and/or Advocacy The Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act of 2014 not only makes same sex marriage illegal, but it also provides that: “Any person or group of persons that … supports the registration, operation, and sustenance of gay clubs, societies, organizations, processions or meetings in Nigeria commits an offence …”

Bloggers and journalists who are critical of the country’s leaders, particularly at the State level, face increasing pressure, arrest, beatings, and threats to stop reporting, while the government has also resorted to treason-related charges where demonstrators call for the removal or resignation of elected leaders.

Barriers to International Contact None
Barriers to Resources None
Barriers to Assembly Failure to provide protection for and excessive use of force on protests that oppose government policies and excessive government control over the route and time of protests.
Population 219,463,862 (July 2021 est.)
Capital Abuja
Type of Government Federal Republic
Life Expectancy at Birth Total population: 60.4 years (2020 est.)
Male: 58.6 years (2020 est.)
Female: 62.3 years (2020 est.)
Literacy Rate Male: 72.1%
Female: 52.7% (2018 est.)
Religious Groups Muslim, Christian, indigenous
Ethnic Groups 250 or more, including Yoruba, Igbo, Ijaw, Kanuri, Ibibio, Tiv, Idoma, Nupe
GDP Per Capita $5,136 (2019 est.)

Source: Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook, (Washington, DC), 2021.

Ranking Body Rank Ranking Scale
(best – worst possible)
UN Human Development Index 161 (2020) 1 – 188
World Justice Project Rule of Law Index 108 (2020) 1 – 128
Fund for Peace: Fragile States Index 14 (2020) 178 – 1
Transparency International 149 (2020) 1 180
Freedom House: Freedom in the World Status: Partly Free
Political Rights: 22
Civil Liberties: 25 (2020)
Free/Partly Free/Not Free
1 – 40
1 – 60

International and Regional Human Rights Agreements

Key International Agreements Ratification* Year
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Yes 1993
Optional Protocol to ICCPR (ICCPR-OP1) No
International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) Yes 1993
Optional Protocol to ICESCR (OP-ICESCR) No
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) Yes 1967
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Yes 1984
Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women Yes 2004
Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) Yes 1991
International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (ICRMW) No
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) Yes 2010
Key Regional Agreements Ratification* Year
Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Yes 1975

* Category includes ratification, accession, or succession to the treaty

Constitutional Framework

The current Constitution of Nigeria came into force on May 29, 1999 and has been amended (altered) four times as follows:

  1. May 2010: First Constitution Alteration Act (mostly election-related changes)
  2. May 2010: Second Constitution Alteration Act (further election-related changes)
  3. February 2011 (National Industrial Court of Nigeria)
  4. May 2018: Fourth Constitution Alteration Act (several changes, including reduction in age limits for standing for election, time limits for election petitions, term limits for Vice President/Deputy Governor who completes a principal’s term, and financial autonomy for state legislatures and state judiciary)

Chapter IV of the Constitution enshrines fundamental rights, including the freedoms of association and assembly. Section 39 guarantees the right to receive and impart information. Section 40 guarantees the right to peaceful assembly and association. Section 45 permits these rights to be restricted in the interests of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health, or to protect the rights or freedoms of others.

Sections 39 and 40 provide as follows:

Section 39:

  1. Every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference.
  2. Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) of this section, every person shall be entitled to own, establish and operate any medium for the dissemination of information, ideas and opinions;
    Provided that no person, other than the Government of the Federation or of a State or any other person or body authorised by the President on the fulfilment of conditions laid down by an Act of the National Assembly, shall own, establish or operate a television or wireless broadcasting station for, any purpose whatsoever.
  3. Nothing in this section shall invalidate any law that is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society:
    (a) for the purpose of preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, maintaining the authority and independence of courts or regulating telephony, wireless broadcasting, television or the exhibition of cinematograph films; or
    (b) imposing restrictions upon persons holding office under the Government of the Federation or of a State, members of the armed forces of the Federation or members of the Nigeria Police Force or other Government security services or agencies established by law.

Section 40: Every person shall be entitled to assemble freely and associate with other persons, and in particular he may form or belong to any political party, trade union or any other association for the protection of his interests:

Provided that the provisions of this section shall not derogate from the powers conferred by this Constitution on the Independent National Electoral Commission with respect to political parties to which that Commission does not accord recognition.

National Laws and Regulations Affecting Sector

Nigeria is a federal republic and the main laws that govern civil society are derived from federal legislation, including the following:

While criminal offences may be created by federal legislation, most criminal laws are state laws which derive from the Penal Code (originally applicable in 19 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory) and the Criminal Code (originally applicable in 17 southern states).

Pending NGO Legislative / Regulatory Initiatives

In the wake of the October 2020 #EndSARS protests and the perceived role of social media in sustaining the protests and in fueling the violence that followed, there was much talk of regulating social media and banning hate speech. A series of false, misleading, or doctored reports tending to foment religious and ethnic divisions and that were perceived as “a threat to national unity” also generated support from the Buhari administration and its supporters for some regulation of speech. However, as the Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre Nigeria (PLAC) noted “it is not unusual for bills to ‘die’ in Committee and never be heard of again.” As of 2021, two of three Bills on social media and hate speech appear to have been abandoned, but there may be renewed calls from the Buhari administration to revive them or similar initiatives. The three Bills include:

  1. Protection from Internet Falsehood Bill introduced in November 2019 by Senator Mohammed Sani Musa.Momentum on the Bill died after it met with strong opposition at its March 2020 Public Hearing, and there has been no committee report on it.
  2. The Bill to establish a Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speech was introduced at the Senate in November 2019 by Sen. Aliyu Sabi.It was strongly criticized for its Death Penalty clause and has not come up for a second reading.
  3. The Hate Speech (Prohibition) Bill, 2019, introduced in the House of Representatives by Hon. Mohammed Monguno in July 2019.The Bill reportedly re-emerged in November 2020 and may have had a second reading.

Even if enacted, these Bills or similar ones would have to survive any challenge based on the constitutional right to freedom of expression as well as provisions in the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

Organizational Forms

A wide range of CSOs may be formed in Nigeria simply by individuals coming together for whatever collective purposes upon which they have agreed, provided those purposes are lawful. They include companies limited by guarantee, associations with incorporated trustees, unincorporated associations, co-operatives, and traditional organizations akin to friendship societies, such as town unions and other mutual benefit organizations.

For CSOs seeking legal entity status, the two most frequent options are associations with incorporated trustees and incorporation as a company limited by guarantee. Both of these forms of registration are governed by the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) and are handled by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

A company limited by guarantee is formed for the promotion of commerce, art, science, religion, sports, culture, education, research, charity, or other similar purposes. The income and property of the company are applied solely towards the promotion of its purposes.

An association with incorporated trustees is an association of persons that appoints one or more trustees and pursues registration under Part C of the CAMA. There are two types of associations with incorporated trustees. The first type occurs where trustees are appointed by a community of persons bound together by customs, religion, kinship or nationality; the second type arises where trustees are appointed by a body or association of persons established for any religious, educational, literary, scientific, social, development, cultural, sporting, or charitable purpose.

Public Benefit Status

Under the Companies Income Tax Act (CITA), the profits of a company engaged in ecclesiastical, charitable, or educational activities of a public character, or promoting sporting activities are exempt from income tax. Not-for-profit companies engaged in other activities may apply to the President of Nigeria for an order to exempt them from taxation on their income or profits, no matter what the source.

In addition, incorporated Nigerian companies donating to Nigerian CSOs engaged in ecclesiastical, charitable, or educational activities of a public character, or to any of the bodies listed in the Fifth Schedule to the CITA, may claim tax relief for donations of up to 10 percent of their profits. Individuals, however, do not receive any tax relief for donations to Nigerian CSOs.

Public Participation

The Constitution provides that the National Assembly may establish committees (standing, ad hoc, joint, or ‘of the whole house’, etc.), which make rules that allow for public hearings on legislation that has passed a second reading. The Environmental Impact Assessment Act of 1992 requires review panels so that public hearings can be held on projects.

In practice, however, the National Assembly makes little effort to involve the public because it is concerned that CSOs may influence the public and criticize the legislature. State legislatures have similar powers as the National Assembly, but the lack of civil society scrutiny at state level (apart from perhaps three or four prominent states) means provisions for consultation with the public are rarely activated.

The Constitution prohibits discrimination on the grounds of being “a member of a particular community, ethnic group, place of origin, sex, religion or political opinion,” but the meaning of ‘sex’ has not been interpreted to include trans or other genders. Moreover, Nigeria’s anti-LGBTIQ law bans LGBTIQ rights advocacy and civil society organizations. Legislation has been enacted to protect the rights of persons living with disabilities at the federal level and in some states, while the ‘federal character’ provisions of the Constitution are designed to ensure that no group monopolizes power or access to public goods. There are no specific laws on age discrimination and the Constitution has been amended to lower the age at which Nigerians may stand for election.

Public advocacy on climate and environmental matters is taking place, but often unsuccessfully. Communities directly affected by environmental matters, such oil exploration, have been involved in decades of advocacy on the resulting pollution problem, for example; it has taken many years, however, for such efforts to lead to measurable results or even a response from the government.

The biggest barrier to public participation relates to low levels of literacy and education. Some communities in the oil producing areas in the south of the country have been able to articulate their environmental concerns. By contrast, those affected by similar concerns, such as the use of cyanide to extract gold in the northern parts of the country, often lack the capacity for advocacy or civic participation.

Barriers to Entry

There are several potential barriers to the formation of CSOs in Nigeria:

Potential Founders, Trustees, Directors. At least two persons over 18 are required to form a company, although minors may join in formation. Minors, persons of unsound mind, undischarged bankrupts, and those convicted within the previous five years of an offence involving dishonesty cannot be registered as trustees or directors.

Presidential power to prohibit organizations. While Nigerian law does not prohibit the formation or operation of unregistered groups, the President may issue an order to make unlawful a CSO that is “dangerous to the good government of Nigeria or of any part thereof.” Although there are few examples of organizations that have been refused registration because of such an order, this power has been used against unregistered organizations. For example, the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) was proscribed by the Obasanjo administration; the group is non-violent but seeks secession or the break-up of Nigeria. The radical Islamic sect Boko Haram has also been proscribed: while this was clearly a reaction to the violent methods of the Boko Haram group itself, other peaceful Islamist groups have found themselves the target of police raids and arrests after being wrongly tagged “Boko Haram” members.

Registration Procedures. Both Nigerian and foreign CSOs seeking incorporation under the CAMA may face hurdles in the form of various requirements. For example:

  • A CSO that wishes to incorporate as a company limited by guarantee needs to have its structure approved by the Federal Government. There is no specific procedure for securing such approval, but applications are handled by the Attorney-General of the Federation. CSOs adopting this procedure may be required to make adjustments; for example, a CSO with educational objects may be required to have a director with a background in education on its board. Generally, however, difficulties that CSOs experience are more likely to be due to administrative bottlenecks or inefficiency than to attempts at political control.
  • A CSO can challenge any refusal to make a decision on its application for registration by applying for an order of mandamus to compel the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to take a decision. However, there is no fixed time for deciding on an application.
  • For associations with incorporated trustees, each change to its trustees or its registered constitution must be published in newspapers with an unspecified waiting period before any changes can take effect. Any member of the public can object to the proposed change or to the CSO’s original incorporation. While the affected CSO may challenge any objection, the process causes delays.
  • The proposed trustees of CSOs may be required by CAMA to undergo a police background check, although these powers are rarely exercised in the case of incorporated trustees.
  • Registration fees must be paid as stipulated in subsidiary regulations under the CAMA. The fees range from N21,000 (US$150) for the registration of Incorporated Trustees to N10,000 (US$75) for a company whose nominal share capital does not exceed one million naira (US$7,500). While these fees are relatively modest, not-for-profit organisations do not enjoy any waivers or reduced fees. They must also pay stamp duty on their registration or incorporation documents.

Foreign Organizations. Foreign CSOs may be incorporated just as local CSOs under CAMA. However, they must comply with the same rules as local organizations. This means they are prohibited from having a name that may be acceptable in their home countries but which could be interpreted in Nigeria to be the name of a government body (thus “National” in the name of a foreign CSO could be considered problematic).

A foreign CSO that is not able to incorporate under CAMA may still operate in Nigeria if it is registered with the National Planning Commission. This status is achieved when the Ministry grants the foreign CSO’s request for a bilateral agreement. Once the agreement is completed, the foreign CSO has a legal personality in Nigeria. However, that status comes at the price of fairly extensive control by the Ministry, which acquires powers over the operation of the foreign CSO. The Ministry may appoint members to its Board, approve the hiring of its key personnel, and approve its budget because the essence of the bilateral agreement is that the foreign CSO becomes a quasi-consultant to the Ministry.

LGBTQ Organizations. The registration of LGBTQ clubs, societies and organizations are prohibited under Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, which President Jonathan signed into law in January 2014. It should be noted, however, that no society or organization that is formed for unlawful purposes can be registered in any event, but the Act specifically bars the registration of LGBTQ organizations.

Barriers to Operational Activity

Additional registration or certification requirements. If a CSO wishes to engage in some activity that involves a government Ministry, Department, or Agency (MDA), it may need to satisfy the criteria of that MDA. For example, a CSO that wishes to engage in election observation may need to seek registration with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Refusal by the INEC to register the CSO would not mean that the CSO would cease to exist or prevent the members of that CSO from engaging in election observation (provided that its members could do so within the rules generally applicable to election observation). However, members of a CSO that is registered with INEC would probably be issued some kind of identification that would enable its members to move freely and enter certain locations, such as collation centres, that otherwise would be closed off to the general public.

A CSO that is providing developmental support – e.g., digging boreholes for water or providing some educational support – might seek to be registered with the relevant state or federal MDA, at least for the purpose of facilitating communication. Many CSOs, however, carry out such activities without seeking to be placed on any such “approved list.” Registration with an MDA is not to be confused with incorporation by the CAC, as it is the latter that confers legal personality. In some cases, depending on the objects for which an organization is formed, the CAC requires a prospective association to secure prior certification by a particular ministry or department.

GONGOs. The government has established government NGOs or “GONGOs.” For example, during the 2007 elections, election-observation organizations sprang up and were recognized and accredited by the INEC. This was perceived as an attempt to undermine and overshadow the statements that were issued by independent CSOs that were critical of the conduct of the elections.

Harassment. While CSOs have not been subject to harassment by the Federal Government, certain state governments have been known to attempt to pressure and even subvert CSOs and to single out certain CSOs for special adverse treatment. In such cases, however, CSOs have the right to challenge the government in court.

From time to time, the police attempt to claim that they have the power to restrict the rights of Nigerians to hold public meetings based on colonial-era legislation, but in view of the constitutional guarantees on freedom of association and assembly, such powers are often successfully challenged in the courts.

Prohibition on LGBTQ clubs, societies, and meetings. In January 2014, President Goodluck Jonathan signed the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act, which bans same-sex marriages and civil unions and prohibits the registration of LGBTQ clubs, societies or meetings in Nigeria. It also prohibits their “sustenance, processions and meetings.” It is not required that any group of people register, but the President has the power to prohibit groups or organisations even if they are unregistered. The Act appears to prohibit LGBTQ clubs and organisations even without the need for presidential intervention; however, the constitutionality of this provision against freedom of assembly and association guarantees has not yet been tested.

Foreign Organizations. Foreign CSOs may be incorporated just as local CSOs under CAMA, but must comply with the same rules as local organizations with regard to names which are acceptable in their home countries, but which are deemed to be capable of being interpreted as the names of government bodies.“

Case of Borno State and Boko Haram. This military effort has put Boko Haram on the back foot since 2015, with reports that some of its members are attempting to blend into the local population in Borno State, which is the locus of the insurgency. There are concerns about Boko Haram retreating to local villages or even IDP camps and the government has been embarrassed over reports of starvation in northeastern Nigeria. There have also been reports of the government appropriation of aid intended for IDPs and other abuses of IDPs. Governor Shettima of Borno State also condemned the UN and other international CSOs for profiting from the crisis and spending more on themselves and armored vehicles than on IDPs or the population. When this attracted blowback from the UN and the international community, the Governor said that he had been referring to local CSOs. Although no local CSOs working in Borno State have funds for armored vehicles, the Borno State Government now requires all local CSOs to register and gain accreditation. The process does not appear to be settled and is thus considered to be haphazard, but all CSOs are affected and not only CSOs working with IDPs.

In terms of operations in Borno State, CSOs have been required to go to the Borno State Government House to collect a 15-page registration form, which required nearly 70 supporting documents. These requirements have been modified but the process is still unsettled. At first the Borno State Government said that CSOs that had not been registered or accredited would not be permitted to enter IDP camps or to hold workshops. This has also been modified, but the Department of State Security (DSS) has attended a number of CSO workshops and attempted to stop them on the grounds that they have not been authorized. There are also increasingly frequent checks by the Nigerian Immigration Service on the immigration status of CSO members.

Barriers to Speech/Advocacy

Companies registered under CAMA are prohibited from making any donation or gift to a political party, or from making any gift or donation “for any political purpose” (Section 43(2) of CAMA). Any breach of this prohibition could result in the officers and any member of the company that voted for such a donation being liable to refund the amount or value of the gift to the company and could also result in conviction and fines in an amount equal to the value of the gift. Human rights and pro-democracy CSOs have not been affected by these provisions, which have been interpreted as applying to partisan politics, registered political parties, and candidates for elective offices.

The Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act 2014 does not prohibit any advocacy for a change in the law on homosexuality, but makes it an offence to “support the registration, operation, and sustenance of LGBTQ clubs, societies, organizations, processions or meetings in Nigeria …” After an initial wave of activity, there appears to be little effort on behalf of the government to enforce the provisions of the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act. However, a challenge to the Act failed when the Federal High Court in Abuja struck the case for lack of standing.

Bloggers have come under increasing pressure in Nigeria since 2016, especially when they have challenged the ruling party. For example, Abubakar Usman, who is known for his strong pro-APC views (APC is the ruling party), was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged cyberstalking in August 2016. The EFCC said Mr. Usman’s activities contradicted sections of the Cybercrime Act. Usman was released after spending more than 36 hours in custody but was placed on ​ ​administrative bail with conditions that he must make himself available to the EFCC whenever he receives an “invitation” from the EFCC.

The trends did not improve in 2017, with reports of the Kaduna State Government arresting those whom it accused of making false reports on the Internet. In addition, the Nasarawa State Urban Development Board demolished Breeze FM, a privately owned station that was licensed by the National Broadcasting Commission. Furthermore, two journalists were beaten and later told to never write anything against the Ebonyi State government (see the News Items section below in this report for more details).

Similar trends continued in 2019. For example, a journalist, Agba Jalingo, was kept in police detention for over a week over a report about an alleged diversion of N500 million by the Cross River governor. Jalingo, who is the publisher of CrossRiverWatch, a Cross River State-based newspaper, was charged with treason. The SSS also took Omoyele Sowore into custody because Sowore, a social critic and publisher of Sahara Reporters, called for a revolution in Nigeria. The SSS spokesperson, Peter Afunanya, told reporters, however, he was unable to say whether or not the SSS had any credible intelligence that confirmed Sowore had the capacity to execute a takeover of government in Nigeria.

Barriers to International Contact

There are no restrictions preventing Nigerian CSOs from contacting and cooperating with colleagues in civil society, whether inside or outside the country. CSOs are also free to cooperate with and contact businesses or government bodies, subject to the desire or requirements of any such body. The National Planning Commission has overall responsibility for managing multilateral and bilateral economic co-operation, development aid and technical assistance, and to this end, has embarked on the registration of international and local CSOs, with a view to ensuring that they operate in line with Nigeria’s direction and vision.

Barriers to Resources

There are no major legal barriers to resources under Nigerian law. A CSO may conduct business activities directly, but where incorporated with trustees or limited by guarantee they must apply the proceeds of such economic activity to the purposes of such organization. Registered CSOs are free to compete for government funds if this accords with the purposes for which they were established.

While there is no restriction barring CSOs from receiving foreign funding, it would strengthen civil society if there were some incentive for Nigerian citizens to contribute to or fund CSOs and obtain tax relief for doing so. However, there is some indication that even though the Nigerian government itself receives foreign funding support, it finds it convenient to berate or criticize civil society as being “sponsored” by foreign interests, with the underlying suggestion that such organizations are unpatriotic and – by criticizing government – are being paid to act contrary to Nigeria’s interests.

In October 2011, the House of Representatives’ Committee on Civil Society and Donor Agencies, stated that its duties included the formulation of policies and guidelines for the coordination and regulation of the activities of external donor agencies in Nigeria and expressed concern at the lack of coordination of foreign development assistance and the possibility of duplication. It also stated its intention to track and monitor foreign assistance.

Barriers to Assembly

The Nigerian Constitution, in Section 40, protects the freedom of assembly: “Every person shall be entitled to assemble freely …” The Public Order Act regulates assemblies. Since coming into force in 1990, the Public Order Act has been the subject of litigation. In 2007, the Court of Appeal quashed several sections of the Public Order Act; the Court’s decision, however, has not yet been reflected in legislative changes.

Notification

Previously notification was required, but this is no longer the case. Now if event organizers notify the police, it is for the purpose of arranging police protection. In 2007 the Court of Appeal quashed several sections of the Public Order Act, including one section relating to advance notification in All Nigeria Peoples Party v. Inspector-General of Police. In the lead judgment, Adekeye JCA held:

“The Public Order Act should be promulgated to compliment sections 39 and 40 of the Constitution in context and not to stifle or cripple it. A rally or placard carrying demonstration has become a form of expression of views on current issues affecting government and the governed in a sovereign state. It is a trend recognized and deeply entrenched in the system of governance in civilized countries – it will not only be primitive but also retrogressive if Nigeria continues to require a pass to hold a rally. We must borrow a leaf from those who have trekked the rugged path of democracy and are now reaping the dividend of their experience (italics added for emphasis).”

In his contribution Mohammed JCA said:

“In present day Nigeria, clearly a Police Permit has outlived its usefulness. Certainly in a democracy, it is the right of citizens to conduct peaceful processions, rallies or demonstrations without seeking and obtaining permission from anybody. It is a right guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution and any law that attempts to curtail such right is null and void and of no consequence (italics added for emphasis).”

Time, Place and Manner Restrictions

The surviving portion of Section 1 of the Public Order Act empowers a State Governor to prescribe the route by which and the times at which any procession may pass. In addition, while the use of uniforms in general is not prohibited, and indeed, is specifically permitted by section 7 of the Public Order Act, section 7 does prohibit the wearing of any uniform if the Commissioner of Police in the state is of the opinion that wearing it is offensive or is likely to provoke a breach of the peace.

Enforcement

In practice the State sometimes uses force to break up assemblies even where these are peaceful. The basis for allowing some assemblies to go ahead while preventing others appears arbitrary, but can usually be traced to the political interests of the government in power, since the Nigeria Police Force – although ostensibly a service for the entire Federation – is answerable to the President, and thus more likely to do his bidding, either express or anticipated.

Where political issues are at stake, the police response may be dictated by the political interests of those in power. In January 2010, when then-President Umaru Yar’Adua was absent without explanation, demonstrations calling for a proper resolution of the crisis and formal handover of power to then Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan were well policed in major cities. But in January 2012, when Nigerians demonstrated against a fuel price increase under the rubric #OccupyNigeria, the police initially provided protection but then changed strategy toward the continuing demonstrations, which were broken up or prevented by a show of force from the police and the armed forces. The reason given for the volte face was said to be intelligence reports that Boko Haram was planning to take advantage of the demonstrations and protests to foment trouble in Nigeria. The excuse about the fear that protests are going to be hijacked is frequently resorted to by Nigerian authorities.

Problems with enforcement and prohibitions on freedom of assembly resurfaced in 2015. In the northern part of the country, following clashes between the Nigerian Army and a Shiite group (Islamic Movement in Nigeria-IMN), which led to as many as 700 civilian deaths, several governors banned protests. In 2019, at least six IMN protesters were also killed in clashes with Nigerian police in Abuja.

In 2015, in Rivers State in the south of the country, pro-Biafra marches were banned by the state governor. In the run-up to gubernatorial elections in Bayelsa State, also in the south, protests were similarly banned by the Nigeria Police. In January 2017, the police also broke up a protest in favor of US President Donald Trump by the Independent Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), which led to the death of a protestor.

#BringBackOurGirls Protests

Two weeks after the abduction by Boko Haram of more than 250 schoolgirls from the Federal Government Girls College at Chibok in Borno State on the night of April 14, 2014, some concerned citizens began to gather daily at 3 pm at the Unity Fountain in Abuja to express their concern at the apparent indifference of the authorities to the fate of the girls and to demand action by the government.

Under the general appellation ‘Women for Peace and Justice’ and the twitter slogan/hashtag #BringBackOurGirls, the campaign spread across Nigeria with marches and demonstrations in several major Nigerian cities, but with a particular focus at the Unity Fountain. Despite complaints from the Presidency that the protests were sponsored by the opposition APC party in a plot to bring down the Jonathan administration, the National Police Force (NPF) generally facilitated the operations of the #BringBackOurGirls marchers. Organizers informed the authorities of their intentions to hold rallies, and the NPF provided logistical support, including diverting traffic where required.

Nonetheless, on May 28, 2014 “thugs” who were rumored to be sponsored by the then PDP-led government attacked protesters, smashing their chairs and snatching their bags and mobile phone handsets. There was not appropriate police intervention to restrain or arrest the attackers. The rumors were that the attackers received 3,000 naira (approximately $18.50) each and arrived in government buses, which, in addition to the lack of police response to their aggression and the wife of the President’s orders to arrest leading protesters, is why the attackers are seen as being government-sponsored. The attackers operated under a separate hashtag #ReleaseOurGirls, a name intended to be directed at Boko Haram, who kidnapped the schoolgirls, rather than the government for its perceived inaction. Some of the attackers later admitted to having been paid 3,000 naira after meeting a team of Ministers and Special Advisers to the President and said that they were transported to the Unity Foundation to replace the #BringBackOurGirls protesters.

Since the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory’s July 2014 ruling that the Nigeria Police Force had no power to ban rallies and protests, #BringBackOurGirls have continued to meet daily in Abuja, and weekly in Lagos. However, attempts by the group to stage marches and protests outside their daily meeting venue are often met with resistance by the police. For example, in November 2018 members of the group were stopped from a protest march to Aso Rock over the continued failure to rescue the Chibok Girls and other hostages of the insurgents. Nonetheless, in Lagos #BringBackOurGirls was able to stage marches and rallies, while in Abuja the group also held events to mark the fifth anniversary of the girls’ abduction in April 2019.

UN Universal Periodic Review Reports Universal Periodic Review: Nigeria (2009)
Reports of UN Special Rapporteurs Report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on human rights defenders (2006)

Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (2007)

USIG (United States International Grantmaking) Country Notes Nigeria
U.S. State Department 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Nigeria
Fragile States Index Reports Foreign Policy: Fragile States Index
Human Rights Watch 2021 Report
IMF Country Reports Nigeria and the IMF
International Commission of Jurists Not available
International Center for Not-for-Profit Law Online Library Nigeria

General News

New SIM Card Registrations with Biometric ID Number Resume in Nigeria (April 2021)
Nigeria’s federal government has lifted a ban on the registration of new SIM cards, with the biometrics-based national identification number (NIN) now a prerequisite for the exercise. The federal government evoked security concerns to justify the move.

Court Dismisses Case Against EndSARS Protesters (January 2021)
A magistrate court in the Federal Capital Territory discharged and dismissed the case against four of six EndSARS protesters arrested for demonstrating outside the National Assembly. In October last year, Nigeria was swept by weeks of widespread EndSARS protests sparked by anger over brutality by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The six defendants were arrested on November 8, 2020 and charged with unlawful assembly.

Sowore Arrested for Organising Crossover Night Protest (January 2021)
Political activist and a former presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore, was in the early hours of the New Year arrested in Abuja for leading a protest against the Federal Government. The arrest happened a day after Sowore appeared to be calling on members of the public to join him in the protest against the regime in messages he sent via his Twitter Handle.

Kano Govt Sets Up Committee to Check ‘Media Excesses’ (January 2020)
Kano State’s executive council has sanctioned the constitution of a technical committee to look into the issue of professional misconduct and abuse of privilege by media organisations in the state. The state’s commissioner for information, Muhammad Garba, said this while briefing journalists on the outcome of the state executive council meeting.

We Released Sowore, Dasuki On Compassionate Grounds (November 2019)
The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has explained that the release of a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, and Sahara Reporters publisher, Omoyele Sowore, from detention was due to the Federal Government having compassion for the duo. Dasuki spent more than four years in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) while Sowore, the convener of #RevolutionNow protests, was held for almost five months.

Hate Speech Bill’s Sponsor Buckles, Proposes Removal of Death Penalty (November 2019)
The sponsor of the Hate Speech Bill at the Senate, Senator Sabi Abdullahi, has bowed to public criticism of the bill and expressed his readiness to expunge the clause that provided for death by hanging as the ultimate penalty for violators of the bill.

Detained Nigerian journalist charged with treason (September 2019)
A Nigerian journalist, Agba Jalingo, who has been in police detention for over a week over a report about an alleged diversion of N500 million by the Cross River governor, has been charged with treason. Mr Jalingo, who is the publisher of CrossRiverWatch, a Cross River State-based newspaper, was arrested and detained over a petition by the government’s owned microfinance bank following the report in his newspaper.

Why we shut down Bobrisky’s birthday party venue (August 2019)
The Lagos State Police Command have explained why they invaded and sealed off the venue of the birthday party of popular cross-dresser, Bobrisky. The spokesperson of the police in Lagos, Bala Elkana, said ”Yes we sealed off the venue of Bobrisky’s birthday party today based on some credible information.” About 50 policemen stormed the venue of Bobrisky’s birthday party which was said to have been attended by some celebrities as well as cross-dressers and homosexuals.

SSS confirms arresting Sowore, Gives Reasons (August 2019)
The State Security Service (SSS) confirmed that its operatives took Omoyele Sowore into custody. Mr Sowore, a social critic and publisher of Sahara Reporters, was violently arrested in Lagos at midnight on Saturday. He was taken into custody because he called for a revolution in Nigeria, SSS spokesperson, Peter Afunanya, told reporters in Abuja Sunday afternoon. Mr Afunanya was unable to say whether or not the SSS has any credible intelligence that confirmed Mr Sowore has the capacity to execute a takeover of government in Nigeria.

Six Shiite protesters dead in clashes with Nigerian police (July 2019)
At least six Shiite protesters were killed in clashes with Nigerian police in the capital Abuja, witnesses told AFP. Hundreds of members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) — a Shia sect — marched in the capital before being met with tear gas from police, the AFP journalist witnesses. Protesters then threw petrol bombs, setting a local fire station ablaze. “The police responded and started shooting live ammunitions,” the journalist said. ” I saw six people dead in different places, one of them was a teenager.”

Channels TV reporter dies from injuries (July 2019)
Nigerian authorities should immediately investigate the death of Precious Owolabi, a reporter for the privately owned Channels TV, who was shot during a protest in Abuja on July 22, and ensure those responsible are held to account.

NBC shuts AIT, Raypower indefinitely (June 2019)
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has suspended the licence of DAAR Communications Plc, owners of African Independent Television (AIT) and Raypower “until further notice”. Modibbo Kawu, director-general of NBC, announced the shut down at a press briefing in Abuja on Thursday evening. He said the action was taken for failure of the stations to abide by the broadcasting code.

Facebook bans Israeli-based fake accounts for interfering in Nigerian elections (May 2019)
Facebook has removed a total of 265 accounts, pages, groups and events involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior which aimed to influence elections in Nigeria and other countries. The social media giant disclosed that some of the suspected activity was linked to Archimedes Group, a Tel Aviv-based political consulting and lobbying firm.

National Assembly management issues new guidelines for journalists (May 2019)
On Monday, the management of Nigeria’s National Assembly issued a new guideline for accreditation of journalists covering the parliament. The new guideline allows television, independent producers and online media to present only one reporter for accreditation. Each of them could present another as cameraman or photographer.

Abuja residents, activists march, demand end to arrest of women (May 2019)
A group of human rights activists, women organisations and residents of the Federal Capital Territory has called for an end to the unlawful arrest of women in Abuja. The group made the call in Abuja on Friday during a protest to demand justice for women that were detained and allegedly sexually harassed by some police officers.

Attacks on media, observers, INEC mar polls (March 2019)
The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) condemned attacks on ad hoc staff, media, observers and other electoral participants during the supplementary polls. In Kano State, violence and disruption of polling were widespread as an army of assailants reportedly took over polling activities in several local government areas, including Nasarawa, Dala, Karaye and Gaya.

Twitter tells us why it suspended influencers’ accounts ahead of elections (February 2019)
Ahead of Saturday’s general election in Nigeria, Twitter, a micro-blogging platform has suspended the accounts of some social media influencers, Business Insider SSA by Pulse can confirm. The platform says the effort is to help amplify election-related information from legitimate sources. Twitter says it is collaborating with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and domestic political party stakeholders to “ensure they have clear reporting channels to bring potentially problematic accounts or content to our attention.”

Military speaks on invasion of Daily Trust offices (January 2019)
John Agim, defence headquarters (DHQ) spokesman, says Daily Trust offices were shut down because of a story published by the newspaper which revealed “the military’s plan on the fight against insurgency”. Speaking on a Channels TV programme on Sunday, Agim said by publishing the report, the media house portrayed itself to be “sympathetic” to Boko Haram terrorists.

Army launches operation python dance nationwide (December 2018)
In order to ensure hitch free 2019 general elections, the Nigerian Army is set to conduct a military exercise code named Ekwu eke (Python Dance) III across the six geopolitical zones of the country. Briefing journalists in Maiduguri at the Headquarters of Theater Command Operation Lafiya Dole, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tulkur Buratai, said the exercise, which will commence from January 1 to February 19, 2019, is aimed at combating criminality and other security challenges as the elections draws closer.

Nigerian army lifts ban of UNICEF after spy accusations (December 2018)
The Nigerian military on Friday lifted a ban on UNICEF operations in the country’s northeast, after having initially accused the aid agency of training “spies” supporting Boko Haram jihadis. Earlier on Friday, the military said the United Nations children’s agency had this week held workshops in the northeast city of Maiduguri, in which it trained people for “clandestine” activities that were “sabotaging” counterterrorism efforts.

Get out of Nigeria, Army warns Amnesty International (December 2018)
The Nigerian Army has called for the closure of the Amnesty International offices in Nigeria, alleging there is credible evidence the organisation is working hard to destabilise the country.

Abuja Court Sets Deji Adeyanju Free (December 2018)
A Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Abuja has ordered the immediate release of Deji Adeyanju, Convener of Concerned Nigerians. Adeyanju was taken to Kano a few days ago to stand trial for an old case, for which he had been discharged and acquitted by a court in Kano years ago.

Activist Deji Adeyanju faces 10-year imprisonment (December 2018)
Detained activist Deji Adeyanju may be facing a ten- year jail term for his alleged rabid criticism of the Federal Government and top functionaries, it has been learnt. Top sources within the security and intelligence system confided Adeyanju is likely to be arrested and taken before a Federal High Court for allegedly contravening aspects of The Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, Etc) Act, 2015.

Group Protests Plateau Killings (June 2018)
Protesters from the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) from the northern senatorial district of Plateau State destroyed property at the Government House in Little Rayfield on Wednesday. The demonstrators forced their way into the Government House in Jos, the state capital after they were denied access to the premises. They staged the protest in condemnation of the attack on some villages allegedly by herdsmen, which left at least 100 persons dead and many displaced. The protesters who were dressed in black attire had taken the protest to the Governor’s Lodge where they could not get the governor’s attention before proceeding to the Government House.

Mourning for Victims of Killings (May 2018)
Nigerians from all walks of life on Monday converged on the Unity Fountain, Abuja, to mourn victims of killings across the country. The mourners were clad in black shirts with the inscription #OneDeathTooMany. Civil society groups, human rights activists, and family members of some victims were in attendance.

Elombah Brothers Plead Not Guilty (April 2018)
Daniel and Timothy Elombah, the two journalist brothers sued by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, have pleaded not guilty to four counts of defamation charges against the police chief. The brothers, Publisher and Editor of Elombah.com, were arrested on January 1 on allegations that they published an article critical of the IGP who immediately deployed officers and public resources to track them down.

Police Lock Down Unity Fountain, Prevent Shiites, BBOG from Meeting (April 2018)
The police ocked down the Unity Fountain, Maitama, Abuja and prevented members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria and the Bring Back Our Girls coalition from accessing it for their usual rally and sit-out. The policemen claimed that they were acting on the orders from their superiors and refused to allow the two groups to use the venue.

Why we Arrested 115 Shiite Protesters in Abuja (April 2018)
The Shiites took to the streets in Abuja to demand release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, whom the Nigerian government has kept in custody for over two years, without trial and despite court orders for his release. A social media footage showed protesters hurling stones at police water cannon vehicles near Unity Park and Transcorp Hilton Hotel. The police had on Friday banned any demonstration at the park, an order that has been condemned by rights activists as autocratic and illegal.

MRA calls for Speedy Presidential Assent to Digital Rights and Freedom Bill (March 2018)
Media Rights Agenda (MRA) called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the Digital Rights and Freedom Bill into law as soon as he receives it from the National Assembly, saying it is the most practical way for his Administration to demonstrate its support for Internet freedom for Nigerians. The Bill, which was passed by the House of Representatives on December 19, 2017, was similarly passed by the Senate earlier this week on March 13, 2018. Mr. Edetaen Ojo, Executive Director of MRA, described the proposed Bill as “a strong piece of legislation that seeks to effectively protect the rights of Nigerians on the Internet and in the digital environment in accordance with the global norms and standards that Nigeria has helped to establish.”

DSS Demands Source of Story to Free Detained Journalist (March 2018)
In an interview with Premium Times, Okere said Ezimakor was detained over a report detailing how the federal government allegedly paid Boko Haram millions of dollars to secure the release of 82 Chibok girls. The bureau chief was invited to the DSS headquarters in Abuja on Wednesday and since then he has not been released.

Oby Ezekwesili leads fresh BBOG protest to Aso Rock (January 2018)
Former minister of education and convener of the BringBackOurGirls group, Oby Ezekwesili, led members of the members of the BBOG on another a peaceful protest on Wednesday, January 24, but the protesters were restricted from gaining access to the presidential villa, where they had intended to meet President Muhammadu Buhari to present their letter of protest to him.

Court Adjourns Trial of Senator Accused of Injurious Falsehood (January 2018)
A Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Maitama has adjourned to January 29, 2018 commencement of the trial of Senator Isah Misau, who was charged with injurious falsehood contrary to the provisions of Section 393 (1) of the Penal Code. The senator at a press conference on August 25, 2017 in Abuja, among other things, accused the Inspector-General of Police, (IGP) Ibrahim Idris, of pocketing about N10 billion monthly.

Nigeria Police to hold journalist for days over publication on IG (January 2018)
The police have released Andrew Elombah, a London-based Nigerian journalist, who was arrested by their operatives. But Mr. Elombah’s brother, Timothy, who was also arrested, would be kept in custody for another seven days based on a warrant signed by a magistrate. Mr. Elombah said “an opinion piece that denigrated the Inspector-General of Police was published on opinionnigeria.com, which is not our own website.”

ARCHIVE

FG clamps down on online newspapers, others (November 2017)

Media coalition condemns Saraki’s antics against Sahara Reporters (November 2017)

Freedom Of Information Act Applicable To Lagos, Court Rules (November 2017)

Human rights groups drag National Assembly to court over NGO regulation bill (November 2017)

Why we attacked anti-Buhari protesters – Police (September 2017)

Nigerian Court grants injunction proscribing IPOB (September 2017)

Nigerian army denies declaring IPOB terrorist organisation (September 2017)

Drama in court as assistant police comissioner admits arresting peaceful protesters (September 2017)

House Of Reps Clears the Air On NGO Regulation Bill (September 2017)

House of Reps member insists on law to regulate NGOs (September 2017)

Stop military from tracking Nigerians on social media, groups tell Buhari (August 2017)

We Now Monitor Social Media For Anti-Government And Anti-Military Information (August 2017)

National Broadcasting Commission Moves To Censor Phone-In Programs (August 2017)

Hate speech: Nigerian govt vows to deal with culprits (August 2017)

Nigerians tell absent Buhari: ‘Resume or resign’ (August 2017)

Two journalists attacked in Abakaliki (June 2017)

Demolition of Breeze 99.9 FM, Lafia shocking (May 2017)

Security forces must avoid repression of Biafra day protests (May 2017)

Lagos set to review Media law (May 2017)

Nigerian journalist detained over WhatsApp comment granted bail (April 2017)

CSO Groups Decry Attack on Amnesty International (March 2017)

Army denies killing eleven IPOB members, to focus on insurgents (February 2017)

Journalist arraigned, sent to prison over Southern Kaduna report (February 2017)

Police arrest Premium Times publisher, Olorunyomi, reporter (January 2017)

One killed, journalist, others injured as IPOB rally support for Trump (January 2017)

Hundreds of policemen storm BBOG protest ground (January 2017)

Nigerian governor apologizes to UN over aid criticism (January 2017)

Buhari accuses UN, others of exaggerating crisis in North-east Nigeria (January 2017)

Petroleum Minister Kachikwu Uses DSS to Arrest Magazine Publisher (November 2016)

MDAs Not Complying With Provisions of FOI Act (September 2016)

EFCC releases blogger, Abubakar Usman, from detention (August 2016)

Why we arrested blogger Abubakar Usman (August 2016)

EFCC ‘arrests’ blogger over ‘online publication’ (August 2016)

70 MDAs fail FOI compliance test (May 2016)

Nigeria’s Defence Headquarters (DHQ) issues warning to Social Media Users (May 2016)

Journalist Arrested, Charged Over Report On Kaduna Governor, El-Rufai (May 2016)

Report raises concern over Cybercrimes Act (April 2016)

Senate bows to public pressure, withdraws anti-social media bill (April 2016)

PDP member arraigned for social media postings on WhatsApp (March 2016)

Public Hearing on “Anti-Social Media” Bill (March 2016)

Government unveils first Freedom of Information web portal (March 2016)

Professor arrested at university for political criticism (February 2016)

El-Rufai inaugurates panel of inquiry on Zaria Massacre (February 2016)

Popular blogger remanded in prison over alleged defamatory post (February 2016)

Military React to Report of Human Rights Abuse and Extra Judicial Killing (February 2016)

Blogger remanded in prison over alleged libel (November 2015)

Civil society groups ask UN to sanction Boko Haram sponsors (December 2014)

Police Ban Street Protests in Borno (August 2014)

#BringBackOurGirls protest march – Update (May 2014)

Letter of protest from the civil society delegates of the National Conference (April 2014)

National Dialogue: Civil Society Sets Agenda (February 2014)

Nigeria arrests gay ‘suspects’ under new law banning homosexuality
(January 2014)

Challenges Facing NGOs In Nigeria & Rest Of The World (July 2013)

Politicians task civil society groups, others on FOI implementation Members of the House of Representatives on the implementation of the Freedom of Information (FOI) law (June 2013)

Lagos, Civil Society to Analyse Budget Via Twitter (February 2013)

Presidency, Senate Set for Showdown Over Anti-Terrorism Law (January 2013)

Kogi First Lady – “I Don’t Rely on Government to Fund My Project” (December 2012)

When group takes FOI advocacy to community, grassroots (November 2012)

Thousands protest video in volatile Nigerian city (September 2012)

Jonathan meets civil society, pledges enduring Constitution (September 2012)

Effective compliance with Procurement Law, key to corruption fight (August 2012)

NGO wants internal funding for HIV/AIDS (June 2012)

Civil society wants investment in women (May 2012)

UN human rights chief urges bold effort by leaders to end sectarian violence (January 2012)

Nigerian government accused of human rights abuse (January 2012)

Nigeria reclaims ”A” status at ICC (January 2012)

Nigeria’s leader sparks change, but not the kind he hoped (January 2012)

Sustaining NGOs for effective service delivery (January 2012)

The foregoing information was collected by the ICNL Civic Freedom Monitor Partner in Nigeria, Ayo Obe