PRIVATE SECURITY GOVERNANCE

THE NARRAATIVE REPORT

 OF THE

THE NIGERIA RESPONSIBLE PRIVATE SECURITY COMPANY TRAINING PROGRAMME

 IMPLEMENTED BY  

 AFRICAN LAW FOUNDATION (AFRILAW), ABUJA-NIGERIA

 IN PARTNERSHIP WITH INTERNATIONAL CODE OF CONDUCT ASSOCIATION (ICOCA) SWITZERLAND, GENEVA CENTER FOR SECURITY SECTOR GOVERNANCE (DCAF) SWITZERLAND, MSS GLOBAL UK AND NIGERIA SECURITY AND CIVIL DEFENSE CORPS (NSCDC) WITH FUNDING SUPPORT BY UK FCDO AND MSS GLOBAL UK

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION: This is the Narrative Report of Nigeria Responsible Private Security Company Training Programme Pilot activities implemented by African Law Foundation (AFRILAW) in partnership with the International Code of Conduct Association (ICoCA) Switzerland, Geneva Center for Security Sector Governance (DCAF) Switzerland, MSS Global UK and Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) with funding support by UK FCDO and MSS Global UK.

The goal of this project is to provide capacity building and training to Nigeria Private security companies on existing obligation and best practices for improved standards of operations, excellent service delivery and professional conducts and effective private security governance and management system. The key objectives of the training programme are; increasing awareness and knowledge on existing obligation and best practices, gain specific expertise on inter sectional thematic areas of use of force, gender equality and preventing sexual exploitation and abuse. Get support for long-term development of a culture that respects and seeks to protect human rights within their company and how to address human rights challenges in complex environments, integrate effective private security governance and management system, learn the benefits and how to become ICoCA member and get ICoCA certification. The pilot Nigeria Responsible Private Security Company Training Programme was implemented across 5 states of Nigeria from October 2022 to March 2023.

PROJECT ACTIVITIES:

  1. THE FLAG-OFF TRAINING WORKSHOP FOR NORTH- CENTRAL REGION (ABUJA):

The Flag-off workshop on the Nigeria Responsible Private Security Company Training Programme was held on October 26th, 2022 at Top View Hotel, Abuja. There were about forty-five (45) participants including thirty (30) PSC representatives, seven (7) Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) officers which included the Assistant Commandant General ACG-PGC, one (1) MSS Global representative, four (4) media personnel’s and three (3) AFRILAW staff. 

OPENING SESSION AND REMARKS: The Workshop began by 9:30am with one of the participants leading the opening prayer and afterwards the National anthem was taken. The Executive Direct or of AFRILAW (Barr. Chinwike) welcomed all the participants in attendance and set out the agenda of the day. The Assistant-Commandant General (ACG)- Private Guards Companies (PGC) representing the Commandant General of NSCDC was invited to give his opening remarks and flag-off the programme. He took the stage and started by thanking AFRILAW and its partners for initiating the wonderful programme in Nigeriaa and proceeded to commend the PSCs present for responding to the call to attend and also pointed out that the said workshop would further improve their skills and the certificates received upon conclusion of the event would form part of the criteria for future assessment of the security companies.

 

Group Picture of the Training Workshop

The ACG- PGC further encouraged the PSCs to adhere to all that would be taught in the program and declared the program open. While the technical team dealt with the internet connection issues faced at the event, the attendees proceeded to take group photographs with the Assistant-Commandant General PGC of the NSCDC and the AFRILAW Team.

The ACG-PGC giving his Opening/Welcome Remarks and declaring the Programme opened.

PRESENTATION 1: Introduction to ICoCA & Code of Conduct for PSCs, Respecting Human Rights by PSCs and Conducting Human Rights Impact Assessment by PSCs

Mr. Giuseppe Scirocco and Mr Christopher Galvin representatives of the ICoCA team took the presentation via zoom. ICoCA and the Code was introduced to the participants. They were also taught the principles regarding the conduct of private security personnel’s, covering issues such as: the use of force, preventing sexual exploitation and abuse, detention, apprehension, torture, human trafficking, child labor, discrimination and modern slavery. They were further taught the right principles on management and governance for PSCs which includes; selection and vetting of personnel, selection and vetting of subcontractors, training, management of weapons and ammunitions, incident reporting, health and safety, harassment, grievance procedures and meeting liabilities. A brief history on ICoCA was given as a governance and oversight mechanism to ensure the implementation of the code and once a private security company becomes a member, they agree to be monitored by the Association to ensure compliance with the code. They were briefed on current members of the Association both state members and private security companies who are members as well as observers of the Association. The purpose of the Association was highlighted which is to promote responsible private security, by strengthening human rights due diligence on private security providers.The Association promotes capacity building by providing guidance which includes; human right impact assessment for PSCs, guidelines for PSCs on preventing and addressing sexual exploitation and abuse, developing and operating fair and accessible company grievance mechanism that offer effective remedies and trainings. They also carry out monitoring of PSC by visiting, tracking, reporting and creating a civil security network. The need for PSCs to be ICoCA certified was also discussed as PSCs who are certified represents gold standards who have submitted themselves to be monitored and verified by ICoCA mechanisms.

The reason why private security users care about human rights due diligence was also taught in the presentation. This is because of the many and rising abuses by PSCs contractors especially in the mining sites which will in turn be a reputational and financial damage for such company. Also the treatment of the private security personnel themselves was stated to be the biggest human right risk in the industry and the need for these PSCs to meet the mandatory human rights due diligence requirements was emphasized. The voluntary principles on business and human rights was also introduced to the private security guards. The need for these PSCs to conduct human right impact assessment was explained as it helps companies understand how certain activity affects human rights. They were advised to start the assessment as early as when the company starts to plan operations. The phases of the assessment was also highlighted to include: planning and scoping, data collection, impact analysis, impact mitigation and management and evaluation and reporting.

The session was very enlightening for the PSC guards as they proceeded to ask questions on areas they needed clarifications on and how their companies could be part of ICoCA which all questions were answered satisfactorily by the resource persons and further stated that all resource materials used for the lecture would be made available for more clarifications as well as the organizations website was provided for all who needed it. The next thing on the program agenda after the first presentation was the tea break where all the guards were served with a light breakfast.

The Cross Section of the participants

 

PRESENTATION 2: Introduction to Montreux Document and its benefits to PSCs in Nigeria and Basic Principles of the use of force by PSCs:

Immediately after the tea break, Ms. Valdes Cristina form DCAF began her presentation also via zoom, she started by introducing the Montreux Document as on which reaffirms the existing obligations of states under international law. The document is said to have two parts, Part I: recalls the relevant legal obligations of states towards PMSCs and Part II: contains a description of good practices that aim to provide guidance and assistance to states in the regulation of PMSCs. The benefits for PSCs was stated to be legislative guide as this guide will help address the main challenges of implementation, offers recommendation and finally illustrates practical cases. The challenges were out left out which includes; staff training and capacity building, normative policies on the use of force and effective complaint and grievance mechanisms.

The use of force by PSCs was also discussed, it was pointed out that due to a lack of specific rules both PSCs and the regulators tend to apply force applicable to law enforcement and this leads to human right violations. It was stated that the force to be used by PSCs is very different form that used by law enforcement agencies and the force allowed for PSCs must be guided by personal self-defense like any other citizen. It was stated that these PSC guards do not have a general mandate to ensure public security beyond the objectives set out in the contract. They are not to use lethal force to protect property and they are not substitutes for public forces. They further states that states are to impose limitations on the type of services PSCs can provide and weapons they can possess as well as the operational criteria they must meet.  This was also a very interesting presentation as it spurred the attendees to ask question bothering on the protection of the rights of the guards. All questions were given satisfactory answers by the resources person who also stated that further questions could be sent across to her via email and also made available the resource materials used for the lecture for the attendees to access.

PRESENTATION 3: Functional Planning Support and Delivery of Security Operations Management System by PSCs, ICoCA Certification and 18788 for Nigeria PSCs by Mr Jonah Eromon, Africa Director of MSS Global UK.

Mr. Jonas of MSS Global making a presentation

Mr Jonah, who was present physically took this presentation. He began by with a brief introduction of MSS Global afterwards he went to the crux of the presentation. He discussed the need for PSCs to plan and implement its objectives through a management system, security operations planning which sets out a timeframe for achieving the set goals. He pointed out that these can be done through the standard operating procedure of the PSCs, stating that operations cannot be devoid of risk and the need to manage this risk to the clients, organization and stakeholders. Also, he summarized by stating that all responsible PSC must first cascade its strategic objectives into operational task, do a supplier due diligence before signing a contract, identify and understand resources needed and finally plan the internal and external communication.

He afterwards went into the second part of the presentation on how PSCs can achieve ICoCA certification in three simple steps. First by internal preparations, then an initial certification and finally contact the ICoCA secretariat and audit report review. He stated that becoming ICoCA certified comes with real commercial and operational benefits and urged the guards to inform their company on the need to get certified. The guards really enjoyed the presentation and some indicated interest in the certifications as well as asked question on areas they needed clarifications on which was satisfactorily answered. Afterwards the attendees proceeded for lunch break.

Cross Secession of the participants

A participant asking a question during one of the sessions

 

PRESENTATION 4: Gender Sensitization for PSCs and Preventing and Addressing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) by PSCs in Nigeria by AFRILAW ED.

ARFILAW ED (Barr. Chinwike) took the presentation after the lunch break, he started by engaging the guards with a gender game which they all participated and had fun doing. He proceeded with a gender sensitization for the guards and began the presentation on preventing and addressing sexual exploitation and abuse by PSCs in Nigeria. He first discussed the UN guiding principles on business and human rights by pointing out UNGP 6 and 13 as important basis for effective procurement and contracting policies. He also defined gender concepts as well as equity and equality. He pointed out that gender equality is the absence of discrimination on the basis of a person’s sex in opportunities and the equal allocation of resources, benefits and in access to services. He stated that sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) refers to all violence that are committed against a person based on their perceived or actual sex and or gender. It is a gross violation of human rights, and is both a cause and a consequence of gender inequality. The definition included physical, verbal or sexual violence against women and girls (VAWG), the victimization of people because of their masculine or feminine traits or sexual orientation, and any form of violence that stems from unequal power relations. He further listed the actions that comprise SGBV to include sexual threats, exploitation, humiliation, assault, molestation and rape, domestic violence and incest, involuntary prostitution, torture and or insertion of objects into genital openings, female genital cutting and attempted rape giving a detailed explanation of all of them. Afterwards he began the second part of the presentation on preventing and addressing sexual exploitation and abuse by PSCs and started by defining sexual exploitation, sexual abuse and its impact on PSCs which could be serious reputational, operational, financial or legal detrimental consequences. He further discussed the need of integrating a gender perspective in PSCs services stating the necessary guidelines. It was an engaging topic for the guards as they shared their inputs on the topic.

PRESENTATION 5: Introduction to VP on Security and Human Rights for PSCs by AFRILAW ED.

Afterwards AFRILAW ED (Barr. Chinwike) proceeded with the final presentation on introduction of Voluntary Principles (VP)s for PSCs pointing out responsibilities placed on the security companies and the Association as a whole. The participants were given the opportunity to ask questions which many was raised and answered satisfactorily too.

Closing Session of the Workshop/Departure: The Training Workshop came to a successful end by 5:30pm with a closing remark by AFRILAW ED. He urged the guards to adhere to all they had learnt and practice them, also to educate their members on all they had learnt. After which, certificate of participation was presented to all who attended. Then the closing prayer was led by one of the participants.

 

 

1: THE 2ND TRAINING WORKSHOP FOR NORTH-CENTRAL REGION (ABUJA):

 

The 2nd Training Workshop of the Nigeria Responsible Private Security Company Programme was held on November 17th 2022 at Newton Park Hotel Resort, Abuja.  There were about thirty-two (32) participants which comprised of twenty-three (23) PSC representatives, two (2) Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) officers, two (2) ICoCA representatives, one (1) MSS Global UK Representative, one (1) media personnel and three (3) AFRILAW staff. Upon settling in, the moderator took to the stage to commence the program.

OPENING SESSION AND REMARKS: The Workshop began by 11:00am with one of the private security guards leading the opening prayer and afterwards the National anthem was taken. The Executive Director of AFRILAW (Barr. Chinwike) welcomed all the private security guards in attendance and set out the agenda of the day. The partners being NSCDC, ICoCA who attended physically this time, DCAF and MSS Global also gave their god will remarks.

The Group Picture of the Training Workshop

 

 

PRESENTATION 1: Introduction to ICoCA & Code of conduct for PSCs, Respecting Human Rights by PSCs and Conducting Human Rights Impact Assessment by PSCs

Mr. Giuseppe Scirocco and Mr Christopher Galvin representatives of the ICoCA team who attended physically took the presentation. ICoCA and the code was introduced to the private security guards. They were also taught the principles regarding the conduct of private security personnel’s, covering issues such as: the use of force, preventing sexual exploitation and abuse, detention, apprehension, torture, human trafficking, child labor, discrimination and modern slavery. They were further taught the right principles on management and governance for PSCs which includes; selection and vetting of personnel, selection and vetting of subcontractors, training, management of weapons and ammunitions, incident reporting, health and safety, harassment, grievance procedures and meeting liabilities.  A brief history on ICoCA was given as a governance and oversight mechanism to ensure the implementation of the code and once a private security company becomes a member, they agree to be monitored by the Association to ensure compliance with the code. They were briefed on current members of the Association both state members and private security companies who are members as well as observers of the Association. The purpose of the Association was highlighted which is to promote responsible private security, by strengthening human rights due diligence on private security providers

Mr. Giuseppe Scirocco of ICoCA making a presentation

The Association promotes capacity building by providing guidance which includes; human right impact assessment for PSCs, guidelines for PSCs on preventing and addressing sexual exploitation and abuse, developing and operating fair and accessible company grievance mechanism that offer effective remedies and trainings. They also carry out monitoring of PSC by visiting, tracking, reporting and creating a civil security network. The need for PSCs to be ICoCA certified was also discussed as PSCs who are certified represents gold standards who have submitted themselves to be monitored and verified by ICoCA mechanisms.

The reason why private security users care about human rights due diligence was also taught in the presentation. This is because of the many and rising abuses by PSCs contractors especially in the mining sites which will in turn be a reputational and financial damage for such company. Also the treatment of the private security personnel themselves was stated to be the biggest human right risk in the industry and the need for these PSCs to meet the mandatory human rights due diligence requirements was emphasized. The voluntary principles on business and human rights was also introduced to the private security guards.

The need for these PSCs to conduct human right impact assessment was explained as it helps companies understand how certain activity affects human rights. They were advised to start the assessment as early as when the company starts to plan operations. The phases of the assessment was also highlighted to include: planning and scoping, data collection, impact analysis, impact mitigation and management and evaluation and reporting.

The session was very enlightening for the PSC guards as they proceeded to ask questions on areas they needed clarifications on and how their companies could be part of ICoCA which all questions were answered satisfactorily by the resource persons and further stated that all resource materials used for the lecture would be made available for more clarifications as well as the organizations website was provided for all who needed it. The next thing on the program agenda after the first presentation was the tea break where all the guards were served with a light breakfast.

 

PRESENTATION 2: Introduction to Montreux Document and its benefits to PSCs in Nigeria, Introduction to VP on Security and Human Rights for PSCs and Basic Principles of the Use of Force by PSCs by DCAF Representatives

Immediately after the tea break, Ms. Valdes Cristina form DCAF began her presentation also via zoom, she started by introducing the Montreux Document as on which reaffirms the existing obligations of states under international law. The document is said to have two parts, Part I: recalls the relevant legal obligations of states towards PMSCs and Part II: contains a description of good practices that aim to provide guidance and assistance to states in the regulation of PMSCs. The benefits for PSCs was stated in the Legislative Guide produced by DCAF as this guide will help address the main challenges of implementation, offers recommendation and finally illustrates practical cases. The challenges were out left out which includes; staff training and capacity building, normative policies on the use of force and effective complaint and grievance mechanisms. On the introduction to Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights for PSCs, they discussed risk assessment, company relations with public safety suppliers and company relations with private security providers giving details on what it entails.

The use of force by PSCs was also discussed, it was pointed out that due to a lack of specific rules both PSCs and the regulators tend to apply force applicable to law enforcement and this leads to human right violations. It was stated that the force to be used by PSCs is very different form that used by law enforcement agencies and the force allowed for PSCs must be guided by personal self-defense like any other citizen. It was stated that these PSC guards do not have a general mandate to ensure public security beyond the objectives set out in the contract. They are not to use lethal force to protect property and they are not substitutes for public forces. They further stated that states are to impose limitations on the type of services PSCs can provide and weapons they can possess as well as the operational criteria they must meet.  This was also a very interesting presentation as it spurred the attendees to ask question bothering on the protection of the rights of the guards. All questions were given satisfactory answers by the resources person who also stated that further questions could be sent across to her via email and also made available the resource materials used for the lecture for the attendees to access.

DCAF Representatives making their presentations

PRESENTATION 3: Functional Planning Support and Delivery of Security Operations Management System by PSCs, ICoCA Certification and 18788 for Nigeria PSCs by MSS Global Africa Director

Mr. Jonah of MSS Global making his presentation

Mr Jonah Eromon a Director and the Africa Representative of MSS Global who was present physically took this presentation. He began by with a brief introduction of MSS Global afterwards he went to the crux of the presentation. He discussed the need for PSCs to plan and implement its objectives through a management system, security operations planning which sets out a timeframe for achieving the set goals. He pointed out that these can be done through the standard operating procedure of the PSCs, stating that operations cannot be devoid of risk and the need to manage this risk to the clients, organization and stakeholders. Also, he summarized by stating that all responsible PSC must first cascade its strategic objectives into operational task, do a supplier due diligence before signing a contract, identify and understand resources needed and finally plan the internal and external communication. He afterwards went into the second part of the presentation on how PSCs can achieve ICoCA certification in three simple steps. First by internal preparations, then an initial certification and finally contact the ICoCA secretariat and audit report review. He stated that becoming ICoCA certified comes with real commercial and operational benefits and urged the guards to inform their company on the need to get certified. The guards really enjoyed the presentation and some indicated interest in the certifications as well as asked question on areas they needed clarifications on which was satisfactorily answered. Afterwards the attendees proceeded for lunch break.

Cross Section of the Participants

Mr. Jonah and ICoCA Representatives during the training Workshop

PRESENTATION 4: Understanding Nigeria Human Rights Law for PSCs, Gender Sensitization for PSCs and Preventing and Addressing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) by PSCs in Nigeria.

ARFILAW ED (Barr. Chinwike) took the presentation after the lunch break. He proceeded with the gender sensitization for the guards and began the presentation on preventing and addressing sexual exploitation and abuse by PSCs in Nigeria. He first discussed the UN guiding principles on business and human rights by pointing out UNGP 6 and 13 as important basis for effective procurement and contracting policies. He also defined gender concepts as well as equity and equality. He pointed out that gender equality is the absence of discrimination on the basis of a person’s sex in opportunities and the equal allocation of resources, benefits and in access to services. He stated that sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) refers to all violence that are committed against a person based on their perceived or actual sex and or gender. It is a gross violation of human rights, and is both a cause and a consequence of gender inequality. The definition included physical, verbal or sexual violence against women and girls (VAWG), the victimization of people because of their masculine or feminine traits or sexual orientation, and any form of violence that stems from unequal power relations. He further listed the actions that comprise SGBV to include sexual threats, exploitation, humiliation, assault, molestation and rape, domestic violence and incest, involuntary prostitution, torture and or insertion of objects into genital openings, female genital cutting and attempted rape giving a detailed explanation of all of them.

Participant asking question during the workshop

The second part of the presentation on preventing and addressing sexual exploitation and abuse by PSCs and started by defining sexual exploitation, sexual abuse and its impact on PSCs which could be serious reputational, operational, financial or legal detrimental consequences. He further discussed the need of integrating a gender perspective in PSCs services stating the necessary guidelines. It was an engaging topic for the guards as they shared their inputs on the topic. Due to time the first part of the presentation on understanding Nigeria Human Rights Law for PSCs was not taken.

Closing Session of the Workshop/Departure: The Training Workshop came to a successful end by 6:30pm with a closing remark by AFRILAW ED. He urged the guards to adhere to all they had learnt and practice them, also to educate their members on all they had learnt. After which, certificate of participation was presented to all who attended. Then the closing prayer was led by one of the PSC guards and they all departed.

AFRILAW ED with ICoCA Representatives during the Workshop

 

3: ICoCA LUNCH MEETING WITH THE FCT ZONAL PSC EXECUTIVES AND KEY STAKEHOLDERS OF ALPSPN AT ABUJA:

The Group Picture of the Meeting

The ICoCA Lunch Meeting with The FCT Zonal PSC Executives and Key Stakeholders Of ALPSPN was held on November 18th, 2022 at Newton Park Hotel & Resort, Abuja.  There was about twenty-five (25) persons which comprised twenty (20) executives of various private security companies including the FCT Zonal Chairman, two (2) ICoCA representatives and (3) AFRILAW staff.  

OPENING SESSION AND REMARKS: The Meeting began by 10:30am with one of the executives leading the opening prayer. The Executive Director of AFRILAW (Barr. Chinwike) welcomed all the executives in attendance and set out the agenda of the day. The zonal chairman of ALPSPN also gave his welcome remarks and thanked the executives for obeying the call for the meeting. ICoCA representatives who attended physically also gave their god will remarks.

FCT Zonal Chairman of the ALPSPN giving his welcome and goodwill speech

 

PRESENTATION 1: INTRODUCTION TO ICOCA:

Mr. Christopher Galvin took the presentation on the ICoCA and the Code. A brief history on ICoCA was given as a governance and oversight mechanism to ensure the implementation of the code and once a private security company becomes a member, they agree to be monitored by the Association to ensure compliance with the code. They were briefed on current members of the Association both state members and private security companies who are members as well as observers of the Association. The purpose of the Association was highlighted which is to promote responsible private security, by strengthening human rights due diligence on private security providers. Furthermore, he stated that the Association promotes capacity building by providing guidance which includes; human right impact assessment for PSCs, guidelines for PSCs on preventing and addressing sexual exploitation and abuse, developing and operating fair and accessible company grievance mechanism that offer effective remedies and trainings. They also carry out monitoring of PSC by visiting, tracking, reporting and creating a civil security network.

Mr. Gavin making a presentation

The need for PSCs to be ICoCA certified was also discussed as PSCs who are certified represents gold standards who have submitted themselves to be monitored and verified by ICoCA mechanisms. The reason why private security users care about human rights due diligence was also taught in the presentation. This is because of the many and rising abuses by PSCs contractors especially in the mining sites which will in turn be a reputational and financial damage for such company. Also the treatment of the private security personnel themselves was stated to be the biggest human right risk in the industry and the need for these PSCs to meet the mandatory human rights due diligence requirements was emphasized. The need for these PSCs to conduct human right impact assessment was explained as it helps companies understand how certain activity affects human rights. They were advised to start the assessment as early as when the company starts to plan operations. The phases of the assessment was also highlighted to include: planning and scoping, data collection, impact analysis, impact mitigation and management and evaluation and reporting.

Presentation 2: General Discussion and Questions and Answers Session: The session was very enlightening for the PSC executives as they proceeded to ask questions on areas, they needed clarifications on and how their companies could be part of ICoCA which all questions were answered satisfactorily by the resource persons and further provided the organizations website if they needed more clarifications. There was also a question was on the financial cost of joining and how interested executives could attend the upcoming ICoCA AGM in Switzerland in December. The ICoCA representatives addressed this as well as all questions that arose as regards the issue. 

Mr. Chris Gavin making his presentation

 

Closing Session of the Workshop/Departure: The lunch meeting came to a successful end by 2:30pm with a closing remark by AFRILAW ED and the FCT Zonal chairman thanking ICoCA for the relationship and partnership. Then the closing prayer was led by one of the PSC executives and they all proceeded for lunch and afterwards departed.

 

4: ICOCA TEAM VISIT TO NIGERIA SECURITY AND CIVIL DEFENSE CORPS (NSCDC):

AFRILAW facilitated a Courtesy Visit and Meeting of ICOCA Representatives Mr Christopher Galvin (Team Lead) and Mr. Giuseppe Scirocco and with the Commandant General (CG) of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), Dr. Ahmed Abubakar on November 18th, 2022. at the Head Office of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) at Sauka, Abuja.   

ICoCA Representatives and the CG of NSCDC with AFRILAW ED during the Courtesy Visit

The Group Picture during the Courtesy Visit

 

5: TRAINING WORKSHOP FOR SOUTH-EAST REGION (ENUGU, ENUGU STATE)

INTRODUCTION: The Nigeria Responsible Private Security Company Training Programme training was held for PSC representative for the South-East region on January 27th, 2023 at Hotel Fidelma, Enugu, Enugu State with about Twenty-three (23) participants, which includes Seventeen (17) PSCs representatives and NSCDC representatives. The participants were issued certificate of participation endorsed by NSCDC and AFRILAW.

OPENING SESSION AND REMARKS: The Workshop started 11:30pm with the opening prayer said by a volunteer i.e one of the participants.  After that the national anthem was said.  Then the opening remarks held by the AFRILAW ED, he apologized to his partners for the lateness of the PSC representatives, and told them what the program was about. He then did a brief breakdown of the agenda as it was adjusted for the time so far. He introduced himself and AFRILAW. He also introduced the workshop, and said that during this training they’d be exposed to principles, standards and norms that would help them to be effective, productive and responsible. Responsible in the sense that they do things in line with human rights, ethics, and best practices.

  

Group Picture of the Training Workshop

Also, in their goodwill messages, DCAF representative Ms. Gabrielle Priklopiova welcomed everyone and said that DCAF is a strategic partner of ICoCA and also partners with AFRILAW. She said that it’s a pleasure to have them present and to talk to them on issues of private security issues today. She said welcome to all the participants.The NSCDC Representative also gave the ACG-PGC remarks by appreciating AFRILAW and its partners for organizing the wonderful training workshop for the PSCs, and to the Private security Companies that honoured their invitation and hoped that their presence would be of great benefit to their individual organizations and that they’d be able to step down those trainings to other members of their office. He also appreciated the conveners and hoped that what they’d be trained on would be beneficial to them.

PRESENTATION 1: Introduction To ICOCA And Human Right Impact Assessment By MR GIUSEPPE SCIROCCO

He introduced the International Code of Conduct Association (ICoCA), and said that it came about as a result of the indiscriminate acts and the habitual abuse of human right by some private military and private security and private military groups. Upon that abuse, governments, industry and civil society came together to negotiate a way to better oversee the industry so that human rights and international humanitarian laws were respected. In other to do this they came up with the code which is a guide for private security operatives. He said that the code covers issues regarding the conduct of personnel covering the use of force, prevention pf sexual abuse and exploitation, detention, apprehension etc, management and governance of private security organizations including company policies, selection and vetting of personnel, training, management of weapons and ammunition etc. having made up these guidelines, there needed to be a way to monitor the implementation of the code. The ICoCA was therefore formed in 2013 as a governance and oversight mechanism to ensure implementation of the Code. All companies who join undertake to be continually monitored by the associations. He then spoke about the associations and what it does, the components of government, CSOs, companies and observers. 

He said that the association’s purpose is to promote responsible private security, by strengthening human rights due diligence on private security providers. The association does this by capacity building, monitoring, certification and it also handles complaints. He said that in its role to provide capacity building it provides guidance including: human Rights Impact Assessment for Private Security Providers, Guidelines for Private Security Providers on Preventing and Addressing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, developing and Operating Fair and Accessible Company Grievance Mechanisms that Offer Effective remedies online. Still within its capacity building function, the association also trains just as it is doing today and it also provides feedback where required.  The association in its monitoring function, carries out in-country visits to the companies in the association, accepts reports from private security users, tracks companies and also monitors the activities of its other component through the CSOs within the association.

Presentation by ICOCA during the Workshop

Certification: On certification, he explained that ICoCA’s certification scheme has third party audit and verification built in. It recognises a limited number of international standards and only accept certification to these standards from Certification bodies whom which it has done its own due diligence on. The problem with certification is that certificates can be bought from the street-corner, sometimes with no, or very little audit. ICoCA therefore only accept certification from certification bodies IAF/MLA accredited to ISO 18788, PSC.1 and ISO 28007, 18788 being the most commonly used land-based standard. Where there are no IAF accredited CBs available, ICoCA accepts evidence of certification to these standards from ISO17021accredited certification bodies that meet ICoCA competency requirements. He then explained the various category of companies i.e: certified, affiliate and transitional and the distinguishing factor between them. It’s important to look at the scope of ICoCA certification, which is often limited in geography, all this is transparent and available on its Member listing on the ICoCA website. The approaches applied by the association is an integrated approach, these things are intertwined and work together. He further encouraged the participating PSCs to seek assistance and support from ICOCA toward becoming a member of ICoCA and that the MSS Global Uk who is ICOCA certification agent in Nigeria and start their certification process.

HUMAN RIGHT IMPACT ASSESSMENT BY MR. GUISEPPE OF ICOCA: Mr. Guiseppe said that human right impact assessment is to identify, understand, access and address the adverse human rights impacts of certain activity. He explained that just as risk assessment checks the extent of risk attached to the activities of a company or its assignment; human right impact assessment check how the activities and assignments of a company impacts on human rights of people with whom they engage. He said that it is important for companies to pay attention to human rights because PSCs are essentially business concerns and their clients pay attention to it and it generally affects businesses negatively and positively. He gave different instances of corporations who have been affected by a human right slip. Also he gave a graphic picture of development of laws relating to human rights due diligence and impact assessment as it relates to businesses and corporations. Also security issues are part of the sustainable goals especially goals 5, 8 and 16.

Conducting Human Rights Impact Assessment by PSCs: The question was when do we start? The response to this question is as soon as possible ideally before operation kicks off. Also this assessments would be reviewed regularly as other reviews are made. The phases of the development of the risk analysis include:

  1. Planning and scoping
  2. Data collection and baseline development
  3. Human right Impact analysis
  4. Human right impact mitigation and management
  5. Evaluation and reporting

Planning and Scoping: this he said involves getting to understand the operation, the context etc as it affects human rights in any aspect. Data collection and baseline development. Impact analysis: analyse the impacts identified to track the impact that stem either directly or indirectly from the operation. This also helps to determine the severity of the impact. He said that the key criteria to determine severity include: scope (number and profiles of people); scale (seriousness); remediability (possibility of restoring pre-existing state or an equivalent). Impact mitigation and management: during the impact mitigation and management the human rights impacts are prioritized on the basis of severity. An impact management plan is great to be developed in this stage to include assignment of roles, set timelines and budget, defining monitoring and reporting procedures. Evaluation and Reporting: at this stage organizations look back and analyse the effectiveness of the measures put in place. For further guidance on human right impact assessment he referred them to ICoCA website. He then called for questions:

Cross Section of the participants during ICoCA presentation

The ED, of AFRILAW led the group to appreciate them for their presentation. He then asked them to explain to the group the way to become a member of ICoCA.  Mr. Chris explained the procedure to be followed to become members of ICoCA and be ICoCA certified and the support and assistance they can get from the Certification Agency like MSS Global which is based in Nigeria. There were no questions for Mr. Chris after the presentation.

PRESENTATION 2 IMPORTANCE OF THE MONTREUX DOCUMENT /BASIC PRINCIPLES ON THE USE OF FORCE FOR PSCs BY DCAF REPRESENTTAIVE

The presentation was done by Ms Gabrielle of ICOCA, and she started by saying that there are three documents that regulate the operations of private security companies internationally. She said that she would play a short video to show how these three initiatives complement each other though they have differences.

The initiatives mentioned in the video include:

  1. The Montreux document (MD): the Montreux document clarifies the obligation of states to regulate the operations of Private Security Companies PSCs, and to share good practices.
  2. The International Code of Conduct for Private Security service Providers (ICoC): establishes standards based on human right. Companies, states and civil society organizations join the association to ensure that the code is enforced generally.
  3. The Voluntary Principle on security and human right: gives organizations in the commodity industry a road map to respect human right in their operations.

 

 

Ms. Gabrielle of DCAF making her presentation

According to the video, Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF), supports the vision of all three initiatives and its implementation. It also therefore jointly works with these initiatives to promote security, human rights and development. She then went ahead to buttress on the Montreux Document and the Voluntary Principles. The ICoC had been explained early. She said that it is important for private security companies to know of these initiatives because clients at this time demand more and more of compliance to standards. She said that though the Montreux Document doesn’t apply directly to Private Security Companies, it is in the interest of companies that standards are upheld and Montreux document provides the highest international standards.  She said that the MD doesn’t make any new set of rules but it extract already existing rights and standards regarding the obligation of states in business and human rights and makes a compendium of them in the MD. She further described that the document describes the obligation of the different kinds of states that are recognised under the MD: contracting state (companies that buys private security), territorial states (the country where the PSC operates) and the host state (ie the country where the PSC has its headquarters).  There is a MD Forum where states can exchange with experts on governance and regulation of security and human rights. The head quarter is hosted by DCAF in Switzerland.

The Voluntary Principles: The VP is a principle to guide extractive companies on how to structure their operations in line with human rights. She said the principles are divided into three parts: Risk assessments; company relations with private security providers and company relations with public safety providers. She then referred them to the DCAF toolkit on the voluntary principle.

THE USE OF FORCE BY PSCS: She said that it is almost obvious the reason why regulations are needed on the use of force. She said that at the base of regulation of the use of force is the protection of human rights. She said that the extent of use of force that PSCs are allowed to apply is limited and different from those that can be applied by public security providers for the following reasons:

  1. The use of force by private security providers must be guided by the personal right of self-defence.
  2. They do not have a general mandate to ensure public security beyond the objectives set out in the private security contract, even when the state is the client.
  3. Private security functions do not enjoy the legitimacy and oversight and accountability mechanisms applicable to state public security. Nor do they enjoy the same level of training and capacity building.

PowerPoint presentation on the use of force by PSCs

On the regulation of the use of force, she said that there should be provisions to pre-screen personnel; provide training on the use of force; register weapons. She said that additional provisions should be made on management and storage of weapons and firearms. States also should empower the judiciary to handle complaints on such issues and also provide judicial and non-judicial means for accountability and redress. The DCAF has modules on the use of force and she encouraged them to visit the website for more resources.

 

GROUP WORK ON THE USE OF FORCE: The participants were give a Case Study to discussed in pairs and share the answers as thus: Community members have organized a protest in front of a mining site; they carry tree branches and seem very angry. A small group of protesters try to force entry into the site. Private security guards assigned to the mining site pushed them back using sticks. What do international norms good practices say about the use of force?

QUESTIONS:

  1. Sometime in 2020 there was a riot in Nigeria. I experienced some rioters approaching the facility where i was guarding ie a bank. We were with the police who could but wouldn’t use force in the case. We tried to scare the rioters away but couldn’t do much to guard the property as we tried to guard our own lives.

Ans: this instance ie. Mass control is not the work of private security companies. In this instances public security takes the lead here and the first thing to do is to assess the risk. Private security can only try to de-escalate the situation.

  1. He narrated an experience where his company provides guard services at a hospital. One of the patients turned violent demanding his discharge. The management of the hospital called on them but still demanded that they call the police to handle the case.

Ans: de-escalation is the first step to take in this instance. People do not also realise how important it is important for the private security Companies to be trained in things like conflict management.

CONTRIBUTIONS AND DISCUSSIONS:

Some of the participants shared some of their experiences on the issue.

  1. When we had similar experience we knew that the lives of the guards were at risk and that we were responsible for the safety of our guards more than any other thing. Bearing this in mind we asked our guards to disguise themselves and not appear as security personnel. This was for their safety. Then we began to build rappourt with the rioters. It was upon doing this that we found out that they had intensions to destroy the property under our care. They started giving us information which we could then report to the police.
  2. Reacting to the last contribution he said that engaging with the police should be done with discretion. He then said shared his experience of sharing an intelligence with the police and the suspect comes back for him with the same intelligence he just shared with the police. He advised for them to work more frequently with the NSCDC, who are their regulating agency and their friends.
  3. The ED AFRILAW said that study has shown that PSCs engage with the police more than they do with their regulatory agency ie the NSCDC. Also individuals tend to interface with and report to the police issues relating to private security. He said that finding a way to improve working relationship with the police being the most popular law enforcement agency would help both the industry and their regulators.
  4. The reason for a greater relation between police and PSCs include: a. Availability of the police b. Age long awareness and popularity of the police among the citizens etc.
  5. The representative of the NSCDC said that though the police is the mother of all security infrastructures there are situations in which they come in handy e.g cases of emergency, intelligence gathering, domestic issues, in-house issues within Private Security Companies.
  6. The Head of Department NSCDC reassured the participants of the capabilities and trainings of their regulatory agency and their commitment to work with them with their corporation.

Cross Section of the Participants during the workshop

 

PRESENTATION 3: UNDERSTANDING HUMAN RIGHTS BY AFRILAW ED

Barr. Chinwike Okereke asked the participants to share what they know about the concept of human rights. One of the participant said that human rights is the basic right human beings have to exist. He described the various rights a person can have. Going further in the conversation he said that every human being has a right no matter who they are. He pointed out the principles that qualify human rights ie. Human rights core principles thus:

Universal/alienable: this means that human rights are the same for everybody no matter their status. Inalienable on the other hand means that they cannot be taken away from anyone.

Indivisible/ interdependent: no right can be enjoyed with the others. They all work together.

He further described the various types of rights that exist: moral right, natural rights, contractual rights, legal rights, human rights.

Types of human rights:

  1. Civil and Political Rights: This he said is provided for under Chapter 4 of the 1999 constitution.
  2. Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: these are rights that apply to us socially, economically and culturally. These rights are not justiciable under the Constitution of Nigeria. This is found in chapter 2 of the Nigerian Constitution. He said that these rights in his opinion are the essence of government and it is however unfortunate that these laws are not justicable in Nigeria though they are in developed countries.
  3. Environmental and Development Rights: talks about the environment and sustainable

He said that under the Universal Declaration on Human Rights there are 30 basic human rights and these 30 rights are where the different countries draw their rights from.

 

AFRILAW ED making a presentation during the workshop

Cross section of the Participants during the presentation

 

International/Regional instruments and National HR laws in Nigeria:

National Human Rights in Nigeria: He stated this section by saying that human rights are not absolute that there are things that can be done and those rights will be taken away. He said that in Chapter 4 of the Nigerian Constitution there are a group of rights enshrined therein which every Nigerian is entitled to but not absolutely. These rights include: Right to life-Section 33, Right to dignity- Section 34, Right to personal liberty- Section 35, Right to fair hearing- Section 36, Right to privacy ad family life-Section 37, Right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion- Section 38, Right to freedom of expression and press- Section 39, Right to peaceful assembly and association- Section 40, Rights to freedom of movement- Section 41, and Rights to freedom from discrimination- Section 42, Rights to own property-Section 43 and Rights from expropriation Section 44. The fundamental right enforcement laws of Nigeria empower the state high court to prosecute fundamental rights and states that human rights grievances may be brought to the state high court.

He introduced them to the various international human rights laws such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) of 1966: according to him this law is the main instrument that informed the chapter 4 of the 1994 Nigerian Constitution. International Covenant on Social and Economic Rights (ICSR) of 1966, Optional Protocol to the Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), 1979 and Optional protocol to the Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against Women (CEDAW-OP), The Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment (Convention Against Torture), 1984 and among others.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR); Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR); Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) and the First Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, make up the international bill of rights. He also introduced them to some regional human right instruments, but carefully pointed out that most of these documents have not been ratified in Nigeria, hence they do not have the force of law in Nigeria.

Nigeria Human rights laws: he listed the various human rights laws in existence in Nigeria and laid much emphasis on Nigeria Labour Act, 1971, Pensions Reform Act, industrial act, 2011; National Minimum Wage Act, etc.  On Relevance of HR to Security Personnel: He said that security personnel have a duty to protect, respect, promote and ensure human rights of every person they deal with regardless of who they are. they also have the potential to limit the human rights of people in the cause of the operations. Because of this, an understanding of human rights is important to them.

When deciding to act and limit the rights of persons, security personnel must always apply the PLAN Principle:  P: proportionality: only use the minimum force or action that is necessary to solve the situation

L: Legality: all acts should be done within the ambits of the laws

A: Accountability: act ethical way knowing that you’d be accountable for your actions

N: Necessity: Only act when it is necessary to act

Human Rights in times of Civil Emergency and Armed Conflict: Even during times of civil or public emergencies, “States of Emergency”, or armed conflict, all security personnel have a responsibility to respect and protect the basic human rights of all people. Rights like the Right to life, Freedom from torture; cruel inhuman or degrading, Treatment or punishment; and from medical or scientific experimentation, without free consent; Freedom from slavery or involuntary servitude; Right not to be imprisoned for contractual debt; Right not to be convicted or sentenced to a heavier penalty by virtue of retroactive criminal legislation; Right to recognition as a person before the law; Freedom of thought, conscience and religion; are not suspended during times of armed conflict. Also in times of war, international humanitarian laws (laws of war), are not suspended and are meant to protect people who are affected by war whether they are actively taking part in the hostilities or not. Company and private security personnel are considered non-combatants and will not participate in public emergencies.

International Standards on Business and Human Rights: Here he brought to their notice human rights instruments that are important to businesses to guide their operations.

  1. United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: They are the global standard for preventing and addressing the risk of adverse impacts on human rights involving business activity, and they provide the internationally-accepted framework for enhancing standards and practices with regard to business and human rights.

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights has enshrined in it the protect, respect and remedy framework where it is places a duty on states to protect the human rights of people, places a duty on companies to respect and a framework where both companies and governments to access remedy against human right infringements. 

  1. Principles for Responsible Contracts: They provide 10 key principles to help integrate the management of human rights risks into contract negotiations on investment projects between host State entities and foreign business investors.
  2. Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy (MNE Declaration): They are principles concerning multinational enterprises and social policy is the International Labour Organization (ILO). The aim of this Declaration is to encourage the positive contribution which multinational enterprises can make to economic and social progress and the realization of decent work for all, and to minimize and resolve the difficulties to which their various operations may give rise.
  3. OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises: They are recommendations addressed by governments to multinational enterprises operating in or from adhering countries. They provide non-binding principles and standards for responsible business conduct in a global context consistent with applicable laws and internationally recognised standards.
  4. UN Global Compact: they are derived from core United Nations conventions and declarations covering areas like :human rights, labour, environment, anti-corruption etc

Human Rights in the Extractive Industry: Consistent activities of extractive companies amongst communities raise the issues of their roles and responsibilities as it relates to human rights. He then spoke about the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VP) which has clear provisions on the responsibilities of companies operating in extractive industries. According to him, the VP helps companies identify human rights risks and take meaningful steps to address those risks in a manner that helps ensure respect for human rights in their operations.

He said that the Voluntary Principles provide a framework for companies to manage risk effectively by:

  • Conducting a comprehensive assessment of human rights risks associated with security
  • Engaging appropriately with public and private security service providers and surrounding communities in complex environments
  • Instituting human rights screenings of and trainings for public and private security forces
  • Developing systems for reporting and investigating allegations of human rights abuses

The VP concentrates most on the right to Life, arbitrary arrest or exile, Liberty and Security of Persons, and Freedom from Torture.

Monitoring and Reporting on Allegations and Violations of Human Rights: Companies have a corporate responsibility to provide, cooperate, and compensate persons for any impacts to their human rights using legitimate processes. They also have a corporate responsibility to report, monitor, and follow up on investigations that involve business related human rights violations and human rights violations committed in support of security operations that involve the use of their internal, private or public security providers. He listed the names of the various governmental and non-governmental groups that monitor human rights eg.  National human rights commission (NHRC).All security personnel working with the company have an individual and ethical responsibility to ensure that any human rights violations are reported to the appropriate authorities. He then took them through the steps to report on allegations or incidents of human rights.

Presentation of Certificates to the Participants by HOD of PGC Department:

CLOSING SESSION: The Executive Director AFRILAW appreciated them for making it to the training and then invited the Head of Department Private Guards Companies to present their certificates of participation.  After the presentation of certificate the programme ended at about 5:30 pm.

5.TRAINING WORKSHOP FOR SOUTH-WEST REGION (LAGOS, LAGOS STATE)

INTRODUCTION: This is the report of the South-West training workshop on the Nigeria Responsible Private Security Company Training being implemented by African Law Foundation (AFRILAW) in partnership with the NSCDC, DECAF, MSS Global with funding from ICoCA. The aim of the training is to continue to educate private security companies to be responsible and conform to best practices. The training was held on February 9th, 2023 at Governors Hotel, Ikeja Lagos State, and there are about twenty-eight (28) participants with twenty-three (23) Private PSC representatives, three (3) NSCDC officers and two (2) AFRILAW staff. 

OPENING SESSION AND REMARKS: The Workshop began by 11:00am with one of the private security executive leading the opening prayer and afterwards the National anthem was taken. The Executive Director of AFRILAW (Barr. Chinwike) welcomed all the private security executives in attendance and set out the agenda of the day as well as his opening speech. This was followed by the welcome remarks of the ICoCA representative which was done virtually, followed by the welcome remark of the DCAF representative which was also done virtually. The (Zone A) ALPSPN Chairman gave his welcome remark as well and afterwards, the ACG-PGC NSCDC who attended physically and represented the Commandant-General NSCDC also gave his goodwill remarks.

Group Picture of the Workshop participants with ACG-PGC

ACG-PGC giving his Welcome and Good will remarks

Cross Section of the participants during the workshop

 

The National Secretary of the ALPSPN giving her Goodwill Remark on behalf of the National President

The Zonal Chairman of ALPSPN giving his Goodwill Remarks

 

PRESENTATION 1: Human Rights Frameworks Relevant to Private Security Services.

The ED AFRILAW (Barr. Chinwike) took the first presentation. This presentation started by giving a background understanding of Human Rights as rights inherent to all human beings. Highlighting the core values of human rights and the types of human rights. The fundamental human rights provided for in Chapter 4 of the Nigerian Constitution was also discussed and differentiated form the fundamental objectives and directive principles provided for under Chapter 2 of the Constitution which are non-justiciable. The International/ Regional Instruments as well as the National Human Rights Laws in Nigeria was also discussed, pointing out the relevance of these laws to Private Security personnel. They were taught Human Rights in terms of Civil Emergency and Armed Conflicts. Rights that are not negotiable any under condition were highlighted, the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) which is the global standard for preventing and addressing the risk of adverse impacts on human rights involving business activity, and provides the internationally-accepted framework for enhancing standards and practices with regard to business and human rights was also discussed and the three pillars highlighted.

Human Rights in the Extractive Industry was a section taught in the presentation where the Voluntary Principles was introduced to the participants which is a guide to companies in conducting a comprehensive human rights risk assessment in their engagement with public and private security providers to ensure human rights are respected in the protection of company facilities and premises. Monitoring and Reporting of Allegations and Violations of Human Rights was also part of the presentation where it was taught that all security personnel’s working with the company have an individual and ethical responsibility to ensure that any human rights violations are reported to the appropriate authorities as well as stating the steps to be followed in reporting these allegations.  The session was very enlightening for the PSC executives as they proceeded to ask questions and make comments on the presentation.

Comment: The ACG-PGC NSCDC stated that guards cannot be allowed to form trade unions and added that the major issue is the enforcement of existing laws and a procedure for the termination of employment of guards. He further stated that the regulators are on the verge of enacting a code of conduct for the guards.

Question 1: One of the participants asked that in a situation where there is a signed agreement between the company and the guard which states that if a guard abandons his post, that would amount to an immediate termination. If such guards approaches the court is that right.

Answer: The ED AFRILAW responded that yes it would and it is part of the hazards of the business and not within the control of the company. He urged the company to educate the guards on the procedures when they intend to stop work with the company.

Question 2: Does Human Right apply separately to the people in the North/South as there have been so many incident.

Answer: The ED AFRILAW stated that Human Right is the same around the world.

Question 3: I am familiar with Human Right but we are living in a different type of country where most of the practices applicable internationally are not applicable here. I would like to know if there is a way for AFRILAW to liaise with the regulators and the Association to come up with best practices that will be applicable to Nigeria.

Comment: Another participant added that it will be good if AFRILAW liaises with the Regulators and the Association to come up with adaptable, practicable Human Right principles as so many principles that apply in developed countries does not apply in Nigeria and AFRILAW needs to take into consideration, culture, religion in coming up with these principles.

Question 4: In the PLAN what does A and N stand for?

Answer: Accountability and Necessity.

Comment: The participant who asked the above question, further stated that there is a guiding principle existing and it should be followed. He condemned companies who place just one guard in a post and advised that 2 guards should be stationed at a post at all times as when one guar is placed in a station for 24hrs, such company must be ready to bear the risk.

The next thing on the program agenda after the first presentation was the tea break where all executives were served with a light breakfast.

PRESENTATION 2:  Human Rights due Diligence and Impact Assessment by PSCs by ICOCA Rep

Mr. Giuseppe making his presentation

Mr. Giuseppe Scirocco representative of ICoCA took this presentation virtually. He began the presentation by first introducing ICoCA and the code. He explained what the organization does which includes Capacity Building, Monitoring, Certification and Handling complaints as well as how to become a member. He then delved into the presentation proper on why private security users care about human right due diligence. Stating sexual abuse, the reputational and financial damage of the story for the company adding that the biggest human rights risk in the industry is the treatment of private security personnel themselves citing Qatar, where guards are recruited through bonded labor, paying recruiting fees, having passports taken, earning very little, living in squalid conditions. The second part of the presentation was on conducting human rights risks and impact assessment. He started by explaining that it is the process to identify, understand, assess and address the adverse human rights impacts of a certain activity and starting early to conduct the human rights risk and impact assessment is key and is expected to be done before operations begins, which will provide a means for the company to be able to ‘prevent and mitigate’ adverse human rights impacts rather than ‘remedy’ them. The Phases of HRIAs was also discussed which includes; Planning and scoping, Data collection and baseline development, Impact analysis, Impact mitigation and management and Evaluation and reporting.

Question: Is there room for private companies to join ICoCA?

Answer: Yes there is, but there is a process and agencies such as MSS Global which can help facilitate the membership and certification process.

 

PRESENTATION 3: International Good Practices and Private Security and Human Rights and The Use of Force by DCAF Rep:

Immediately after the tea break, Ms. Gabrielle of  DCAF began her presentation virtually, she started by reviewing the three key international good practices relating to Private Security which are the Montreux Document which reaffirms the existing obligations of states under international law, the International Code of Conduct for private security service providers which articulates responsibilities of private security companies under human rights and international humanitarian law to ensure the responsible provision of private security services, particularly when operating in complex environments. It went further to introduce ICoCA as the governance and oversight mechanism of the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers (the “Code”) and the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights which covers Risk Assessment, Company relations with public safety suppliers and Company relations with private security providers. Ms. Gabby started the second part of her presentation by stating that the degree of use of force that a private security provider (PSP) should be able to exercise and the limitations on such use are fundamentally different from those applicable to law enforcement. Scenarios for use of force was given such as self-defense or defense of others, property defense and mass control. She further stated the legislative criteria which is provides that States are to impose limitations on the type of services a PSP can provide, the type of weapons such PSPs can possess and use, and the operational criteria they must meet.

Comment: The ACG-PGC stated that the guards are incapacitated as they are only allowed to blow whistles. They are not allowed to use any type of force. He added that it is often times the guards that are being molested as they are vulnerable.

Question 1: One of the participants first expressed her delight that the issue of use of force is being discussed by a foreigner and went ahead to ask when there is a situation where a trespasser comes into a compound guarded by a PS guard and both engage in a fight while trying to send him out of the compound. Then upon arrest, the guards are being detained or even asked to first provide treatment for the trespasser. Where do we begin from when the professionalism and the rights of our guards are being threatened?  Furthermore, what is the best practice in this case, when the law enforcement agencies who are supposed to protect the guards are not doing so.

Answer: Ms Gabby responded stating that there have to be a dialogue between PSCs and the public security agencies on how to protect them as well as support them. Although it is known that both agencies do not have a cordial relationship.

Comment:

  1. The ED AFRILAW stated that it was discovered in the baseline study that both agencies do not have a cordial relationship and this cooperation is fundamental. He further stated that the regulators as well as the association need to meet with them for collaboration.
  2. The ACG-PGC further added that they are aware but they are ready to discharge their duties and responsibilities as provided for and promised that in no time they would ensure that the PS guard would start bearing arms as they are already working on it.
  3. The zonal chairman also thanked the ACG and acknowledged their works citing the COVID-19 period where the President in his speech recognized the PSCs.
  4. Another participant added that as CEOs of these PSCs, they must inculcate in their training manual the use of force which must not be abused. They are to be trained on the use of force and the justification for it.

 

PRESENTATION 4: Gender Perspectives and Preventing and Addressing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) by PSCs

ARFILAW ED (Barr. Chinwike) took the presentation on Gender Perspectives and Preventing and Addressing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) by PSCs. He started by first defining key gender concepts, differentiated between equity and equality. He further discussed Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) as all violence that is committed against a person based on their perceived or actual sex and/or gender and being a gross violation of human rights, and is both a cause and a consequence of gender inequality. He further stated that the definition of SGBV includes physical, verbal or sexual violence against women and girls (VAWG); the victimization of people because of their masculine or feminine traits or sexual orientation; and any form of violence that stems from unequal power relations.  Actions that comprised of SGBV was also listed to include; Sexual threats, Exploitation, Humiliation, Assault, molestation and rape, Domestic violence and incest, Involuntary prostitution, Torture and/or insertion of objects into genital openings, Female Genital Cutting, Attempted rape. He discussed the need for the integrating gender perspective in PSC as it enables one to make women’s as well as men’s concerns and experiences an integral dimension of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes, so that women and men benefit equally, and inequality is not perpetuated and the guidelines for doing so. He enumerated and explained the Guidelines on Preventing and Addressing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) for PSCs as provided in the ICOCA Preventing and Addressing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA).

 

PRESENTATION 5: Functional Planning Support and Delivery of Security Operations Management System by PSCs, ICoCA Certification and 18788 for Nigeria PSCs by AFRILAW ED

AFRILAW ED on behalf of Mr. Jonah Eromon of the Africa Director of MSS Global UK who is unavoidably absent made a presentation using the PowerPoint Presentation prepared for the programe and used previously by Mr Jonah. He started with the introduction of MSS Global UK and as a key partner for the Programme. He explained the importance of effective management system and security operations planning for the PSCs in Nigeria, and the need to manage this risk to the clients, organization and stakeholders. He further explained how PSCs can achieve ICoCA certification in three simple steps and the benefits of ICoCA Certifications. He concluded by explaining kind of the services and support MSS Global can offer PSCs in Nigeria in getting ICoCA certification.

Closing Session of the Workshop/Departure: The Training Workshop came to a successful end by 6:30pm with a closing remark by AFRILAW ED after which, certificate of participation were presented to all participants. Then the closing prayer was led by one of the PSC executives, they had their lunch and departed.

6: TRAINING WORKSHOP FOR SOUTH-SOUTH REGION (PORT-HARCOURT , RIVERS STATE:

The Group Picture of the Training Workshop

 

INTRODUCTION: The South-South Regional training workshop was held on March 2, 2023 at Aldgate Congress Resort, Port-Harcourt, Rivers State with about Thirty (30) participants including Twenty-seven (27) PSCs representatives and NSCDC representatives. 

OPENING SESSION AND REMARKS: The program started at about 10: 30 am with the opening prayer said by one of the participants. The national anthem followed next. Welcome Remarks/Speech and Setting the Agenda by AFRILAW ED. AFRILAW ED. welcomed everyone present and introduced himself. He then went ahead to explain to that that AFRILAW is a national NGO specialized in security sector reforms. He said that since 2018, in partnership with the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC), it has been engaging with the private security industry.  He also introduced the AFRILAW’s programme partners including ICoCA, DCAF and MSS Global UK and their areas of private security works and services. He xplained the goal and objective of the programme and its benefits to PSCs in Nigeria. He appreciated them for coming and welcomed them asking them to be open minded assuring them that they would gain information that would be beneficial to them and thereafter set the agenda.

Goodwill Remarks by NSCDC Representative: He said that the topic of discuss in today’s program is a very crucial. He said that it become a disturbing occurrence among law enforcement and security personnel do not respect human rights. He then said that it is expected that at the end of this training their knowledge on human right and security would be improved and they’d become better for it. He said that this knowledge is sure to make a company better since the aim is to professionalize the industry. He finally welcomed everyone on behalf of the commandant general NSCDC.

AFRILAW ED making a speech during the workshop

Representative of HOD-PGC Rivers State Command making a speech during the workshop

PRESENTATION 1: Human Rights Frameworks Relevant To Private Security Service By AFRILAW ED:

 

Understanding Human Rights: AFRILAW ED, Barr. Chinwike Okereke asked them to share their knowledge on the concept of human rights. One of the participants said that human rights is the basic right human beings have to exist. He described the various rights a person can have. Going further in the conversation, Barr Okereke said that every human being has a right no matter who they are. He pointed out the principles that qualify human rights ie. Human rights core principles thus: Universal/alienable: this means that human rights are the same for everybody no matter their status. Inalienable on the other hand means that they cannot be taken away from anyone. Indivisible/ interdependent: no right can be enjoyed with the others. They all work together. He further described the various types of rights that exist: moral right, natural rights, contractual rights, legal rights, human rights and the categories of human rights such as the Civil and Political Rights, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and Environmental Rights and Development rights. He said that under the Universal Declaration on Human Rights there are 30 basic human rights and these 30 rights are where the different countries draw their rights from.

International/Regional Instruments and National HR Laws In Nigeria:

National Human Rights in Nigeria: He stated this section by saying that human rights are not absolute that there are things that can be done and those rights will be taken away. He said that in Chapter 4 of the Nigerian Constitution there are a group of rights enshrined therein which every Nigerian is entitled to but not absolutely and he listed and explained all the 10 fundamental human rights provided under the Nigeria constitution.The fundamental right enforcement laws of Nigeria empower the state high court to prosecute fundamental rights and states that human rights grievances may be brought to the state high court. He introduced them to the various international human rights laws. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR); Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR); Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) and the First Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, make up the international bill of rights. He also introduced them to some regional human right instruments, but carefully pointed out that most of these documents have not been ratified in Nigeria, hence they do not have the force of law in Nigeria. On Nigeria Human Rights Laws, He listed the various human rights laws in existence in Nigeria and laid much emphasis on Nigeria Labour Act, 1971, Pensions Reform Act, National Minimum Wage Act, etc.

Relevance of HR to Security Personnel: he said that security personnel have a duty to protect, respect, promote and ensure human rights of every person they deal with regardless of who they are. they also have the potential to limit the human rights of people in the cause of the operations. Because of this, an understanding of human rights is important to them. When deciding to act and limit the rights of persons, security personnel must always apply the PLAN Principle:  P: proportionality: only use the minimum force or action that is necessary to solve the situation

L: Legality: all acts should be done within the ambits of the laws

A: Accountability: act ethical way knowing that you’d be accountable for your actions

N: Necessity: Only act when it is necessary to act.

Human Rights in times of Civil Emergency and Armed Conflict: Even during times of civil or public emergencies, “States of Emergency”, or armed conflict, all security personnel have a responsibility to respect and protect the basic human rights of all people. Rights like the Right to life, Freedom from torture; cruel inhuman or degrading, Treatment or punishment; and from medical or scientific experimentation, without free consent; Freedom from slavery or involuntary servitude; Right not to be imprisoned for contractual debt; Right not to be convicted or sentenced to a heavier penalty by virtue of retroactive criminal legislation; Right to recognition as a person before the law; Freedom of thought, conscience and religion; are not suspended during times of armed conflict. Also in times of war, international humanitarian laws (laws of war), are not suspended and are meant to protect people who are affected by war whether they are actively taking part in the hostilities or not. Company and private security personnel are considered non-combatants and will not participate in public emergencies.

International Standards on Business and Human Rights: Here he brought to their notice human rights instruments that are important to businesses to guide their operations such as the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, Principles for Responsible Contracts, Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy (MNE Declaration), and OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, and UN Global Compact..

Human Rights in the Extractive Industry: Consistent activities of extractive companies amongst communities raise the issues of their roles and responsibilities as it relates to human rights. He then spoke about the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VP) which has clear provisions on the responsibilities of companies operating in extractive industries. According to him, the VP helps companies identify human rights risks and take meaningful steps to address those risks in a manner that helps ensure respect for human rights in their operations. He said that the Voluntary Principles provide a framework for companies to manage risk effectively by Conducting a comprehensive assessment of human rights risks associated with security; engaging appropriately with public and private security service providers and surrounding communities in complex environments; Instituting human rights screenings of and trainings for public and private security forces; Developing systems for reporting and investigating allegations of human rights abuses. The VP concentrates most on the right to Life, arbitrary arrest or exile, Liberty and Security of Persons, and Freedom from Torture.

 Monitoring and Reporting on Allegations and Violations of HR: Companies have a corporate responsibility to provide, cooperate, and compensate persons for any impacts to their human rights using legitimate processes. They also have a corporate responsibility to report, monitor, and follow up on investigations that involve business related human rights violations and human rights violations committed in support of security operations that involve the use of their internal, private or public security providers. He listed the names of the various governmental and non-governmental groups that monitor human rights eg.  National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). All security personnel working with the company have an individual and ethical responsibility to ensure that any human rights violations are reported to the appropriate authorities. He then took them through the steps to report on allegations or incidents of human rights abuses. After the 1st presentation participants took a break for tea and also took a group photograph.

PRESENTATION 2 – International Good Practices and Private Security /Basic Principles Of The Use Of Force By PSCs By Gabrielle Prinklopilova

 

Ms Gabrielle making her presentation

She started by saying that there are three documents that regulate the operations of private security companies internationally. She said that she would play a short video to show how these three initiatives complement each other though they have differences.

The initiatives mentioned in the video include:

The Montreux Document (MD): the Montreux document clarifies the obligation of states to regulate the operations of Private Security Companies PSCs, and to share good practices. The International Code of Conduct for Private Security service Providers (ICoC): establishes standards based on human right. Companies, states and civil society organizations join the association to ensure that the code is enforced generally.  The Voluntary Principle on security and human right: gives organizations in the commodity industry a road map to respect human right in their operations. According to the video, Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF), supports the vision of all three initiatives and its implementation. It also therefore jointly works with these initiatives to promote security, human rights and development.

 

Gabrielle then went ahead to buttress on the Montreux Document and the Voluntary Principles. The ICoC had been explained early. She said that it is important for private security companies to know of these initiatives because clients at this time demand more and more of compliance to standards. She said that though the Montreux Document doesn’t apply directly to Private Security Companies, it is in the interest of companies that standards are upheld and Montreux document provides the highest international standards.  She said that the MD doesn’t make any new set of rules but it extract already existing rights and standards regarding the obligation of states in business and human rights and makes a compendium of them in the MD. She further described that the document describes the obligation of the different kinds of states that are recognised under the MD: contracting state (companies that buys private security), territorial states (the country where the PSC operates) and the host state (ie the country where the PSC has its headquarters). There is a MD Forum where states can exchange with experts on governance and regulation of security and human rights.  

 

The Voluntary Principles: The VP is a principle to guide extractive companies on how to structure their operations in line with human rights. She said the principles are divided into three parts: Risk assessments; company relations with private security providers and company relations with public safety providers. She then referred them to the DCAF toolkit on the voluntary principle.

PRESENTATION 3: Human Rights and The Use Of Force BY Gabriella Prinklopilova:

 

She said that it is almost obvious the reason why regulations on the use of force. She said that at the base of regulation of the use of force is the protection of human rights. She said that the extent of use of force that PSCs are allowed to apply is limited and different from those that can be applied by public security providers for the following reasons:  The use of force by private security providers must be guided by the personal right of self-defence. They do not have a general mandate to ensure public security beyond the objectives set out in the private security contract, even when the state is the client.

She stated that Private security functions do not enjoy the legitimacy and oversight and accountability mechanisms applicable to state public security. Nor do they enjoy the same level of training and capacity building.  On when private security can use force, She said that PSCs can use force in the following instances: For the protection of self of others; For the protection of property in which case the use of lethal weapons for the protection of property is not proportionate; Mass Control. In this case it is best to report to the public security frameworks since they have better trainings for this. On the regulation of the use of force, she said that there should be provisions to pre-screen personnel; provide training on the use of force; register weapons. She said that additional provisions should be made on management and storage of weapons and firearms. States also should empower the judiciary to handle complaints on such issues and also provide judicial and non-judicial means for accountability and redress.  The DCAF has modules on the use of force and she encouraged them to visit the website for more resources.

 

GROUP WORK ON THE USE OF FORCE: The participants were given a case study to discuss and give their responses and opinions based on their understanding of use of force training.

Case Study: Community members have organized a protest in front of a mining site; they carry tree branches and seem very angry. A small group of protesters try to force entry into the site. Private security guards assigned to the mining site pushed them back using sticks. What do international norms good practices say about the use of force?

Some Responses and Contributions

This scenario is very similar to what happens on a daily basis of the participants. One of them said that in order to handle the situation they first build a relationship among community member and these people inform them of any potential attacks or protests and they plan towards keeping the gates locked and not allowing the protesters come in at all. However in a particular case they came threaten to pull the gates down if they didn’t open up. In this case they invite the public security they are working with to come in and take over here. And usually they begin to negotiate with the leaders of the communities and the protesters and though issues may not be resolved immediately, the immediate conflict is de-escalated.        

 

Participants making contributions during the workshop

Furthermore, another participant shared his own experience on the issues raised by the group work. He said that the clients who were trying to contract him told him that the area that he will be assigned has a history of protests and ask how he intends to approach the issue of repeated and recurrent protests. He stated that he’d handle the issue by 1) Local contenting/Engagement of local stakeholder and traditional institutions: He offered the leaders of the community a chance to provide about 90% of staff needed to guard the site. This was a tactic to ensure that community members felt a sense of belonging and therefore reduced the chances of protests. 2) the management of international oil companies should do more to improve the welfare of their staff and commit to corporate social responsibility since some of the host communities still live in abject poverty. The extent of force used by the private security company in the case study is proportional. He then went ahead to raise the issue of vigilante groups saying that the vigilante groups bear arms and because they are not adequately trained they begin to shoot in the air and because the protesters come prepared they too start shooting and this could lead to lose of lives. He said that there should be a means stated by law to regulate them for the general good of communities.

Contributing to that the ED, AFRILAW, said that its interesting that the subject of vigilante groups are brought up here. He said that vigilante groups are referred to as other forms of private security since they are essentially private though they enjoy the support of government being attached to the police. However, they are prone to excessive use of force, abuses etc. He said that issues of vigilante groups is a big issue and AFRILAW is committed to see that something is done to empower them to work better. He advised them to find a way to build corporation and good relationship with them just as they do with their regulators, and the police since they’d always meet with them. Ms. Gabrielle said in conclusion that the issue of vigilante is a big issue that would take greater time to discuss this. She however said that it’s great to see that the private security industry in Nigeria is willing to take the initiative to check and regulate the vigilante issues.

 

PRESENTATION 4: Human Rights Due Diligence And Impact Assessment By Pscs By AFRILAW ED

AFRILAW ED introduced the International Code of Conduct Association (ICoCA), and said that it came about as a result of the indiscriminate acts and the habitual abuse of human right by some private military and private security and private military groups. Upon that abuse, governments, industry and civil society came together to negotiate a way to better oversee the industry so that human rights and international humanitarian laws were respected. In other to do this they came up with the code which is a guide for private security operatives. He said that the code covers issues regarding the conduct of personnel covering the use of force, prevention pf sexual abuse and exploitatn, detention, apprehension etc, management and governance of private security organizations including company policies, selection and vetting of personnel, training, management of weapons and ammunition etc. having made up these guidelines, there needed to be a way to monitor the implementation of the code. The ICoCA was therefore formed in 2013 as a governance and oversight mechanism to ensure implementation of the Code. All companies who join undertake to be continually monitored by the associations. He then spoke about the associations and what it does, the components of government, CSOs, companies and observers. 

He said that the association’s purpose is to promote responsible private security, by strengthening human rights due diligence on private security providers. The association does this by capacity building, monitoring, certification and it also handles complaints. He said that in its role to provide capacity building it provides guidance including: human Rights Impact Assessment for Private Security Providers, Guidelines for Private Security Providers on Preventing and Addressing Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, developing and Operating Fair and Accessible Company Grievance Mechanisms that Offer Effective remedies online. Still within its capacity building function, the association also trains just as it is doing today and it also provides feedback where required. The association in its monitoring function, carries out in-country visits to the companies in the association, accepts reports from private security users, tracks companies and also monitors the activities of its other component through the CSOs within the association.

Certification: ICoCA’s certification scheme has third party audit and verification built in. It recognises a limited number of international standards and only accept certification to these standards from Certification bodies whom which it has done its own due diligence on. The problem with certification is that certificates can be bought from the street-corner, sometimes with no, or very little audit. ICoCA therefore only accept certification from certification bodies IAF/MLA accredited to ISO 18788, PSC.1 and ISO 28007, 18788 being the most commonly used land-based standard. Where there are no IAF accredited CBs available, ICoCA accepts evidence of certification to these standards from ISO17021accredited certification bodies that meet ICoCA competency requirements. He then explained the various category of companies i.e: certified, affiliate and transitional and the distinguishing factor between them. It’s important to look at the scope of ICoCA certification, which is often limited in geography, all this is transparent and available on its Member listing on the ICoCA website. The approaches applied by the association is an integrated approach, these things are intertwined and work together. He further explained the assistance and support MSS Global UK can provide interested PSCs in Nigeria through the African office at Lago, Lagos State.

Human Right Impact Assessment: AFRILAW ED stated that human right impact assessment is to identify, understand, access and address the adverse human rights impacts of certain activity. He explained that just as risk assessment checks the extent of risk attached to the activities of a company or its assignment; human right impact assessment check how the activities and assignments of a company impacts on human rights of people with whom they engage. He said that it is important for companies to pay attention to human rights because PSCs are essentially business concerns and their clients pay attention to it and it generally affects businesses negatively and positively. He gave different instances of corporations who have been affected by a human right slip. Also he gave a graphic picture of development of laws relating to human rights due diligence and impact assessment as it relates to businesses and corporations.  Also security issues are part of the sustainable goals especially goals 5, 8 and 16.

Conducting Human Rights Impact Assessment By PSCs: The question was when do we start? The response to this question is as soon as possible ideally before operation kicks off. Also this assessments would be reviewed regularly as other reviews are made. The phases of the development of the risk analysis include:Planning and scoping; Data collection and baseline development; Human right Impact analysis; Human right impact mitigation and management

Evaluation and reporting.

On Planning and Scoping: this he said involves getting to understand the operation, the context etc as it affects human rights in any aspect. Data collection involves gathering information and materials. Impact analysis: analyse the impacts identified to track the impact that stem either directly or indirectly from the operation. This also helps to determine the severity of the impact. He said that the key criteria to determine severity include: scope (number and profiles of people); scale (seriousness); remediability (possibility of restoring pre-existing state or an equivalent).

On Impact mitigation and management: during the impact mitigation and management the human rights impacts are prioritized on the basis of severity. An impact management plan is great to be developed in this stage to include assignment of roles, set timelines and budget, defining monitoring and reporting procedures. Evaluation and Reporting: at this stage organizations look back and analyse the effectiveness of the measures put in place. For further guidance on human right impact assessment, he referred them to ICoCA website. There were no questions for after the presentation; however AFRILAW ED was asked that anyone who needed any further clarification in the course of the training should contact him for further engagement and support were necessary.

 

Cross Section of the Participants during the workshop

 

PRESENTATION 5: PREVENTING AND ADDRESSING SEXUAL EXPLOITATION ABUSE BY PSC (PSEA) BY PSCS IN NIGERIA BY AFRILAW ED:

In this presentation, AFRILAW ED covered topics such as the roles and responsibilities of private security Operatives, Gender approach to private security service, Preventing and addressing sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment (PSEAH) and Dealing with vulnerable groups. He started by saying that issues found in this particular discussion are so important and he needs them to understand why companies pay attention to issues relating to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA). He said that the issues surrounding SEA usually have a ripple effect on companies since most clients do not want to be associated with such issues and the fact that they and their clients can lose business just for being associated with such things. He clarified terms like gender equity, gender equality etc. He said that to achieve equality must pay attention to difference that may not allow us participate equally. Finding ways to breach the gaps and make up these differences so that we can achieve equality. This is called equity. He said it is important to adopt a gender perspective to their operations. Doing this involves finding out how the activities and operations of a company affects the needs of men and women respectively. He suggests that this can be incorporated in the human rights impact analysis to ensure that the gender issues raised are put into consideration.

On Guidelines on Implementing Preventing Sexual Exploitation Abuse and Harassment (PSEA): The following guidelines were adopted from the ICoCA Guidelines on PSEAH.

  • Guideline 1: Declare and Disseminate PSEAH requirements in internal policies and process that are developed in consideration with personnel and adopt and implementation plan
  • Guideline 2: Explicitly prohibit Sexual Exploitation and Abuse your Code of Conduct and set out responsibility of employee with respect to it.
  • Guideline 3: Embed this in recruitment and performance appraisal process and establish a disciplinary procedure for response to violation
  • Guideline 4: Provide initial and recurrent training for the security personnel
  • Guideline 5: identify and address the risk in advance. Identify in advance the ability of partners and subcontractors to respond to and respect PSEAH.
  • Guideline 6: Adopt a Survivor Centred Approach
  • Guideline 7: consider providing adequate assistance to survivors of SEA to mitigate its harmful effects.  

 

Some Questions from the Participants: It is against human rights to disengage private security personnel without following due process, is it not a breach of human right for the personnel to abscond from their duty post and causing the business a loss of business. Answer: He said that PSCs should check their recruitment process and ensure that adequate procedures are followed. This will put the employee on check and help the PSC management to enforce discipline where necessary.

Closing Session: One of the participants gave a vote of thanks on behalf of the industry. NSCDC also appreciated the conveners of the training. The certificates of participation were presented and group lunch followed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Presentation of Certificates to the Participants by Rep of HOD-PGC:

 

 

The Programme Key Results and Achievements So Far:

  1. Increased awareness and knowledge of human right frameworks, ethics and code conducts relevant to private security services, existing obligation and international norms and best practices.
  2. About participated 117 PSCs gained specific expertise on inter-sectional thematic areas of use of force, ICOCA and its Certification process, ethics and the code of conduct for private security service providers, human rights risk impact assessment, gender equality and preventing sexual exploitation and abuse.
  3. The participated PSCs were assured of support for long-term development of a culture that respects and seeks to protect human rights within their company and how to address human rights challenges in complex environments.
  4. There is a good promotion and highlights of integrated and effective private security governance and management system and responsible private security services in Nigeria
  5. The participated PSCs learnt the benefits and how to become ICoCA member and get ICoCA certification in Nigeria and the level of support and services they can get from ICOCA and MSS Global in this regard.
  6. Some participated PSCs expressed interest to join ICOCA and getting ICoCA certification.
  7. The conduct of Courtesy Visit and 5 free Training Workshops for about 117 PSCs members of the Association of Licensed Private Security Practitioners of Nigeria (ALPSPN) in 5 states of Nigeria.
  8. Participants confirmed that the training content is relevant to their work and expect that it strengthens respect of human rights within their companies and operations.
  9. Some participated PSC expressed interest for AFRILAW support and partnership to conduct human rights risk impact assessment.
  10. The ICoCA Team visit and meeting with the Commandant-General (CG) of the NSCDC and the CGs public support to ICOCA and expression of willingness to work toward and ensure Nigeria membership of ICoCA.

 

RECOMMEDNATIONS/NEXT STEPS/FURTHER ACTION:

  1. Seek for funding and expand the training programme to other States in Nigeria. The pilot training programme was done in 5 out of 36 states in Nigeria for about 117 out of more than 1000 registered PSCs in Nigeria. 
  2. Develop and carry out a separated and specialized full day training programme on HRIA and PSEA for interested PSCs in Nigeria and support them in developing the required systems.
  3. Develop Legislative Advocacy Programme for PS Industry Law Reform. There is need for new PSI regulatory framework in Nigeria.
  4. Develop Nigeria ICOCA Membership Advocacy Programme to promote Nigeria official membership of ICoCA. There is a big support for Nigeria membership from NSCDC and ALPSPN and the need to build on the momentum.
  5. To encourage and provide necessary support to PSCs who expressed interest on conducting HRIA and developing some management and operational policies.
  6. To encourage and provide necessary support to PSCs who expressed interest on the opportunities of joining ICOCA and getting ICOCA Certification.
  7. Partner with NSCDC and ALPSPN to develop and launch a National Code of Conduct for PSCs in Nigeria.
  8. Partner with NSCDC and strengthen the capacity of the NSCDC in their Registration, Supervision, Monitoring and Documentation functions as the industry Regulator.

 

Submitted by AFRILAW:

 

 

Okereke Chinwike ESQ.

Executive Director

15/05/2023.

 

THE NARRATIVE REPORT

 

OF THE

 

PRIVATE SECURITY AND 2023 ELECTION IN NIGERIA PROJECT

 

 IMPLEMENTED BY

 AFRILAW

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH

ICOCA AND DCAF AND IN COLLABORATION WITH NSCDC AND ALPSPN

AND SUPPORTED BY UK FCDO

 

 

The Back Ground: Sequel to the identified roles and functions of the private security service providers in the electoral process and in improving election security across the globe and in Nigeria. These roles and functions of private security service providers in electoral process include among others the provision of security in government installations, political party premises and homes of political actors during elections; Complementing formal security in crowd control at rallies and other political meetings; providing frontline security response in the streets, estates and communities, etc; Complementing formal government security at election/polling venues; Offering security surveillance, intelligence/information to the government security at crime scenes and in cases of potential plans of crimes or electoral violence, deterring security breaches; and Complementing formal government security in body-guarding and protection of homes, offices and business premises of politicians/political figures.

However, private security service providers in Nigeria are not part of or participate in the activities of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) or their role and function in improving electoral process been recognized and appreciated by INEC and other key government electoral and security stakeholders in Nigeria. In this regard, the Private Security and Election in Nigeria Project, as the first ever private security related programme on electoral processes in Nigeria will greatly build the foundation and create roadmap for advancement of private security governance and regulatory reform in the electoral process in line with international norms and good practices in Nigeria during the 2023 election and thereafter.

Based on the foregoing, AFRILAW in partnership with International Code of Conduct Association (ICOCA), Switzerland in partnership of the Geneva Center for Security Sector Governance (DCAF), Switzerland with funding support from the UK FCDO and in collaboration with Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and Association of Licensed Private Security Practitioners of Nigeria (ALPSPN) initiated and implemented the The Private Security and Elections in Nigeria Project.

The Project Goal: The goal of the project is promoting election policy makers and stakeholders’ recognition, acceptance and support to private security participation and service delivery during elections in Nigeria and also build a road map for effective private security governance and regulatory reform in the electoral process in line with international norms and good practices in Nigeria during and after the 2023 elections

The Project Objectives: The key objectives of the project are; Convening political parties, policy makers, government stakeholders and CSOs to adopt resolutions on private security during elections; Ensuring that private security companies’ awareness and capacities to implement the resolutions are raised; Supporting CSOs monitoring of political parties, government and other stakeholders’ use of private security during 2023 elections and private security compliance with the resolutions with private security; and Holding a debrief with government stakeholders, political parties and civil society organisations and private security companies to compile the findings linked to private security and 2023 elections, with a particular focus on the need for regulatory reform and on the relevance of international good practice.

 1: THE 1-DAY NATIONAL STAKEHODERS FORUM ON PRIVATE SECURITY AND 2023 ELECTION IN NIGERIA

ARRIVAL & REGISTRATION: The workshop started by 9:00am with the registration of attendance by the participants which includes the election and private security policymakers and stakeholder’s including federal government Ministries, Departments and Agencies including the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and NSCDC, ALPSPN Representatives led by its National President, CSOs and Media Organizations. The workshop materials comprised of a pen, jotter and the program agenda for all the participants. We had in attendance a total of seventy-seven (77) participants who made up the stakeholders forum. Upon settling in, the moderator took to the stage to commence the program. The Workshop began by 9:30am with one of the participants leading the opening prayer and afterwards the National anthem was taken.

Welcome Speech/ Setting the Agenda by AFRILAW ED: The Executive Director of AFRILAW (Barr. Chinwike) welcomed all the stakeholders present. He stated in his speech that the event is the first ever national platform for private security and election stakeholders to dialogue on the roles and importance of private security service in the electoral process in Nigeria and build a roadmap for good private security governance and regulatory reform in line with international norms and good practices in Nigeria during and after the 2023 election. He added that the program is part of the Private Security and Elections in Nigeria Project been implemented by AFRILAW in collaboration with the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the Association of Licensed Private Security Practitioners of Nigeria (ALPSPN) in partnership with the Geneva Center for Security Sector Governance (DCAF) Switzerland, and the International Code of Conduct Association (ICoCA) Switzerland with funding support from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

Group Picture of the Participants

Members of the High Table

He pointed out some of the security challenges during election processes in Nigeria which include violent demonstrations and riots associated with political activities, disturbance or theft of electoral supplies and equipment, increased cases of thefts and robberies at homes and business premises, targeted attacks on leaders, communities and vulnerable groups, confrontations and fights, increased cases of gender based violence, difficulties in crowd control at rallies and other political meetings, emergence of militias and vigilante groups/political and criminal goons or gangs etc. He added that considering these challenges and the enormous violence it has become very imperative that the federal government, INEC and other key election stakeholders recognized, support and ensure the full and active participations of the private security companies in elections in Nigeria as neither the private security companies or their Association are part of or participate in the activities of INEC or the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) despite being the largest single security sector in Nigeria and in Africa.

He further identified some of the roles and functions provided by these private security companies which includes the provision of security in government installations, political party premises and homes of political actors during elections, complementing formal security in crowd control at rallies and other political meetings, providing frontline security response in the streets, estates and communities, complementing formal government security at election/polling venues, offering surveillance, intelligence/information to the government security at crimes scenes etc.

He concluded by stating that this National Stakeholders Forum on Private Security and 2023 Elections in Nigeria has provided a great opportunity to evaluate the election security challenges in Nigeria and consider the roles and importance of private security services in the electoral process in Nigeria and build a roadmap for good private security governance and regulatory reform in line with international norms and good practices in Nigeria during and after the 2023 election.

 

AFRILAW ED giving his Welcome Speech/Setting Agenda

Goodwill Remark by ICoCA/DCAF/Swiss Embassy:

The representative of ICoCA Mr Antonine who attended virtually gave his goodwill remarks. He started by thanking all the stakeholders present for participating and thanked AFRILAW for organizing the program as it is a step in the right direction in providing a great opportunity to consider the roles and importance of private security services in the electoral process in Nigeria and build a roadmap for good private security governance and regulatory reform in line with international norms and good practices. Ms Gabby the representative of DCAF who also attended virtually gave her goodwill remarks afterwards. She also thanked the stakeholders present and the ED AFRILAW for organizing and setting up this National Stakeholders Forum on Private Security and 2023 Election in Nigeria.

Swiss Embassy Representative giving his Goodwill Remarks

Afterwards the representative of the Swiss Embassy Mr Tunde Ajala who attended physically came up to give his goodwill remarks. He started also by thanking the organizers AFRILAW and the stakeholders present and also stated his interest in the discussions as it would be one which will educate him on the roles and importance of PSCs in the electoral process. He pointed out that this discuss would have been done before now but it is better late than never as the desired result which is to sensitize the stakeholders and create awareness to the general public will still be achieved in the course of this discuss.

Goodwill Remark by NDLEA/MOI/NHRC:

Mr. Ibrahim Adamu Ohida, the representative of NDLEA took the stage to give his goodwill remarks. He expressed the interest of the agency through the Chairman to partner with the organizers (AFRILAW), the association (ALPSPN) as well as the PSCs and to render necessary support to them in achieving the aim of the stakeholder’s forum. He further stated that he would be giving feedback to the agency on all that will be discussed which will enable them act accordingly.

Representative of the Minster of Interior Making a Speech during the event

Mr. Abdullahi Bayo-Tijani the representative of the Ministry of Interior (MOI) took the stage afterwards to give his goodwill remarks. He started by stating that the MOI has an existing thriving relationship and partnership with the organizers (AFRILAW) and would continue to do so and expressed interest of the agency to support the organizers as well as the Regulators (NSCDC) and the PSCs in every way possible in order to achieve a positive outcome.

Mr. Kabir Aliyu Elayo the representative of National Human Right Commission (NHRC) also gave his goodwill remarks, he expressed excitement being part of the forum discussing on Private Security and 2023 Election in Nigeria and the agency’s interest to support the organizer (AFRILAW).

IMG_2817

NDLEA Representative giving his Goodwill Remark

IMG_2800

Goodwill message from the Representative of NHRC

Opening Remarks/Speech by National President ALPSPN:

Mr. Chris Adigwu, the President of the Association of Licensed Private Security Practitioners of Nigeria (ALPSPN) took the stage to give his opening remarks/speech. He began by stating that the discussion is of utmost importance to the upcoming 2023 elections in Nigeria-the role of private security services and the importance of ensuring the safety and security of citizens, especially during elections, cannot be overstated. He pointed out that the various forms of electoral violence which has resulted in loss of life and property has necessitated the need for a robust security plan that can guarantee the safety of citizens and the integrity of the election process.

ALPSPN National President giving his Goodwill remarks

 

He continued by pointing out that the private security industry employs over 4 million personnel in both formal and informal sectors with youths making up almost 95% of employees in the sector. Also, the industry players brings with it a wealth of expertise, experience and resources that can help maintain order and prevent electoral violence.

He pointed out that the PSCs can provide critical support to existing security forces which comprises of the (Nigerian police, the NSCDC, the Armed forces i.e Army, navy and Air force and the State security services) who are the major agencies to monitor the elections to ensure that they are conducted in a peaceful, fair and transparent manner but are often stretched thin. They can ensure that the voting process is secure and the citizens are protected, provide intelligence gathering capabilities and technology that can be used to monitor the election process and detect any potential threats.

He further stated that the involvement of the PSCs in the electoral process can play a critical role in achieving and demonstrating commitment to democracy and the rule of law in Nigeria. He also listed some of the ways in which PSCs can complement the efforts of the state security actors in the 2023 elections in Nigeria which includes; emergency awareness trainings, emergency planning and management, risk assessment, monitoring and management and information gathering and sharing with the statutory agencies.

Others ways include providing crowd control during election-related events, managing large crowds at rallies or protests, ensuring that order is maintained and responding to any incidents or disturbances. Secure pooling stations, provide security for election officials to ensure their safety while they carry out their duties, provide monitoring and surveillance of the election process to detect and report any irregularities or security threats and report same to appropriate authorities.

He ended his speech by stating that although it is 10 days to the 2023 general elections, he wonders what role can be assigned to the PSCs. However, it is a big leap to know that the conversation has started and hope that the relevance of the PSCs can be well maximized in future elections.

 

 

Opening Remark/Speech and Declaring the Event Open by the Commandant General of NSCDC represented by the ACG-PGC NSCDC: 

Opening Remark/Speech and Declaring the Event Open by the Commandant General of NSCDC represented by the ACG-PGC NSCDC

Mr. Ferdinard Esiegwu the (ACG-PGC) representing the Commandant General of NSCDC began his speech by stating that PSCs has become an integral part of internal security. The NSCDC has the mandate to license, supervise and monitor PSCs as well as train all guards in the industry. He pointed out that the Corps has been able to sanitize the industry by boxing quackery to a corner and ensure timely renewal of their operating licenses thereby instilling confidence in the minds of the users of PSCs. The operators in the industry have also been unified under an umbrella known as the ALPSPN for ease of control and dissemination of information and they have been a good ally of the Corps in ensuring that standards are maintained.

In answering the question what role has the PSCs industry been playing in elections in Nigeria? He stated that as regulators, he can confirm to the stakeholders that PSCs has been playing significant roles in the electoral processes. Apart from being engaged in protecting critical national assets and infrastructure, they have been out giving information on the happenings around their various beats which transcends nooks and crannies of the nation. He added that the industry can also play additional roles that could assist the stakeholders in conducting a free, fair and credible elections if assigned. This is especially with the ongoing reforms in the industry which includes retraining the guards with a unified curriculum and a proposed private security industry bill that will capture all aspects of PSC in Nigeria. Further to this, he stated that the industry should be made to play additional roles due to the shortage of government paid security personnel that led to the emergence of PSCs in the first place. He pointed out that the electoral law forbids arms at polling units, therefore operatives of the PSCs could be used for polling unit duties to free some of the government paid agencies to provide better security around the polling units and other areas of the country.

He added that with the role the industry is playing in intelligence gathering, being involved in election duties may be a form of incentive to the industry to encourage them to do more and have a sense of belonging. Also the reforms in the industry will link all guards to their National Identity Number (NIN) which makes them traceable and can be relied upon just as regular government security personnel. The Directors of PSCs are also vetted appropriately before the issuance of the license and this is an assurance that they have impeccable character and can be relied upon.

He concluded by thanking the organizers AFRILAW for the event, the Association (ALPSPN), the partners DCAF and ICoCA for making the day a reality and giving all present the opportunity of being part of the people who recommended the inclusion of PSCs to achieve a more secured, free, fair and credible elections and declared the workshop open.

 

 

 

The Chairman’s Opening Remark/Speech:

FCT Zonal Chairman of ALPSPSN, North-Central Zone and the Chair of the Occasion making a speech

Major Gen. S.O Abdulkadir (Rtd), the FCT Zonal Chairman of ALPSPSN began his speech by first thanking everybody present and the organizers AFRILAW for the program. He added that it is time to come together as PSCs and make themselves visible as the Association needs to become relevant which must start with us present. He called on the Regulators to project PSCs as good ambassadors despite the pull between NSCDC and the Police on who to regulate the Association. He urged the Regulators to pride themselves on the services rendered by PSCs and with time become recognized by INEC. He thanked the National President of the Association who visited the office of the DSS and all the request made was granted which includes;

·         To train the guards on information and intelligence gathering

·         A desk officer was created to deal with all issues of the Association

·         And to incorporate the PSCs in all they do.

He pointed out that they did not wait on the Regulators but feedback has been given to them on what they have done and hope the Regulators give feedback to INEC as they may not be aware that the PSCs have a role to play. He added that the Regulators need to push for the PSCs to start bearing arms like their counterparts in Tanzania. Also, the need for synergy and information dissemination to the relevant stakeholders which includes the police. 

PRESENTATION 1: Key Paper Presentation On The Topic: The Roles And Importance Of Private Security Service In The Electoral Process In Nigeria.

Dr. Onyema Emmanuel, the ED of the Crime Free & Peace Initiative presenting the Key Paper.

He began his presentation by giving contextual definitions and then proceeded with the list of Nigerian electoral security threats which includes; election violent protests, election vandalism, election vandalism, political assassination, sponsored kidnapping, political arson, political affray, political murder. He gave a brief introduction of who the PSCs are and delved into the crux of the presentation which is the roles and importance of PSCs in electoral process which includes; to aid security state actors in operations and non-operation duties, political clandestine surveillance on political parties, candidates, electoral umpire critical infrastructure, events security surveys, threats detection and monitoring, risk advisory service on insiders and external threats, security canine services, searches on explosive and narcotic materials, security consultancy services on envisaged security threats, security route mapping and management.

He proceeded to use other countries as case studies to buttress the involvement of PSCs in electoral processes. First the United Kingdom, some of the involvements of PSCs includes; election security design, guiding of election sensitive materials, escort of election materials, assist in carrying background checks on political contestants, escort services, investigations on local security threats, security advisory matters. The second country discussed is the United States of America and how PSCs collaborates with the electoral body to partner with private sector entities to ensure credible elections.

He pointed out that there is a firm belief that security state actors lack all it takes to manage all the electoral process security issues and activities and the partnering bodies assist to reduce election risks at all levels, help to instill confidence in the electoral process, assist to train electoral body staff on basic security measures while on duty etc. The third country discussed is South Africa where he stated that PSCs offer security support service to government, the electoral body inclusive. They also bear arms and integrates better in their security architecture, offer guard, patrol, intelligence, surveillance, post-election security auditing services on election matters. Kenya was another country used as a case study and some of the roles of PSCs includes; to offer specialized security monitoring and risk management service, security intelligence support, sends instant security alerts on incidents, sends post incidents reports, sensitive materials distribution.

He concluded by stating that presently, PSCs are not considered in the Nigerian security electoral process and this is despite having the required security expertise, experience and operational networks to offer security services in the Nigeria electoral process. Also, PSCs because of its scope, should be included in the Nigerian electoral process security architecture as in many advanced and non-advanced countries they play important roles to guarantee credible elections.

Some of the recommendations highlighted by the presenter includes;

 

·         The private security practitioners and their services are obviously needed in the Nigeria electoral process security management

·         All the necessary result-oriented communications between the electoral process security stakeholders and the private security practitioners should be established

·         The private security practitioners should be included in the current elections security management etc.

Cross Section of the Participants

 

PRESENTATION 2: Presentation for Adoption the Draft Resolution for Good Private Security Governance during 2023 Elections in Nigeria.

The ED AFRILAW took this presentation, he began by stating that the Resolution draws from the Nigerian Private Guard Companies Act of 1986 and Private Guard Companies Regulation of 2018, the good practices of the Montreux Document and the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers. (The Code). The resolution was broken down and discussed thus:

Before The Election: The need for Planning was discussed as one of the ways of involvement of PSs in the election process before the election which includes; to cooperate with the public security agencies, monitoring, cooperating with the media, and right to work and access to workplace, liability planning, contingency and risk management plan and the right to vote of private security personnel. Training this will be done in coordination with the government, CSOs and media where PSCs would ensure that the personnel receives targeted training for the election context according to national law and international norms. Safety and health at work was also discussed as another way of involvement of PSCs before election.

During The Elections: Some of the modes of involvement of PSCs during the election that were discussed in the resolution includes: Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse. They will do this by providing sufficient safeguards against sexual exploitation and abuse according to their specific needs. Also by notifying authorities immediately in case of risk or occurrence of gender-based violence or abuse to themselves or third parties during elections. Use of Force was also discussed but will be strictly confined to the principle of self-defense applying the principles of necessity, proportionality and precaution. PSCs will actively deescalate violence in instances where they are required to complement the efforts of public security regarding crowd control. Detention and apprehension by PSC guards will be strictly to defend themselves or others against an imminent threat of violence or following an attack committed against them or property under their protection. The PSC guard must notify and hand over the person to the public security agency and record the circumstances of the incident.

After The Elections: SCs can be involved in incident reporting and remedies by contributing to effective grievance mechanisms, including prosecution and investigation of any incident during the elections.

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Cross Section of the Participants

Moderated Discussion Session: General Discussion on Theme of the Event: “Private Security Service and 2023 Election in Nigeria”.

This discussion was handled by Ndubuisi N. Nwokolo Partner/Chief Executive, Nextier SPD (Security, Peace and Development). He began this presentation premised on the presentations by the key speaker and the ED AFRILAW. First PLANNING this is the first step and mapping out what needs to be done is necessary pointing out the strength and weaknesses and risk areas. Also, to find out what will be presented to the office of the Inspector General of Police, and INEC.

Secondly, ADVOCAY this needs to start immediately, the PSCs needs to know their targets, who to speak to and how to speak to them. Create awareness that is needed to participate in the 2027 elections even though not the 2023 election. He added that the advocacy has to be done in synergy. INSURANCE was another area to be discussed on the covers to provide as a PSC. There is a need to take into account the type of security to be provided for and get insurance cover. LICENSING is another crucial area of discuss as well.

 

Question 1: HOW DO WE THINK WE CAN GET INVOLVED?

COMMENTS/RESPONSE:

a.       One of the participants stated that security is everybody’s activity and we should all be involved both at the Federal and State level. He suggested that first PSCs should engage with the State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC) at state level and then share the success story with INEC as this will now encourage them to partner with PSCs. He added that there is need to replicate the election best practices discussed with the State’s first partnering with SIEC.

b.      The ALPSPN National President responded to this stating that Nigeria is running a unitary system of government and the State electoral commission will not listen and due process needs to be followed to achieve the involvement of PSCs in the coming electoral process in 2027.

c.       The representative of MOI contributed to the discuss by pointing out that the existence of a legal framework is the first step and when there is none there will be a lot of criticisms and while this is the responsibility of the Regulators (NSCDC) which they have already started doing their part, there is a need to work on the personnel’s which portrays the image of the companies. So therefore, perception is key, competence and excellence so PSCs do not face rejections and once this is done then it is time to proceed with ADVOCACY.

d.      Another participant stated that although this discussion is late, a press statement can be issued as regards the involvement of PSCs in the coming elections. This will be done in collaboration with CSOs, and the Association stating what they can do in the coming elections.

e.       Another stated that the greatest challenge of the PSCs is profiling and securing pride as the guards are the product marketed to the public. He added that the way these guards are being treated by other security agencies such as the VIO is bad and this is because the profiling is bad and needs to be improved. He suggested that the government needs to give the PSCs pride and the guards as well.

f.        One of the participants who also contributed to the discuss stated that in the course of the discussion the Regulators (NSCDC) pointed out that they were not recognized in the beginning but this is not the situation today as they are seen working really hard and performing despite not carrying arms. He added that he believes that there is none of the polling unit where there won’t be a PSC guard on ground and this goes to say that they are already participating in the electoral process although not recognized officially. What needs to be done is to professionalize their duties, and serve as observers since the INEC chairman has mentioned that they do not want to see PSCs and state vigilantes during the election process.

g.      Another participant added that PSCs are no to work alone but must work with the CSOs to help create awareness and disseminate the necessary information to the general public on their behalf.

h.      The National President ALPSPN added that the INEC chairman did not talk about PSCs but just state vigilante groups. He stated that PSCs should be properly defined as they are registered to provide security services. Their aim is to make money while helping state actors carry out their responsibilities. So PSCs have specific roles to play, as they have the numbers and expertise if engaged by INEC. He added that PSCs are part of the essential workers with badges and plate numbers and the Association is working on training manuals for the guards which will be a unified one and the licensing regime will be rolled out and specified training units.

i.        One of the participants stated that in the interim, PSCs needs to ask INEC to give them powers for monitoring or observers. As well as know the roles they will be performing if they are to observe to arrest those obstructing the election process.

j.        Dr. Onyema the key paper presenter responded stating that every citizen has the power to arrest and handover to the appropriate authorities. He added that the guards are not to go to the polling units alone but in groups as these are the risks attached to the job and one must be conscious of their environment.

k.      The moderator added that PSCs are present to work and not to monitor or act as observers.

l.        Another participant stated that there are questions that PSCs are to ask and answer and they are; Do I have the Knowledge, Do I have the value, Do I have the Competence. Once as a PSC you can answer these questions, then you can approach INEC if they need security services. There must be a need interest from INEC as it is a business interest for the PSCs.   

Question 2: WILL THE GUARDS RECEIVE THE SAME TRAININGS REGARDLESS OF THE TYPE OF SECURITY SERVICES THEY RENDER?

COMMENTS/RESPONSE:

a.       The representative of NSCDC stated that they must start somewhere which is first the licensing which will come in badges.

b.      The representative of NDLEA added that training is very key and cannot be over-emphasized and we need to start now before preparing to approach INEC.

Question 3: HOW DO WE DO THE VETTING?

COMMENT/RESPONSE:

·         The representative of NSCDC stated that this information cannot be disclosed as it a security matter.

Question 4: WHAT ARE THE THREATS INVOLVED, IF YOU OWN A PSC AND AN ACTIVE MEMBER OF A POLITICAL PARTY?

COMMENT/REPONSE:

·         One of the participants stated that INEC should engage the PSCs as an Association and not by company as it would eliminate who owns the company and whether he belongs to a political party or not.

·         Another stated that another threat will be if there has been Human Right abuses and suggested that HR should be embedded in the training manuals.

·         The National President ALPSPSN added that the Association in collaboration with AFRILAW is currently carrying out trainings in all zones on HR. He stated that PSCs are a work in progress and pointing out that the licensing will be a strict one and offenders will be able to be tracked.

·         Another participant stated that if a member of a political party, you need to step down.

·         One of the participant responded that there is no need for the CEO to step down but can still give orders. He stated that professionalism must come in.

·         Another participant stated that it is not an offence to own a PSC and be a party member.

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Dr Ndubuisi Nwokolo of Nextier SDP moderating the General Discussion Session

 

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Participant contributing to the General Discussion

CLOSING SESSION: CLOSING REMARKS/DEPARTURE

The representative of MOI gave his closing remarks on behalf of the Minister by appreciating AFRILAW and the sponsors as there have been a lot of contributions and ideas which in collaboration with the Regulators will be used to come up with ways to make the Association and PSCs better.

The National President added that the Association is ready to collaborate with the CSOs to ensure that the desired results are achieved.

The Representative of NSCDC added that the PSCs can be trusted as they are an extension of the Corps and very son there would be a difference in the industry and also appealed to the CSOs to answer their call and give all necessary support when they are needed.

The Chairman also added that the PSCs have the capacity and the knowledge and the challenges faced have been captured by the Regulators and expressed certainty that the Regulators will escalate all that have been discussed to higher authorities. He urged the PSCs present to be their own ambassadors and look out for how best to improve and also have a benchmark to regulate fees. The ED AFRILAW also thanked all the stakeholders presents, her partners, ICoCA, DCAF, NSCDC, APSPSN for their contributions, the CSOs, the Media and all who made the forum a success. He informed them of the CSOs Monitoring Training Workshop where 10 CSOs have been selected to conduct monitoring in the selected states as well as the Regional sensitization Workshop which will be held in the FCT-Abuja, Lagos and Port-Harcourt. He added that a Report will be drafted on the evidence gathered during the monitoring process which will be launched by AFRILAW. Then the closing prayer was led by one of the participants and they proceeded for lunch and afterwards departed.

2: PRODUCTION AND DISSEMINATION OF THE RESOLUTION ON GOOD PRIVATE SECURITY GOVERNANCE DURING 2023 ELECTIONS IN NIGERIA PAMPHLETS

AFRILAW in consultation with her project partners developed the draft Resolution on Good Private Security Governance during 2023 Election in Nigeria which was adopted by the participants during the 1st National Stakeholders Forum was designed and printed by AFRILAW.

About 5000 copies of the Resolution on Good Private Security Governance during 2023 elections in Nigeria pamphlets were produced for dissemination to the election and private security policymakers and stakeholders including CSOs and Media organizations. The Resolution on Good Private Security Governance during 2023 elections in Nigeria pamphlets were used for the 4 PSC Regional Sensitization Workshops on Private Security and 2023 Elections in Nigeria and disseminated to the PSCs across the states.

 

 

3: ENGAGEMENT OF 10 CSOs FOR PRIVATE SECUIRTY AND 2023 ELECTIONS MONITORING

In other to achieve the objectives of supporting CSOs monitoring of political parties, government and other stakeholders use of private security during 2023 elections and private security compliance with the resolutions with private security, AFRILAW engaged the services of 10 CSOs representatives in 10 States of Nigeria namely Federal Capital Territory, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Delta, Bauchi, Lagos, Kano, Kaduna, Rivers and Enugu State. The CSOs would carry out their monitoring and assessment activities between March 10 and 20, 2023. The CSOs representatives includes COMPPART Foundation; New Nigeria Foundation; AFRILAW; Council for Affirmative Action (COFAA); LITE-Africa; Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD); Centre For Human Rights and Social Advancement (CEFSAN); Children and Young People Living In Peace (CYPLP); Keen and Care Initiative and Centre for Mmadu on Human Rights.

 

4: 1 DAY CSOs TRAINING WORKSHOP ON PRIVATE SECUIRTY AND 2023 ELECTIONS MONITORING IN ABUJA:

BACKGROUND: The workshop for Civil Society Organizations is in continuation of the commitment of African Law Foundation (AFRILAW), and its partners the International Code of Conduct Association (ICoCA), and the Geneva Center for Security Sector Governance (DCAF). The aim is to monitor the activities of private security companies during the 2023 election in Nigeria and the result of the finding would be used to engage with the relevant stakeholders to ensure that private security companies are fully engaged during elections in Nigeria.  The training workshop was held on February 16th 2023 at Topview Hotel, FCT-Abuja.

OPENING SESSION: Barr. Chinwike Okereke, welcomed everyone to the workshop and said that the project is a monitoring and survey kind of project where the monitoring team would look out the work of Private Security Companies do before, during and after election.  He said some categories and indicators would be developed to collect information. He said that the evidence gathered is important for policy advocacy. He further said that the project is a pilot project and he looks forward to when the CSOs Monitoring involvement of PSCs in Nigerian Elections would be fully accredited for the 36 states. He said the project is a month long period and at the end of the findings a report would be developed from it. He therefore welcomed everyone to the event.

MONITORING PRIVATE SECURITY COMPANIES DURING ELECTION TIME -DR. ANTONIE PERRET

Dr. Antonie Perret introduced himself as the Civil society Monitor at the International Code of Conduct Association (ICoCA). He said he has been working with the Private Security Companies (PSCs), for 15 years now. He worked in the Geneva Center for Security Sector Governance (DCAF), and now in ICoCA. Presently, his work is to coordinate the CSO pillar within ICoCA. He introduced ICoCA and the 3 pillars, the governance, industry and the CSO pillar and how they work with them to ensure good provision of security. He also spoke of their commitment in trainings and capacity development to ensure that companies have the tools to provide responsible security. Within the CSO pillar, he said that ICoCA engages with CSOs to carry out advocacy; monitoring; and ensure accountability. 

He said the issue at hand now is based on monitoring. He also said that as it relate to the issue which is monitoring election, ICoCA had only worked in Kenya last year to promote the importance of PSCs in elections and to highlight the risks attached in involving PSCs in elections.

This project however is a novel project which would look at the role of PSCs in election time and why it is important to see how PSCs are working at this time. He said that for years CSOs have usually taken part of monitoring elections and usually the reason is to access the integrity of any electioneering process. The need to monitor the elections in complex environments is important to ensure the integrity of such elections. Nigeria he said is obviously a complex environment therefore monitoring the election in Nigeria is therefore very important for the integrity of the election. 

There are already different ways of monitoring through local media; political parties; election officials and private security etc. The role of PSCs is however not being observed during elections. He said PSCs have in recent years been found everywhere even during election and before they are involved in security for all the stakeholders. He said this involvement may have a positive side eg: increase the credibility of the elections since they provide security, increase the trust, etc. On the other hand, he said they could also be used to intimidate the voters; engaged in different types of abuses.

As he moved on in this discussion he said that it is important to define PSCs. This he said is important to ensure that we are looking at the people we ought to look at. To help with that he said that the ICoCA website is a good place to access the different roles that PSCs place and what security services comprise of so that CSOs have the right people in focus. Having a focus on the different types of services that the industry could provide is important because it makes each participant aware of the different roles to monitor effectively. The fact that the company doesn’t refer to itself as a Private Security Company is not the issue. Setting the scope he said he would discuss: How/what to monitor, Needs to monitor, Rules to monitor and Roles of CSOs in monitoring elections

IMG_2799

CSOs Representatives listening during the presentation

Needs for Monitoring

1.      Electoral Integrity: he said he would like the participants to look at the positive part of this since PSCs can be a risk but also provide an advantage.

2.      Need for Public Safety: assess how PSCs contribute to public safety.

3.      Rule of Law: he said it is important to monitor to ensure that the rule of law is upheld.

4.      Potential Risks and Challenges: also its important to monitor to check the risks and challenges of PSCs in an election context.

This is important to check the risk of intimidation and manipulation and use of excessive force for PSCs. He also said CSOs in doing this would need to access and identify the risk not just for PSCs but also for themselves in doing this work.

5.      Lack of Accountability: it is important to monitor because PSCs are usually not accountable for their wrong doings. Also a lot of other things may be in focus during election such that the lack of accountability of PSCs may be neglected.

Key Elements to Prepare for and Embark on Monitoring

a.       Research and Observation

Be prepared on where, how, when you’d monitor. Identify who the PSCs are, their uniforms. He said it’s important to know who we are looking for in advance and where to monitor beforehand. It is a work of preparation.

b.      Exercise Moderation and Discretion

Pay attention to your own safety and try not to be the source of an incident.

c.       Document Incident

Where there is an incident then we need to document the incident. In this case it is important to be aware of the incident in the very least even if we don’t photograph.  Observers must pay attention to their own safety and avoid being the source of an incidence.

d.      Remain Objective and Impartial

CSOs and Media Role

·         CSOs and Media promote democratic oversight of the work of the security sector i.e. PSCs. The media can be important partners where we document and give them broadcast. Media and CSOs are therefore not enemies but partners of the state in this regard.

·         The reporting on PSCs can create public and political pressure to halt bad behavior promote transparency, accountability and respect of human right and even advocate for changes in regulation or the need for better governance of the sector.

TOOLS of Monitoring

He then spoke of monitoring PSCs:

1.      General Monitoring: He said he referred to this set of tools as general because they are different ways of monitoring which could be applied to the election period but is not election specific.

·         He said the Montreux Document and the International Code of Conduct for private security practitioners (ICoC) show how PSCs should be working at anytime, providing what the required standards and international best practices are for PSCs. He said that though these standards are not election specific they are provide useful guidance for election monitoring.

·         Also Onsight Inspection of PSCs is also important. He said that though not very effective as an association, the rappourt created among the industry would help for closer monitoring.

·         The Nigerian Legal framework for the industry can provide guidance for monitoring.

2.      Monitoring during Elections. This second set he said were specific to monitoring.

·         Coalition of Organizations: Creating a monitoring network that is put to work to monitor PSCs during election

·         Prepare a Calendar: Choose the election dates and political events to prepare monitoring dates. This should involve some assessment of the risks and other information. Visiting the place few days before is important to chat with the Private Security Operative about how they see the day, what they would be doing, etc.

·         Develop a Workplan

·         Surveys to gather information: these surveys can be used after the elections especially for election officials who wouldn’t answer questions during elections.

He then went ahead to give some monitoring examples:

i.                    Field Visits: Going to the area to observe PSCs activity and talk to community members about their experience with the PSCs.

ii.                  Document Review: where possible to review the relevant documents eg. Contract documents between companies and their clients during the election period.

iii.                Interviews: conduct interview with relevant stakeholders during, before and after election.

iv.                Data analysis: all data collected within this period is analysed

He said that the Code is used to supervise PSCs and it lists different obligations and what is expected of PSCs within the industry. He said the Code has 10 different obligations for PSCs to comply with. He said that the 1st five of these obligations can be specific to election period i.e.: the use of force, detention, apprehension, torture and sexual exploitation and abuse. He said the Code would be useful guide here; though the Code is not election specific.

Incident Report/ Reporting Details Needed

Ø  First:   Time and Location of the incident

Ø  Second:  identity and Nationality of any persons involved in the incident including their                             addresses and other contact details. This is important he said to find out if foreigners tried to influence elections.

Ø  Third:  Document injuries/damages sustained

Ø  Fourth: Circumstances leading up to the incident.

He said that facts are the focus here. On the incidence he said CSOs should be aware of such incident and report to the regulators, working together with them on this.

He appreciated the group for listening; introduced the group work and wished everyone a productive end of the day.

Responses To the Group Work/General Discussions/ Development Of Workplan:

Question for Group Work: Let’s say that during election a private security company has been hired by a political party or a candidate to provide security for their campaign event. CSO is concerned about the potential of the PSC to engage in acts of intimidation or violence which could undermine the fairness or credibility of the election. How the CSO could monitor the activities of the PSCs.

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The ED AFRILAW facilitating the Group Work Session

Group Work : CSOs tried to respond to this scenario with the following consideration and came up with the following resolutions.

What Should We Do To Monitor the Activities of the PSCs

        Identify the name/PSCs/engaged for the event: this would include identification of name, their registration and licensing status and even uniform to be able to attach faces to name.

        The event location

        The name, date and the time of the event

        Who’s organizing the events

        What kind of incidences

Types of Activities to Monitor/Survey

        Political Rallies/Meetings

        Man Guarding/Escort events

        Access control/Gate Keeping

        Logistics/transportations /Car Parking/ Traffic Control

        Others

Incidences/Violence/ Abuses to Consider

        Intimidation

        Harassment

        Use of excessive force

        Verbal Abuses

        Assaults occasioning grievous bodily harm

        Extortion

        Stealing/Connivance

        Unlawful Arrest/Detention

        Torture, Inhuman & degrading treatment

        Gender-based Violence/discrimination

Violations on Private Security Personnel:

Areas to Consider:

        Personal Allowance

        Training of Personnel

        Risk Exposure

        Cooperation and Collaboration with public Security Agencies

Respondents

        INEC/SIEC

        Political Parties/members/supporters

        Candidates/Aspirants

        Election Observers/monitors

        Electorate/Voters

        Community, religious Leaders or groups

        PSCs Personnel

        CSOs/Media/Professional Associations and Groups

        Persons with Disabilities (PWDs)

        NSCDC/Public Security Agencies

Note: On the election date apart from the persons who have been licensed to monitor on the election date, others can only basically observe while voting, or adopt secondary sources to obtain evidence on what happened on election date.

Workplan:  There was an agreement that the CSOs would be engaged from the 19th of February to 20th of March, 2023.

 

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Group Photograph of CSOs and AFRILAW ED

 

4: 1-DAY PSC REGIONAL SENSITIZATION WORKSHOP ON PRIVATE SECUIRTY AND 2023 ELECTIONS IN NIGERIA (3 STATES)

The key objective of this workshop is to sensitize private security companies on the roles and importance of private security service in the electoral process in Nigeria and the Good Private Security Governance and Practices during elections in Nigeria.

 

1.  REGIONAL SENSITIZATION TRANING WORKSHOP FOR FCT-ABUJA:

INTRODUCTION:

AFRILAW in line with the work plan and in collaboration with Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) and the Association of Licensed Private Security Practitioners of Nigeria (ALPSPN) in partnership with the Geneva Center for Security Sector Governance (DCAF) Switzerland, and the International Code of Conduct Association (ICoCA) Switzerland with funding support from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) held the first regional sensitization workshop for PSC representatives held on February 17th 2023 at TopView Hotel FCT-Abuja.

Group Picture of the Participants

ARRIVAL & REGISTRATION: The workshop started by 9:00am with the registration of attendance by the PSC guards and AFRILAW staff. The workshop materials comprised of a pen, jotter and the program agenda for all participants. We had in attendance a total of forty-two (42) participants which comprised twenty (20) PSCs representatives. Upon settling in, the moderator took to the stage to commence the program. The Workshop began by 11:00am with one of the participants leading the opening prayer and afterwards the National anthem was taken. The ED AFRILAW (Barr. Chinwike) welcomed all the PSC guards in attendance and set out the agenda of the day.

PRESENTATION 1: The Roles and Importance of Private Security Service in the Electoral Process in Nigeria.

The ED AFRILAW took this presentation, he began by giving a brief introduction of elections in Nigeria started in 1959 with different political parties and  proceeded to the election insecurity in the country where 2,175 incidences of violence in 2022 was recorded. 1,636 cases being non-electoral violence incidents while 339 were electoral violence incidents with 99 reported incidents. He pointed out that Nigeria’s south-west has the highest incidences of election violence followed by south-east 77; South-South 56; North-Central 54; North-West 32; and North-East 21. He further listed some of the election threats which includes; violent demonstrations and riots associated with political activities, disturbance or theft of electoral supplies and equipment, increased cases of thefts and robberies at homes and business premises, political assassinations and killings, targeted attacks on leaders, communities and vulnerable groups, confrontations and fights; e.g party nominations, political rallies, arson, targeted attacks and destructions of INEC properties and killing of electoral officers and adhoc personnel among others.

The key function of security agencies during election was discussed which includes; the protection of polling sites; protection of electoral materials and protection of candidates, voters and monitors. He stated that INEC is empowered to take a lead in the deployment of security agents for election duty, according to the provision of the Electoral Act 2022. The roles and functions of private security service providers which is the crux of the presentation was highlighted to include; provision of security in government installations, political party premises and homes of political actors during elections, complementing formal security in crowd control at rallies and other political meetings, providing frontline security response in the streets, estates and communities, etc, complementing formal government security at election/polling venues; offering security surveillance, intelligence/information to the government security at crime scenes and in cases of potential plans of crimes or electoral violence, deterring security breaches, complementing formal government security in body-guarding and protection of homes, offices and business premises of politicians/political figures. To further buttress the involvement of PSCs in electoral processes some selected Countries were used as case studies. These countries are the UK, US, South Africa and Kenya listing their roles in electoral processes in their respective countries.

Participants listening as the ED AFRILAW makes his presentation

The ED AFRILAW making presentation on Elections in Nigeria

Questions 1: What can AFRILAW do to key in the PSCs to participate in the elections especially as powers are given to the police and other agencies?

Response: The ED in response stated that AFRILAW is organizing the first ever election training, engaging stakeholders to discuss why PSCs are not involved in the election process and the training has triggered INEC to issues a press release that they are not interested in working with PSCs but he stated that it is the need for CSOs such as AFRILAW will continue to speak up. He added that trainings have been designed which has already commenced and 10 states have been selected where monitoring would be conducted during elections and afterwards reports would be given on what was observed. He also mentioned that a resolution was adopted on good practices for PSCs during elections and would be shared to the participants still to create the much-needed awareness.

Question 2: What are the Regulators doing to ensure that the benchmark of payment comes to fore and review the salaries of the guards?

Response: The ED stated that AFRILAW has been and is still advocating that the issue be looked into by the regulators to create this benchmark. He added that as regards condition of work, it is better done by the Association where they can come together to agree and impose sanctions for violations I collaboration with the regulators although this will be challenging.

The NSCDC representative added to this stating that for the issue of price, the regulators has no power in that regard to enforce any price on any PSC nut have powers to invite any company underpaying. He stated that evidence of quality service delivery to clients is paramount as these satisfied clients would also help advocate and push for the involvement of PSCs in the election process.

Participant asking questions/commenting after the first presentation

PRESENTATION 2: Presentation for Adoption the Draft Resolution for Good Private Security Governance during 2023 Elections in Nigeria.

The ED AFRILAW took this presentation, he began by stating that the Resolution draws from the Nigerian Private Guard Companies Act of 1986 and Private Guard Companies Regulation of 2018, the good practices of the Montreux Document and the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers. (The Code). The resolution was broken down and discussed thus:

Before The Election: The need for Planning was discussed as one of the ways of involvement of PSs in the election process before the election which includes; to cooperate with the public security agencies, monitoring, cooperating with the media, and right to work and access to workplace, liability planning, contingency and risk management plan and the right to vote of private security personnel. Training this will be done in coordination with the government, CSOs and media where PSCs would ensure that the personnel receives targeted training for the election context according to national law and international norms. Safety and health at work was also discussed as another way of involvement of PSCs before election.

During The Elections: Some of the modes of involvement of PSCs during the election that were discussed in the resolution includes: Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse. They will do this by providing sufficient safeguards against sexual exploitation and abuse according to their specific needs. Also by notifying authorities immediately in case of risk or occurrence of gender-based violence or abuse to themselves or third parties during elections. Use of Force was also discussed but will be strictly confined to the principle of self-defense applying the principles of necessity, proportionality and precaution. PSCs will actively deescalate violence in instances where they are required to complement the efforts of public security regarding crowd control. Detention and apprehension by PSC guards will be strictly to defend themselves or others against an imminent threat of violence or following an attack committed against them or property under their protection. The PSC guard must notify and hand over the person to the public security agency and record the circumstances of the incident.

After The Elections: PSCs can be involved in incident reporting and remedies by contributing to effective grievance mechanisms, including prosecution and investigation of any incident during the elections.

Closing Session of the Workshop/Departure: The Training Workshop came to a successful end by 1:30pm with a closing remark by AFRILAW ED. He urged the guards to adhere to all they had learnt and practice them, also to educate their members on all they had learnt. After which, copies of the resolution was presented to all who attended. Then the closing prayer was led by one of the PSC guards and they proceeded for lunch and departed afterwards.

Presentations of the Copies of the Resolution for Good Private Security Governance during 2023 Elections in Nigeria to the Participants the HOD-PGC NSCDC FCT-Command:

 

2. 1ST REGIONAL SENSITIZATION TRAINING WORKSHOP FOR LAGOS STATE:

INTRODUCTION: AFRILAW in line with the work plan and in collaboration with Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) and the Association of Licensed Private Security Practitioners of Nigeria (ALPSPN) in partnership with the Geneva Center for Security Sector Governance (DCAF) Switzerland, and the International Code of Conduct Association (ICoCA) Switzerland with funding support from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) held the first regional sensitization workshop for PSC representatives for Lagos State on February 20th 2023 at Ibis International Hotel, Ikeja Lagos State.

Group Picture of the participants

ARRIVAL & REGISTRATION: The workshop started by 10:00am with the registration of attendance by the PSC guards and AFRILAW staff. The workshop materials comprised of a pen, jotter and the program agenda for all participants. We had in attendance a total of Thirty-six (36) participants which comprised twenty-eight (28) PSCs representative. Upon settling in, the moderator took to the stage to commence the program.

OPENING SESSION: The Workshop began by 11:00am with one of the participants leading the opening prayer and afterwards the National anthem was taken. The ED AFRILAW (Barr. Chinwike) welcomed all the PSC executives in attendance and set out the agenda of the day. He informed the participants that the regional sensitization workshop is time bound and apologized for the short timing in which the invitation for the workshop was sent across to them. He also informed them that the sensitization program began in the FCT-Abuja after there was a Stakeholders forum organized by AFRILAW for the involvement/engagement of PSC guards in the electoral process thereby making them an integral part of the security architecture. He added that although the elections are around the corner the workshop is better late than never as its main purpose is to raise the necessary awareness to all stakeholders involved for the inclusion process to commence.  He also stated that the purpose of the sensitization training workshop is to give the PSCs feedback on the outcome of the concluded stakeholders form as well as the CSO monitoring training for the selected states that monitoring of elections will be conducted to find out evidence of PSC involvement in the election process.

The ED AFRILAW giving his welcome remarks and setting the agenda of the day

PRESENTATION 1: The Roles and Importance of Private Security Service in the Electoral Process in Nigeria.

The ED AFRILAW took this presentation, he began by giving a brief introduction of elections in Nigeria started in 1959 with different political parties and proceeded to the election insecurity in the country where 2,175 incidences of violence in 2022 was recorded. 1,636 cases being non-electoral violence incidents while 339 were electoral violence incidents with 99 reported incidents. He pointed out that Nigeria’s south-west has the highest incidences of election violence followed by south-east 77; South-South 56; North-Central 54; North-West 32; and North-East 21. He further listed some of the election threats which includes; violent demonstrations and riots associated with political activities, disturbance or theft of electoral supplies and equipment, increased cases of thefts and robberies at homes and business premises, political assassinations and killings, targeted attacks on leaders, communities and vulnerable groups, confrontations and fights; e.g party nominations, political rallies, arson, targeted attacks and destruction of INEC properties and killing of electoral officers and adhoc personnel among others.

The key function of security agencies during election was discussed which includes; the protection of polling sites; protection of electoral materials and protection of candidates, voters and monitors. He stated that INEC is empowered to take a lead in the deployment of security agents for election duty, according to the provision of the Electoral Act 2022. The roles and functions of private security service providers which is the crux of the presentation was highlighted to include; provision of security in government installations, political party premises and homes of political actors during elections, complementing formal security in crowd control at rallies and other political meetings, providing frontline security response in the streets, estates and communities, etc, complementing formal government security at election/polling venues; offering security surveillance, intelligence/information to the government security at crime scenes and in cases of potential plans of crimes or electoral violence, deterring security breaches, complementing formal government security in body-guarding and protection of homes, offices and business premises of politicians/political figures. To further buttress the involvement of PSCs in electoral processes some selected Countries were used as case studies. These countries are the UK, US, South Africa and Kenya listing their roles in electoral processes in their respective countries.

Cross Section of The Participants

PRESENTATION 2: Presentation for Adoption the Draft Resolution for Good Private Security Governance during 2023 Elections in Nigeria.

The ED AFRILAW took this presentation, he began by stating that the Resolution draws from the Nigerian Private Guard Companies Act of 1986 and Private Guard Companies Regulation of 2018, the good practices of the Montreux Document and the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers. (The Code). The resolution was broken down and discussed thus:

Before The Election: The need for Planning was discussed as one of the ways of involvement of PSs in the election process before the election which includes; to cooperate with the public security agencies, monitoring, cooperating with the media, and right to work and access to workplace, liability planning, contingency and risk management plan and the right to vote of private security personnel. Training this will be done in coordination with the government, CSOs and media where PSCs would ensure that the personnel receives targeted training for the election context according to national law and international norms. Safety and health at work was also discussed as another way of involvement of PSCs before election.

Cross Section of the Participants

During The Elections: Some of the modes of involvement of PSCs during the election that were discussed in the resolution includes: Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse. They will do this by providing sufficient safeguards against sexual exploitation and abuse according to their specific needs. Also by notifying authorities immediately in case of risk or occurrence of gender-based violence or abuse to themselves or third parties during elections. Use of Force was also discussed but will be strictly confined to the principle of self-defense applying the principles of necessity, proportionality and precaution. PSCs will actively deescalate violence in instances where they are required to complement the efforts of public security regarding crowd control. Detention and apprehension by PSC guards will be strictly to defend themselves or others against an imminent threat of violence or following an attack committed against them or property under their protection. The PSC guard must notify and hand over the person to the public security agency and record the circumstances of the incident.

After The Elections: PSCs can be involved in incident reporting and remedies by contributing to effective grievance mechanisms, including prosecution and investigation of any incident during the elections.

   

Cross Section of the Participants

Question 1: If a person in government disobeys a court judgment, is it possible to bring that person to court after the immunity protecting such official has ended?

Response: The ED AFRILAW stated that one of the key challenge of PSCs is that the nature of their job has been cut off by many groups and individuals but the Regulators are trying their best to protect the PSCs and came up with a regulation but it was faulted on so many grounds.

Question 2: Is Legion carrying the same license as PSCs so we do not fault existing norms?

Response: The ED AFRILAW in response stated that vigilante groups emanates from the state and it is only the court that can disband them. He added that it is why most States are pushing for state police.

Comment: The NSCDC Representative commented and encouraged AFRILAW and the Association for what they have and are still doing. He stated that if the police was the regulators of PSCs and not NSCDC, they would have accepted the use of PSCs in the electoral process. However, he urged AFRILAW to put more effort to push that the issue gets to the National Assembly and passed as a law pointing out that the regulators are faced with constraints from doing so.

Participants asking questions and commenting on the presentation

The HOD NSCDC Commenting after the presentation

CLOSING SESSION OF THE WORKSHOP/DEPARTURE: The Training Workshop came to a successful end by 1:30pm with a closing remark by AFRILAW ED. He urged the executives to adhere to all they had learnt and practice them, also to educate their guards on all they had learnt. After which, copies of the resolution was presented to all who attended.

Then the closing prayer was led by one of the PSC executive and they proceeded for lunch and departed afterwards.

Presentation of the Resolution for Good Private Security Governance during 2023 Elections in Nigeria by the HOD-PGC NSCDC Lagos Command:

 

 

 3. 2ND REGIONAL SENSITIZATION TRAINING WORKSHOP FOR LAGOS STATE:

INTRODUCTION: AFRILAW in line with the work plan and in collaboration with Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) and the Association of Licensed Private Security Practitioners of Nigeria (ALPSPN) in partnership with the Geneva Center for Security Sector Governance (DCAF) Switzerland, and the International Code of Conduct Association (ICoCA) Switzerland with funding support from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) held the second regional sensitization workshop for PSC representatives for Lagos State on March 6th, 2023 at Ibis International Hotel, Ikeja Lagos State.

ARRIVAL & REGISTRATION: The workshop started by 10:00am with the registration of attendance by the PSC guards and AFRILAW staff. The workshop materials comprised of a pen, jotter and the program agenda for all participants. We had in attendance a total of thirty-nine (39) participants which comprised twenty-seven (25) PSCs representatives. Upon settling in, the moderator took to the stage to commence the program.

Group Picture of the Participants

OPENING SESSION: The Workshop began by 11:00am with one of the participants leading the opening prayer and afterwards the National anthem was taken. The ED AFRILAW (Barr. Chinwike) welcomed all the PSC executives in attendance and set out the agenda of the day. He informed the participants that the regional sensitization workshop is time bound and apologized for the short timing in which the invitation for the workshop was sent across to them. He also informed them that the sensitization program began in the FCT-Abuja after there was a Stakeholders forum organized by AFRILAW for the involvement/engagement of PSC guards in the electoral process thereby making them an integral part of the security architecture. He added that although the elections are around the corner the workshop is better late than never as its main purpose is to raise the necessary awareness to all stakeholders involved for the inclusion process to commence.  He also stated that the purpose of the sensitization training workshop is to give the PSCs feedback on the outcome of the concluded stakeholders form as well as the CSO monitoring training for the selected states that monitoring of elections will be conducted to find out evidence of PSC involvement in the election process.

The ED AFRILAW welcoming the participants and setting the agenda

 

PRESENTATION 1: The Roles and Importance of Private Security Service in the Electoral Process in Nigeria.

The ED AFRILAW took this presentation, he began by giving a brief introduction of elections in Nigeria started in 1959 with different political parties and proceeded to the election insecurity in the country where 2,175 incidences of violence in 2022 was recorded. 1,636 cases being non-electoral violence incidents while 339 were electoral violence incidents with 99 reported incidents. He pointed out that Nigeria’s south-west has the highest incidences of election violence followed by south-east 77; South-South 56; North-Central 54; North-West 32; and North-East 21. He further listed some of the election threats which includes; violent demonstrations and riots associated with political activities, disturbance or theft of electoral supplies and equipment, increased cases of thefts and robberies at homes and business premises, political assassinations and killings, targeted attacks on leaders, communities and vulnerable groups, confrontations and fights; e.g party nominations, political rallies, arson, targeted attacks and destructions of INEC properties and killing of electoral officers and adhoc personnel among others.

The key function of security agencies during election was discussed which includes; the protection of polling sites; protection of electoral materials and protection of candidates, voters and monitors. He stated that INEC is empowered to take a lead in the deployment of security agents for election duty, according to the provision of the Electoral Act 2022. The roles and functions of private security service providers which is the crux of the presentation was highlighted to include; provision of security in government installations, political party premises and homes of political actors during elections, complementing formal security in crowd control at rallies and other political meetings, providing frontline security response in the streets, estates and communities, etc, complementing formal government security at election/polling venues; offering security surveillance, intelligence/information to the government security at crime scenes and in cases of potential plans of crimes or electoral violence, deterring security breaches, complementing formal government security in body-guarding and protection of homes, offices and business premises of politicians/political figures. To further buttress the involvement of PSCs in electoral processes some selected Countries were used as case studies. These countries are the UK, US, South Africa and Kenya listing their roles in electoral processes in their respective countries.

 

PRESENTATION 2: Presentation for Adoption the Draft Resolution for Good Private Security Governance during 2023 Elections in Nigeria:

The ED AFRILAW took this presentation, he began by stating that the Resolution draws from the Nigerian Private Guard Companies Act of 1986 and Private Guard Companies Regulation of 2018, the good practices of the Montreux Document and the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers. (The Code). The resolution was broken down and discussed thus:

Before The Election: The need for Planning was discussed as one of the ways of involvement of PSs in the election process before the election which includes; to cooperate with the public security agencies, monitoring, cooperating with the media, and right to work and access to workplace, liability planning, contingency and risk management plan and the right to vote of private security personnel. Training this will be done in coordination with the government, CSOs and media where PSCs would ensure that the personnel receives targeted training for the election context according to national law and international norms. Safety and health at work was also discussed as another way of involvement of PSCs before election.

Cross Section of the Participants

During The Elections: Some of the modes of involvement of PSCs during the election that were discussed in the resolution includes: Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse. They will do this by providing sufficient safeguards against sexual exploitation and abuse according to their specific needs. Also by notifying authorities immediately in case of risk or occurrence of gender-based violence or abuse to themselves or third parties during elections. Use of Force was also discussed but will be strictly confined to the principle of self-defense applying the principles of necessity, proportionality and precaution. PSCs will actively deescalate violence in instances where they are required to complement the efforts of public security regarding crowd control. Detention and apprehension by PSC guards will be strictly to defend themselves or others against an imminent threat of violence or following an attack committed against them or property under their protection. The PSC guard must notify and hand over the person to the public security agency and record the circumstances of the incident.

After The Elections: PSCs can be involved in incident reporting and remedies by contributing to effective grievance mechanisms, including prosecution and investigation of any incident during the elections.

 

COMMENTS/CONTRIBUTIONS:

1.      One of the participants stated that AFRILAW has the ears of the executives and the regulators and should help push for the PSCs to get a letter of coverage from the office of the Inspector General of police to be able to carry out their normal services even though not allowed to participate in the election process.

2.      Another participant added that why can’t the Regulators help the PSCs to push for this letter of coverage since the PSCs are hiding under the Regulators

3.      Another participant stated that waiting for the Regulators may take a lot of time as they are not even in a good relationship with the Police.

4.      Another participant stated that he believes that the purpose of this workshop is to ensure that the PSCs gets a seat at the table since they are not yet on that table as it is evident that the Police wants to remove the Regulators from the table.

5.      One of the participant stated that the immediate need of the PSCs is to get the coverage letter to carry out their normal services on Election Day as violating election protocols is an offence. He added that in this few days to elections something can still be done to find a way to protect their workers on the Election Day.

6.      Another participant put a question across to other PSC executives if they had a plan for the guards who will work on Election Day and those who will take over from them on Sunday. He added that he had personally gotten an approval from the IGs office so that his workers won’t be harassed.

7.      The ED AFRILAW stated that this discuss is better late than never and it is why AFRILAW is working with the Association to move the sector forward and added that he would put a call through to the ACG-PGC and the Association’s National President on the letter of coverage as it is a key outcome of today’s engagement.

8.      Another participant added that after he had worked in the embassy for years, he has discovered that most PSCs are below standard and urged AFRILAW to help bring PSCs up to standard.

9.      The ED AFRILAW in response stated that there are things that AFRILAW can do and there are things that can’t be done. He added that in the Baseline study conducted by AFRILAW is was discovered that the issue of being up to standard was one of the challenges of PSCs and trainings are currently ongoing on that to conform to best practices.

10.  Another participant added that if INEC would state the requirements for the use of PSCs in the coming elections, then they can key in to meet up with these requirements which will in turn push others to meet up with standards. 

11.  The NSCDC Representative added to the comments, he stated that the Regulators in collaboration with AFRILAW intends on doing far more that the issues that have been raised. He said they are pushing to incorporate PSCs into the electoral process, for it to be legislated upon and assented to so that nobody can contest it. He added that on the issue of permit he believes that something can be done about it.

Closing Session of the Workshop/Departure: The Training Workshop came to a successful end by 1:30pm with a closing remark by AFRILAW ED. He urged the executives to adhere to all they had learnt and practice them, also to educate their guards on all they had learnt. After which, copies of the resolution was presented to all who attended. Then the closing prayer was led by one of the PSC executive and they proceeded for lunch and departed afterwards.

Presentation of the Resolution for Good Private Security Governance during 2023 Elections in Nigeria by the HOD-PGC NSCDC Lagos Command:

    

4. REGIONAL SENSITIZATION TRAINING WORKSHOP FOR KANO STATE:

Group Picture of the Participants

INTRODUCTION: AFRILAW in line with the work plan and in collaboration with Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) and the Association of Licensed Private Security Practitioners of Nigeria (ALPSPN) in partnership with the Geneva Center for Security Sector Governance (DCAF) Switzerland, and the International Code of Conduct Association (ICoCA) Switzerland with funding support from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) held the regional sensitization workshop for PSC representatives in Kano held on March 8th  2023 at Porto Golf Hotel, Kano State.

ARRIVAL & REGISTARTION: The workshop started by 9:30am with the registration of attendance by the PSC guards and AFRILAW staff. The workshop materials comprised of a pen, jotter and the program agenda for all participants. We had in attendance a total of thirty-four (35) participants which comprised twenty-one (21) PSCs representatives. Upon settling in, the moderator took to the stage to commence the program.

OPENING SESSION: Barr. Chinwike ED AFRILAW welcomed participants, and further informed participants that the program is the first of its kind in Nigeria since the existence of private security in Nigeria. The program is about creating awareness to enable security operatives join AFRILAW in the advocacy of inclusion of security operatives in the security architecture in Nigeria.

AFRILAW ED making a presentation during the event

He further states that the program is a regional sensitization workshop on private security and 2023 election in Nigeria, some people think it’s late, but Barr Chinwike believe that it is better late than never. A similar project was carried out in Kenya and he saw the need to discuss with DCAF on the need to implement same in Nigeria. This is how the project started. The National President of the Security operators in Nigeria was informed of the idea which he welcomes and wrote a letter to INEC. That was how support was gotten from them. Nigeria stakeholders’ forum on private security was declared in Abuja, all stake holders were invited, the program was aired by media houses. Police operatives were invited but refused to attend the forum, rather a press release was released by the police in that regard. The representative of National Human Rights Commission and other participants at the forum asked the very nagging question of what can Private security personnel do in election?  Then who are stakeholders’ in elections in Nigeria? The question was answered by the whole house altogether. On behalf of AFRILAW, DCAF, ICOCA, with funding support from UK FCDO Barr Chinwike welcomed participants to the sensitization workshop and wished them a joyful stay.

GOODWILL MESSAGES:

KABIRU NASIRU ISAH (Chairman ALPSPN Kano):

All protocols observed, my name is Kabiru Nasir Isah, the Executive Director of Hydra Guards, the state chairman of ALSPN Kano chapter. It is indeed a great privilege to stand before you today as well. Private security plays a very vital role even though they are being under estimated but their participation cannot be over emphasized. One of the challenges faced are from Law as the law itself has limited participation of private security companies in security matters in Nigeria. Private security has been restricted to man guarding. However, man guarding is one over 5 of their duties. Escort and other important duties are involved. I urged our members in attendance to maintain decorum and apply the knowledge that is to be given to them during the training not only to obtain and dump the certificate.

HOD PGC NSCDC: After introducing himself, he appreciate God for being fit to attend the event and further appreciates his commandant Adamu Zakari Idris for giving him the opportunity to attend the program on his behalf. The program enables all participants to learn something new and important. Afri Law has been giving a round of Applause for the advocacy the render on behalf of Private security. According to him he has seen vision, good objectives and development in yesterday’s presentation. He urges participants to actualize their potential in the industry and train the trainer, as there are many companies in the state who are not part of the training.

According to him, some polling units never have security personnel during the last election, then how can even the question of what private security personnel can do arose? Karota have no training and decorum like private security personnel. He urges members to compliment whenever the need for their participation arose. Something new will be learnt but members need to be attentive. He appreciates AFRILAW for making the program possible.

PRESENTATION 1: THE ROLE AND IMPORTANCE OF PRIVATE SECURITY COMPANIES IN ELECTORAL PROCESS IN NIGERIA

ELECTIONS IN NIGERIA: It is a way of choosing representatives in various positions in Nigeria, both the federal, state and local level. The federal level consist of the president and the legislature (the legislature has two chambers i.e. the senate with 109 members and the House of Representatives with 360 members. All members of the legislature are being elected for a period of 4 years tenure. In 1959, the first election was held, thus, there have been no development in election petitions. Does the right to vote actually counts? Instances were ballot papers were snatched and thumb printed in the room by members of some political parties have occasioned times without number.

The total number of political parties in Nigeria is 18, as Nigeria practices multi-party system. Since elections were resumed the PDP has controlled the presidency up till 2015 when the APC took over.

ELECTION INSECURITY IN NIGERIA:

Ø  2, 175 incidences of election violence were recorded in 2022. 339 were election related while 1, 636 were non-election violence

ELECTION SECURITY THREATS IN NIGERIA:

Ø  Violent demonstration and riots associated with political activities

Ø  Increased cases of gender based violence

Ø  Disturbance or theft of electoral supplies and equipment

Ø  Increased cases of theft and robbers at homes and business places

Ø  Political assassinations and killings

Ø  Difficulties in crowd control at rallies and other political meetings

Ø  Emergence of militia and vigilante groups/pol and criminal goons or gangs

Ø  Overstretched capacity to provide to leaders and citizens during rallies and in other spaces

Ø  Increased criminal and gangs activities

Ø  Difficulties in crowd control

Ø  Increased cases of mental health challenges

Ø  Challenges of ethnicity

ATTACKS ON INEC OFFICES:

Ø  2019: Osun, Bayelsa, AkwaIbom, Imo

Ø  2020:Osun, Imo, Abia, Taraba, Anambra, Lagos, Ondo, Borno

Ø  2021:Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, Anambra, Abia, Kaduna, AkwaIbom

Ø  2022: Imo, Enugu, Ebonyi, Ogun, Osun

 

KEY FUNCTIONS OF THE SECURITY AGENTS DURING ELECTIONS

Ø  Protection of polling sites

Ø  INEC is empowered to take lead in the development of security agents for election duty

Ø  Inter-agency consultative committee on Election security (ICCES).

 

ROLES AND FUNCTIONS OF THE PRIVATE SECURITY SERVICE PROVIDERS

Ø  Provisions of security in government installations

Ø  Complementing formal security in crowd control at rallies and other political meetings

Ø  Providing frontline security response in the street, estates and communities etc.

Ø  Complementing formal government security at election/polling venues.

Ø  Complementing formal government security in body guarding and protection of homes, offices and business premises of politicians/political figures.

Ø  Complimenting formal government security in body guarding and protection of homes offices and business premises of politicians/political figures.

 

PSC IN ELECTORAL PROCESS IN OTHER COUNTRIES: UK, USA, SOUTH AFRICA AND KENYA:

1.      UK (KING COBRA GROUP, SECOM SECURITY SYSTEM, TITAN SECURITY)

·         Election security design

·         Guiding of election sensitive materials

·         Escort of election materials

·         Assist in carrying background checks on political contestants

·         Escort services

·         Investigations on local security threats

·         Security advisory matters

 

2.      US (Academi/Blackwater, ICTS International, & Northbridge Services Group)

 

·         The department of Homeland security collaborates with the electoral body to partner with private sector entities to ensure credible elections

·         Private entities include National Association of Officials

·         State security actors lack all it takes to manage all electoral security issues and activities.

·         The partnering bodies assist to reduce election risk at all levels.

·         Help to instill confidence in the electoral process.

·         Assist to train electoral body’s staff on basis of security measures while on duty.

 

3.      SOUTH AFRICA (Magma Security, Byers Security, Halt Security, SJC Security)

·         Offer security support service to government, the electoral body inclusive.

·         The PSC bear arms and integrates better in their security architecture.

·            Offer guard, patrol, intelligence, post election security auditing services on election matters.

4.      KENYA (CASTOR VALI AFRICA, WELLS FARGO &G4S)

·         Offers specialized security monitoring and risk management

·         Security intelligence support

·         Sends instant security alert on incidents

·         Sends post incidents report

·         Sensitive material distribution

 

COMMENTS, OBSERVATIONS, QUESTIONS & ANSWERS:

Ø  HOD: Is G4S an international company or only operates in KENYA

ü  It is an international company. There are many international companies that operate in Nigeria.

Ø  UMAR FARUK HARUNA/HALOGEN: Today’s topic is very interesting as we are already doing it, but we don’t know we are doing it, I came to understand that there is no way the government can do without us.

Ø  A private organization engage my company to pin down information to them, the private organization does not even have office in Kano. To me this is a source of generating money with commitment and hardworking staff.

Ø  Also even the NSCDS does not bear arms.

Ø  Some of our organizations do not have standard control rooms, how can you expect them to bear arms. This is my little contribution.

Ø  SUNDAY ADEYEMI/KINGS GUARDS: All that is being said today revolves around terms, structure and arm put. You can’t give what you don’t have. The security of Nigeria is given to a lion to drag the goat’s tail. A professor is a professor if he has something to offer. People in Nigeria take security as a second option. How many of us have school certificate as security operatives/experts. I’m a soldier by profession and joined the private company after retirement. Some people join because they can’t get job in Nigeria. 80% of guards in Nigeria are Illiterates, frustrated citizens and Jobless citizens. There is no vision, no mission and objectives before starting the business. He urges CEO’s of participants to know who to employ to man guard. Most guards untrained and not yet ripe to bear arms.

ü  I have said it times without number that the PSC’s need to do the needful. I always revolve around the poser, Are you people ready? And I think the answer is in the negative.

Ø  KABIRU NASIR ISAH: PSC are not included because of the following:

1.      Lack of capacity in terms of training and retraining. We need to invest in training of our staffs such as marketing staff, supervisors and so on.

2.      Pro recognition as a result of low advocacy from the government. Niger Guards is the first security company that came to Kano. People do not have awareness as a result of low advocacy. People have the mindset that only gate opening is the duty of the PS while we have gone far.

3.      The issue of legal framework. Even the law has deprived us from participating in private security. There is need to push and have acceptable data.

4.      Recognition and partnership. Training and participation is the key as it gives one something to take home.

5.      Need for courtesy call. To be abreast with local and international security agencies, legislators etc. There’s always need to blow the trumpet if not no one will do it for us. But there is need for data, as the custodians of the law will need same in order to make laws to our favor.

6.      A consolidated and comprehensive data will help us in making the courtesy call. We have to show the legislators that we have the numbers and we have the capacity, in order to succeed in being covered by the law.

Ø  MUSTAPHA SALEH/MIKIYA SECURITY & LOGISTICS: I believe what works in other countries may not work in Nigeria, but we have to answer so many question before pursuing the bill to allow us bear arms, we do not have confidence and belief in our clients, before taking risk of bearing arms and involving in electoral activities, we need to organize sensitization workshops and trainings before we involve ourselves in electoral process.

Ø  HOD: What is the goal of attending this program? My poser is, are you ready to achieve what has been said in this presentation? Except we want to deceive ourselves, how much is your salary structure? Will collecting N30, 000, N20, 000 from clients enable CEO’s to pay salary of their employees. PS need to speak in one voice. Let a minimum wage from clients be placed at least N50, 000, if not people will look down on you. If the minimum is set and another company is collecting less, then that is where the problem arises. One voice will make clients to respect you and will have no option than to engage one of the companies. He urges companies to lay a strong foundation in achieving the desired goal. And with the support of AFRILAW that can be addressed.

Ø  HABIBU HAMISU IBRAHIM/ HARVEST VENTURES LTD: The problem of PSC in Nigeria is training and remuneration. We are businessmen and we do it for profit. Remuneration given to the guards and the take home given by the clients is not sufficient. There is no law restricting the companies from taking a very low amount from clients. The current price is 20-30, 000, anything above that will make the comp loose clients. At the situation in the country, even if you collect 30k from client and give the security 20k how do you expect to give the security arm, what do you expect from such person? In my view, let’s concentrate on the welfare of the security rather than the issue of bearing arms as we have not reached that level. We are private in name, but we are not so private. Let’s do the basics before we start talking about election security and bearing of arms.

Ø  JERRY AKOJI EDACHE/BYE SECURITY LTD: If we are critiques of our own progress, then how do we progress? AFRILAW wants to upgrade us as we can see from this presentation. We need to pick up challenge in order to progress. Halogen employ people to make research in order to succeed. Someone is being paid N20, 000 and that person is expected to carry arm, please lets drop that idea. We have good ideas but how to implement it is a problem. And let’s implement the ideas one after the other but not randomly or all at the same time.

Ø  ABDULLAHI MAGAJI/PRUDENTIAL GUARDS: Barr is giving us an expo from where we are and how to upgrade ourselves. I think that’s our take home. My little contribution. Thank you.

Ø  GODWIN AGBAGA/KINGS GUARD: Private securities have been benefiting in other places, as such there is need for partnership with army, NSCDC, Police etc. in order to progress. Government organizations don’t like giving contracts to PSC. And even if they do once the PSC has connection with any political Party, then that company loses the contract.

ü  There is need for the PSC to be partisan.

ü  PSC need to be professional and upright.

ü  All consequences of PSC action need to be put in mind before taking any action.

Cross Sections of the Participants making contributions during the workshop

PRESENTATION 2: ON RESOLUTIONS FOR GOOD PRIVATE SECURITY GOVERNANCE DURING 2023 ELECTION IN NIGERIA: BY BARR CHINWIKE OKEREKE

BEFORE THE ELECTIONS

1.      Planning

2.      Training

3.      Safety & health at work

4.      Prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse

5.      Use of force

6.      Detention of persons

 

AFTER ELECTION

1.      Incident reporting and remedies

 

COMMENTS/OBSERVATIONS/QUESTIONS & ANSWERS:

VICTOR OJO/HALOGEN SECURITY: I appreciate AFRILAW for a wonderful presentation. No right or wrong answer in a gathering like this, it all depends on how we see it. I believe we need to be fully ready. I know what our guards can do. I know there capacity. There are guards that know how to operate devices, they are being paid 150, 000 – 170, 000. It is possible, when the time comes one can remove the dusa and use technology. In my opinion, only graduates should be part of PSC. There are other educated persons in the sector, some with masters etc.

Ø   HOD PGC NSCDC: It’s very key to give all necessary requested information to AFRILAW. Go for security meetings and pass information of what you’ve learnt from this workshop. Mind set to upgrade is what will help PSC. Let’s have hope in progress.

ü  AFRILAW and partners are in total support of NSCDC in terms of all their challenges.

ü  Private Security Industry Bill is in process. Afri Law and partners will support in possible ways it can.

ü  The industry has been expanded, man guarding is not even the most essential, almost 15 categories are included.

CLOSING SESSION: The program ended around 2:00pm, IEC materials were distributed to participants by HOD PSC NSCDC. Pictures were taken in the process of distribution of the IEC materials. Lunch was served and we call it a day.

 

Presentation of The Resolutions For Good Private Security Governance During 2023 Election In Nigeria By HOD-PGC NSCDC Kano State Command:

5.      CSOs MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT OF PRIVATE SECURITY SERVICES DURING 2023 ELECTIONS IN NIGERIA

AFRILAW engaged the services of the trained 10 CSOs representatives for the monitoring and assessment of PSCs services during the 2023 Elections in Nigeria in 10 states. The aim and objective of the exercise is to monitor and assess private security services and election policymakers and stakeholders’ use of private security before, during and after the 2023 elections including private security compliance with the Resolution for Good Private Security Governance during the 2023 Election in Nigeria.

 

The 10 CSO and their states of service include:

1.      COMPPART Foundation for Akwa-Ibom State

2.      New Nigeria Foundation for Lagos State

3.      AFRILAW for Enugu State

4.      Council for Affirmative Action (COFAA) for Bauchi State

5.      LITE-Africa for Delta State

6.      Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD) for Rivers State

7.      Centre For Human Rights and Social Advancement (CEFSAN) for Kano State

8.      Children and Young People Living In Peace (CYPLP) for Kaduna

9.      Keen and Care Initiative for Abuja/FCT

10.  Centre for Mmadu on Human Rights for Anambra State.

 

 

 6: PRODUCTION AND PRINITING OF MONITORING REPORT ON PRIVATE SECURITY AND 2023 ELECTIONS IN NIGERIA

Based on the monitoring and assessment activities conducted by the engaged 10 CSOs representatives in the 10 States which are Federal Capital Territory, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Delta, Bauchi, Lagos, Kano, Kaduna, Rivers and Enugu State, AFRILAW analyzed and developed the monitoring and assessment report titled: Private Security and Election in Nigeria (The Report of CSOs Monitoring and Assessment of Private Security Services During 2023 Elections in Nigeria). The areas and topics covered in the Monitoring and Assessment Report include Executive Summary, Background, Objectives and Methodology and Sections no Election Policymakers, Stakeholders and Private Security Service in the 2023 General Election; PSCs Compliance to Available Regulations For the Elections; The Findings and Recommendations. About 2000 copies of the CSOs Monitoring and Assessment Reports were produced for dissemination to all the election and private security policymakers and stakeholders including the CSOs, Media organizations and PSCs across the states in Nigeria. The CSOs Monitoring and Assessment Report was publicly presented during the 1-Day National Stakeholders Forum and Public Presentation of Report of Monitoring and Assessment of Private Security Services During 2023 Elections in Nigeria.

 7: NATIONAL STAKEHODERS FORUM REPORT& PUBLIC PRESENTATION OF REPORT OF MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT OF PRIVATE SECURITY SERVICES DURING 2023 ELECTION IN NIGERIA

INTRODUCTION:  This is the final stage of the project, the post-election debriefing forum and presentation of civil society monitoring report held on March 31st 2023 at TopView Hotel FCT-Abuja.

ARRIVAL & REGISTRATION: The workshop started by 9:00am with the registration of attendance by the participants which including the key election and private security policymakers and stakeholder’s especially the representatives of the National Chairman of INEC and Office of the National Security Adviser to the President (ONSA). Other participants during the forum include representatives of including federal government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, NSCDC, ALPSPN Representatives, CSOs and Media Organizations. The workshop materials comprised of a pen, jotter and the program agenda for all the participants. We had in attendance a total of sixty-four (64) participants who made up the stakeholders forum. Upon settling in, the moderator took to the stage to commence the program.

OPENING SESSION AND REMARKS: The Workshop began by 9:30am with one of the participants leading the opening prayer and afterwards the National anthem was taken.

Afterwards, the moderator welcomed the members of the high table which comprised of the NSCDC representative Deputy Commandant Sanya Oyesanya, the ALPSPN representative Dr. Clem Anaga, INEC representative Lebari Sam and ONSA representative Stephen Okwundu.

Welcome Speech/ Setting the Agenda by AFRILAW ED: The ED AFRILAW began his welcome speech by thanking all present stating that AFRILAW initiated the first stakeholder’s forum to tackle the challenge of why PSCs are not part of the election process when they have the highest manpower. AFRILAW is concerned that they are not properly engaged and so we discussed with our partners to find out how we can officially involve the PSCs in the engagement of the election process which birthed this project. We started with the first stakeholder forum where someone asked me what role PSCs is to play and after that program, he came back to say that now he is aware. We needed to find out the challenges and how it can be addressed and include them in the process.

The ED AFRILAW giving his Welcome Speech

AFRILAW commissioned 10 CSOs in 10 states to monitor what they do and that is the report we are here for today. This is because AFRILAW believes that they are doing something and we can prove it to the stakeholders especially INEC which has the power and final say on the involvement/engagement of PSCs in the election process.  He then welcomed everyone present again.

Goodwill Remark/Speech by the ACG-PGC NSCDC represented by Deputy Commandant Sanya Oyesanya: He started by welcoming everyone present and expressed the gratitude of the Commandant-General. He stated that he was here during the first stakeholder’s forum and found out that PSCs could play roles in the election process but there were limitations which prohibited them from playing the role. He further thanked AFRILAW and her International partners DCAF and ICoCA for helping to conduct this monitoring and still went further to organize this program within this short period of time.

The NSCDC Representative giving his Goodwill Remarks

He also added that he is happy that the stakeholder have extended as INEC representative is in attendance of today program which was not the case in the first stakeholder’s forum that was held.  He stated that he is eagerly waiting for the reports which he is sure will sway the INEC to involve PSCs in the election process. He also added that he is sure that his PSCs are properly vetted and they as regulators can always get a hold of them and hold them accountable and assured the stakeholders that there is no need to entertain fear in engaging them in not only the election process but in all security issues. He added that the Commandant-General says that there will be a call on CSOs and we hope that you will answer our call and give us all necessary supports. So I want to appreciate our International partners and AFRILAW who has been partnering us for years and has never disappointed us. The Corp is eagerly waiting for what the outcome will be.

Goodwill Remarks by National President of ALPSPN represented by Dr. Clem Anaga:

ALPSPSN Representative giving his Goodwill Remarks

He began by greeting all on the high table and all present. He then proceeded to appreciate the synergy between AFRILAW and the association. He stated that the president asked that he appreciates AFRILAW for the work they are doing adding that before the election there was a stakeholder’s forum and now after the elections there is another forum on the engagement of how PSCs will be inculcated into the election mainstream and having the highest guards there is the need to incorporate them into the security architecture. He added that he is sure this will get back to all relevant stakeholders.

Goodwill Remarks by INEC represented by Mr. Lebari Sam:

INEC Representative giving his Goodwill Remarks

He began by greeting everyone and started by saying that his remark is going directly to NSCDC and the rep of ONSA. He apologized on behalf of the Chairman of INEC for not making it to the first stakeholder forum but has directed him to attend that of today. He added that the Commission has had engagement with ALPSPN and NSCDC where they raised this issue of involvement in the election process but time was short and went further to advise them that the way they could get involved is by registering as a body corporate with the Commission as Observers. He also stated that elections are coming up in November and they can be a part of it and this can be done by the Association in collaboration with the regulators NSCDC as the Commission is in good terms with them. He apologized again for not having being present in the last program but promised tht the Commission will always be represented going forward.

Goodwill Remarks by ONSA represented by Mr. Stephen Okwundu.

ONSA Representative giving his Goodwill Remarks

He started by standing on existing protocol and first appreciated the PSCs for their roles in the overall security challenges faced in the Country. From time immemorial, security has been an issue until colonization when organized security sectors like the police and the PSCs were introduced. We are practicing community policing although not been practiced concretely but we are doing this directly or indirectly which means all of us are part of the security management he stated. He added that the NSA is very pleased with the security management especially with the ALPSPN and the NSCDC for their doggedness and in the spirit of community policing he thinks it is a good one for PSCs to be considered and involved in the election process. So as the INEC representative has said, we will go back and give the report to our authorities and I am sure there will be a good synergy that will come out of it.

 

 

Goodwill Remarks by Vice-Chairman FCT Zone ALPSPN Chief Ojealor Lucky

He started by stating that it has become important for us to take security issues seriously and at the moment a lot of the facilities of INEC is been manned by our colleagues. It is therefore important for us to bring this to the notice of INEC, for instance in the last election where some people were mandated to transport election materials when there are PSCs who have the manpower to do these things. It is time for the involvement of PSCs in the election process he reiterated.

FCT Zonal Vice Chairman ALPSPN giving his Goodwill Remarks

THE REVIEW OF THE REPORT OF CSOs MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT OF PRIVATE SECUIRTY SERVICES DURING 2023 ELECTIONS IN NIGERIA BY DR. AUGUSTIN BISINA:

He started the review by giving a brief background where he stated that he believes that PSCs to a large extent are already involved in the election process but it is a matter of whether they are officially engaged as from the report they were seen playing key roles. He then delved into the review where he stated that the report has about 48 pages, 2 key sections, and 14 sub sections and sub titles. It looks primarily at stakeholders and election policy makers in the electoral process and their use of PSCs and also looks at issues of security threats and violence in the elections. Also there has been a lot of issues on the aspect of PSCs adherence to good practices and respect for Human rights. He discussed briefly on the acknowledgment page of the report where AFRILAW appreciated all those who supported and worked with them to carry out the research in the 10 states as well as her funders. Then the Executive summary where they gave a background of why PSC involvement in the electoral process is important and an overview of why they are interested in going to the field to collect this data to evidence what exactly PSCs are doing already and services they are providing in the electoral process. Then the table of content, followed by the background where the author looked at the secondary data that exists, the political contexts in Nigeria starting from the 1999 democracy -2023 elections that was just concluded. Then also looked at election process and security threats in Nigeria where the author tried to look at all the elections conducted in Nigeria and the number of security incidences that have occurred, threats, violence, ballot box snatching among other issues and these incidences have been reoccurring even with the Electoral Act providing penalty for offenders but in most context the perpetrators of these acts are not brought to justice. He also looked at forms of the election security challenges, violence such as attack between political rivalries, attack on INEC facilities, party offices, aspirants etc and other issues where raised like vote buying.

Then discussed Private security governance in Nigeria where they looked at the regulatory framework and the laws guiding private security operations in Nigeria and they key laws are the Private Guards Act and the NSCDC who are the providers of the regulatory framework in terms of licensing and oversight functions. The research methodology is the quantitative and qualitative method (mixed approach) which mean they collected both numbers and statements from people they interviewed in the 10 states. In terms of analysis they adopted content analysis and a thematic approach and descriptive statistics and the data is valid because they triangulated the data to know if they tally or differ and it was found that they collaborate each other.

Gender was also looked at in the report where they talked to both male and female to find out their perspective and about 455 persons where interviewed and includes a good number of male but female where less than 50%, the interview was in the 10 states which comprised of Bauchi, Anambra, Rivers, Enugu, Kano, Lagos, FCT-Abuja, Akwa Ibom, Delta and Kaduna and the stakeholders, voter, NGOs, guards, observers and more where talked to in these states. The report states in a graphical form the different roles election stakeholder play in terms of NSCDC, INEC, Immigration, Medical personnel etc and what they do. Experience of violence incidences was also part of the report where the stakeholders, guards shared their experiences in their respective states in different forms. The report also interrogated who the perpetrators of these threats are who were more of political thugs, hoodlums, security personnel, highly placed political officials etc. It was also important to note that it was not in all states that PSC provided services for during elections in some states it was pre-election while in some it was during elections like in 7 of the states.

In Bauchi in terms of services there was a PSC that helped gather intelligence information for security agencies for rapid response and these are some of the functions PSCs provide that are not documented among many other functions. The author also relied strongly on the resolution for good private security governance in Nigeria which provide clear guidelines for PSC, stakeholders in terms of recognizing the critical roles that PSCs do in terms of monitoring, risk assessment and preventing incidences, protection and safeguards in terms of sexual based violence.

The findings and recommendations of the report was also reviewed. He added that a DSS officer stated that PSCs cannot be involved in the electoral process because the owners of these PSCs have party affiliations and partisan and when they come in there is a tendency that they can be influenced either by their owners or by virtue of their party affiliations and tent the credibility of the election process. And other opinions like that from an NSCDC officers who stated that it is very important to involve them by virtue of the work they do already and the fact that the public security agencies are not adequate to carry out the responsibility in all polling unit. Placing all arguments side by side as well as referencing. The concluding remark on the report is that the report is concise, presented in a readable format both graphic and text and written in a simple format and ever stakeholder needs to get a copy of the report.

PANEL DISCUSSION SESSION ON PRIVATE SECUIRTY SERVICES DURING 2023 ELECTIONS IN NIGERIA BY Barr. Peace Okeke, Dr, David Vereba and Ms. Josephine Alabi:

Dr. David Vereba who conducted monitoring in Rivers State began the discussion by first thanking the Consultant for the review of the report and all the activities conducted in the field where they had to reach out to 30 PSC guards and 20 stakeholders and Rivers had a peculiar experience. In the questionnaires there were questions that did not apply to the states and this is because PSC were not involved at all in the electoral process but only 2 PSC admitted that they had been involved in elections recently and the other 28 PSC stated that they were not involved in the election process in any form at all. At the stakeholders level we approached, INEC, CSOs, DSS, Police, NSCDC, SSS and some politicians and they collaborated the stories of the guards that they were not involved in the election process. The key question on if PSCs are needs to be involved in the election process brought in divergent views where some said that it will not be necessary the involve PSC in the electoral architecture because the owner the company or the guards might be political and when discharging their duty they will tend to be political as well and that is why the public securities are not allowed by law to be partisan. While majority of the stakeholders opined that PSCs are indispensable in the security architecture of the Country because the public security are not enough as some polling unit without any security and should definitely be involved. He added that in his opinion PSC are indispensable not just in elections but in the entire security architecture of the Country and it is time to continue to engage to make sure they are integrated.

The Penalist during their Panel Session

Ms. Josephine Alabi who conducted monitoring in the FCT-Abuja took the stage to discuss on the field work experience and she began by stating in 30 PSC guards and 20 stakeholders were interviewed using the questionnaires which made it interactive and some of the feedback by the stakeholders is that they like the work of PSC guards. They visited party offices and discovered more male at work than the female, step down trainings for the guards ad from the interviews we could see these guards both at estates, offices, banks where they are present as well as the public security officer which shows there is a cordial relationship between both. The stakeholders agreed that more needs to be done for PSCs in Nigeria.

Barr. Peace Okeke who conducted monitoring for Anambra State took over to say that in her state people were scared to discuss what happened during the elections, the guards were also reluctant to give out information’s. We discovered that most PSCs are relocating out of Anambra State because they do not have guns as they do not get jobs because of this and go for vigilante groups. The guards were also requesting for money before they give out information’s as well, the question that got a lot of comments was the one on harassment where most stated that they have been harassed on the job both verbally and emotionally. Also on the issue of gender we noticed that there are not enough women in the sector. Most of the people interviewed stated that they would want them involved in the security architecture of the state.

GENERAL DISCUSSIONS/QUESTIONS & ANSWERS:

·         One of the participant took the floor but first thanked AFRILAW and stated that he got confused at some point especially when it comes to the roles PSC are playing in the electoral process and their responsibilities. And for now we cannot say the PSC have a valid responsibility they take across the electoral process even if we see them doing roles that are not assigned to them legally, I feel it is something we need to question who they are doing these roles for. As we see instances where in polling unites we see PSC guards come with high personalities as it played out in Lagos. They take these responsibilities for their principal and not for the electoral process and even if we want to give them responsibilities or roles as observers, all they can do as observers is just to watch with no specific roles knowing that what observers do just like CSOs is to watch, write reports and make recommendations. We need to state and find out what roles we want them to play is it as observers or giving them tasks as monitors and what exactly will they be monitoring. We need to be specific on these things. I feel that one of the things we can do is to first conduct a risk assessment to identify the gaps, the challenges, the short and long term goals and a phase to see the kind of role they can play to ensure the credibility of the election process.

·         Another participant took the floor to state that he was present in the first stakeholder’s forum and PSCs are private companies who are in the business for money making and this is totally different from other security agencies who it is their fundamental objective. If INEC engage the services of the police, NSCDC etc I do not think it comes with a cost and in the last stakeholder’s forum the President of the ALPSPN stated clearly that if they would have any MoU with INEC it is clearly a business venture. So when it comes to business I feel there are issues that needs to be addressed, and it is important to note what the NSCDC are doing about this and if the PSCs are engaged and there is no monetary entitlement to it and what kind of MoU they are looking for from INEC.

·         Another participant took the floor and started by first applauding the organizations that organized this and came up with the report as it is a different dimension from what is obtainable. Any discussion we should be having must be backed by a legal framework that guides the operation of election in Nigeria. So first what those the Constitution say, what does the Electoral Act say when it comes to election security. If the answers to some of these questions is NO then it negates why we are here. Also there is no way we bring PSC guards into election that it will not affect their conduct as most of these people have political affiliations and there have been great improvement as the last elections was relatively peaceful compared to other elections and this means the public security agencies involves are doing well and this is the impact of training and retraining. If the public security agencies are not allowed to bear arms in the polling units then what exactly are PSC guards coming there to do? And also bringing them in will also affect the budget when we are already complaining that it is high.

·         Another participant took the floor and started by asking if there is a criteria for the selection of the 10 states the monitoring was conducted perhaps the hotspot States. Secondly, if we are talking of involving PSC guards in the election process, based on what we saw on the field where the armed security agencies in case of violence watched and did nothing, what will the PSC guards do differently when they are not armed? Also, some are saying that they be involved as Observers, if that is done dose it not defeat the purpose of why we are here today? My last question is for INEC before the elections we were given a security briefing and now that the election has ended will there be a de-brief to assess what has happened.

·         The ALPSPN representative responded to some of the questions and stated that in their sector there are women in operations and they are very gender sensitive and take it very seriously too. Again the representative of INEC when he gave his goodwill remarks stated that we should get back to our Regulatory body and the responsibility of the PSCs or what they need to do via the election process will be spelt out by the Regulatory body and it is not all body guards that are part of us, we are talking about licensed private security companies and there is need to differentiate us from body guards. Also, like was said most PSCs are moving away from Anambra and this is because they just go to the field with battons and we are having discussions on that. The issue of what are they going to be doing, this is not about money, and they protect lives and properties. Also every month PSCs submit security report to NSCDC, they have a part to play.

·         The Consultant Mr Augustin Bisina also responded to some of the questions. On the roles it has been addressed, by international practice anyone involved in security must have that legislative backing subject to INEC approval but going forward if the stakeholders decide on bringing them in, I think what they need to look at is what roles are they currently performing and where can they come in officially to make it legal. On if they should come in as Observers, I think the Constitution and the Electoral Act gives INEC the liberty to engage and work with security but an exception of the Army that have separate functions. I believe that liberty has given PSC a window to come in. Also society is dynamic as well as these electoral violence and some of these PSCs could have expertise on this. On what PSCs would have done differently, there are guidelines and rules that govern elections and the armed ones are not supposed to be around the polling unit, so I think they would have added value to the process.

·         The NSCDC representative also commented to clarify that body guards are not under our regulation and those licensed are vetted and we can vouch for them but we need CSOs when it comes to doing things that relate to legislation, we are working to make sure that it’s in line with the law if we agree and push for it as there is evidently a gap they need to fill. They will also be trained on the election process when engaged.

·         Another participant who’s CSOs conducted a research on electoral violence and non-violence and she stated that before now she never thought that PSCs could play a role in the election process and indicated interest in partnering with AFRILAW on their work as this is very commendable. She added that most of the public security agencies also engage in these potentials for violence such as bribe. So when it comes to the issue of PSC being partisan I am sure there would be guidelines and rules of engagement and we hope this gets to the level that there is legal framework backing it as it is very commendable development.

·         Dr. Vereba one of the panelist added to the answers already given, on the criteria of section of states, AFRILAW did look at conflict prone States and it was strategic as well. I also agree with the person who said we need to conduct a risk assessment to identify their exact roles, and if INEC has the mandate to engage security, is there need for more legislation and since the law is evolving we would gradually move as their involvement is a global best practice as most countries including Kenya are using them in conducting elections. The issue of cost I do not think it is a problem as there is a budget for this o INEC already and they only need to use from there.

·         Ms Josephine Alabi one of the panelist also commented and confirmed that there are PSC that are not registered and those that are not registered and we are talking about those registered.

·         ONSA representative also commented that based on the issue repeated by the reviewer and the panelist that it is in the purview of INEC to deploy security personnel, the law apportion roles to agencies and once such role is not assigned they cannot take up the role. We have inter-agency consultative committee on election (IACC) and it is Co-chaired by the INEC Chairman and the National Security Adviser who coordinates security agencies they complement each other. Sec 91 of the Electoral Act gives power to the Commissioner of police as the primary agency to provide security during elections and by extension, other sister agencies come in. they complement each other and this is just to clear the impression that INEC has the power to do so and I would like to assert that the PSCs are already a part of the electoral process and all we need to do is to mainstream their roles but it will be a gradual process to increase the participation.

 

PRESENTATION OF THE REPORT OF CSOs BY CHINWIKE OKEREKE CEO, AFRILAW:

Group Photograph of members of the high table with the report

He took the floor and first appreciated for staying till this time, he thanked everyone for their participation, stating that what AFRILAW intends is to lay a foundation for this official engagement and involvement of PSCs in the electoral process and the feedback we got from the key stakeholder INEC is that they are disposed to work with PSCs and of course there will be challenges and things are to be put in place first. We at AFRILAW took the bull by the horn to kick start this with the help of our partners, the Association and the Regulators to show that they are already playing a role but the main challenge is to mainstream and make it official to the relevant stakeholders. He then invited the NSCDC representative to come up and present the report and the mode of presentation and photographs with the reports. The Deputy- Commandant NSCDC on behalf of the Commandant-General NSCDC presented the report to the participants.

GROUP PHOTOGRAPH WITH REPORTS:

IMG_2789

Group Photograph of Participants with the report

CLOSING SESSION OF THE WORKSHOP/DEPARTURE: The program came to a successful end by 1:30pm with a closing remark by AFRILAW ED after which the closing prayer was led by one of the participants and they proceeded for lunch and departed afterwards.

 

Key Results and Achievements:

 

  1. The implementation of the first ever project on participation and engagement of PSCs in electoral process in Nigeria
  2. Increased election and private security policymakers and stakeholders’ awareness and general support for official participation and engagement of PSCs in electoral process in Nigeria
  3. The active participation of key election security policymakers and stakeholders especially the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Office of the National Security Adviser to the President (ONSA) who are the Co-Chairs of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES).
  4. The public support and recommendation of PSC official engagement and participation in electoral process in Nigeria by INEC and Office of the National Security Adviser to the President (ONSA).
  5. INEC and Office of the National Security Adviser to the President (ONSA) Representative requested that the NSCDC and ALPSPN should approached them for discussion on the process and modalities for formal engagement of PSC in elections in Nigeria.
  6. About 100 PSCs Representatives were trained and sensitized on Good Private Security Governance during 2023 Election in Nigeria and actively participated in the project activities.
  7. The adoption, production and dissemination of the Resolution on Good Private Security Governance during 2023 Election in Nigeria and their use for the Regional Sensitization Workshops for the PSCs.
  8. The conduct of the first ever monitoring and assessment of private security services during elections in Nigeria
  9. The CSOs monitoring and assessment of private security services during 2023 elections in Nigeria in 10 states in Nigeria and the production of the monitoring and assessment report and its public presentation and dissemination to policymakers and stakeholders.

 

RECOMMEDNATIONS/NEXT STEPS/FURTHER ACTION:

1.      Carry out more public awareness and stakeholder’s sensitization programme on the roles and benefits of formal PSC engagements during elections in Nigeria

2.      Develop and carry out Targeted PSCs and Election Security Training Programme in Nigeria especially during the forthcoming November 11, 2023 governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi states.

3.      Initiate a follow up activity on the process and modalities for formal engagement of PSC in elections in Nigeria with the INEC and Office of the National Security Adviser to the President (ONSA) especially during the forthcoming November 11, 2023 governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi states as a pilot.

4.      Conduct CSOs monitoring of PSCs services during the forthcoming November 11, 2023 governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi states.

 

 

 

Written and submitted by AFRILAW:

 

Okereke Chiniwke ESQ.

Executive Director

23

/05/2023

 

 

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