Strengthening Nigerian Capacity for the Investigation and Prosecution of International Crimes with a special focus on conflict-related sexual violence
Building on the formula so successfully applied at the previous two Abuja training sessions in October 2022, the Wayamo Foundation, in collaboration with the United Nations Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), held their third workshop in Lagos from 30 November – 2 December 2022.
The workshop was organised within the framework of the project “Strengthening Nigerian Capacity for the Investigation and Prosecution of International Crimes with a special focus on conflict-related sexual violence”, which is jointly implemented by the United Nations Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Wayamo Foundation.
Nigerian prosecutors from the Complex Casework Group (CCG) and investigators from the Joint Investigation Centre (JIC) came together to discuss matters of common interest, share experiences, and exchange views about the tasks confronting them in their respective spheres.
The proceedings were officially opened by Wayamo Foundation Director, Bettina Ambach, and UNODC Counterterrorism Programming Project Coordinator, Tom Parker. The programme covered the CCG’s ongoing digitisation and evidence-management process; ICC potential cases for alleged Boko Haram attacks on schools, churches, and mosques; witness protection; accountability for conflict-related sexual violence; child recruitment by Boko Haram; linkage evidence; and inter-agency collaboration.
Over the course of the three-day workshop, these topics were addressed by Ulrich Garms, Programme Officer, UNODC, Akingbolahan Adeniran, former investigator and trial lawyer at the International Criminal Court (ICC), Claus Molitor, Situation Analyst, Office of the Prosecutor, ICC, Adejoké Babington-Ashaye, International Law Expert, James Freda, UN Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict, Comfort Olubo Umaru, Senior Research Fellow, National Judicial Institute (NJI), Aminat Tope Abdulrahman, National Programme Officer, UNODC, Raphael George, Scanning and Digitization expert, Complex Casework Group, and Rebeka Manneh Juhos, Legal Researcher and Data-Management Expert, Wayamo Foundation.
As always, the workshop ended with an evaluation of the training by the participants. Some of the items highlighted included:
- “We appreciate the Wayamo Foundation, UNODC and the UN Team of Experts for this educational training. My knowledge on the drafting of charges in conflict-related sexual violence cases greatly improved. We appreciate the resource persons that did very well.”
- “At the next training more investigators should be trained to enable both investigators and prosecutors to be on the same page.”
- “Definitely one of the most interesting topics was how to develop linkage evidence in complex criminal cases.”
This training workshop will be followed by two further workshops in 2023 in collaboration with the above mentioned partners.