On 1 April, the European Union, UNODC, and Nigeria launched the third phase of their counter-terrorism partnership project, which aims to support Nigeria to bring terrorists to justice and to counter violent extremism, with respect for the rule of law and human rights. The European Union has committed €8 million Euro for this three-year follow-on project to be implemented by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, in partnership with the Government of Nigeria and the United Nations Security Council's Counter Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED).
This initiative builds on the recently concluded €4.5 million Euro EU-funded partnership programme, which successfully delivered over 80 capacity building activities over a 23-month period. Under this project, UNODC and the EU provided extensive training to select groups of Nigerian investigators, legal advisors, defense attorneys, prosecutors, and judges, strengthened the capacity of criminal justice training institutions to deliver training on counter-terrorism, developed technical assistance tools and initiated focused assistance to support the unique criminal justice challenges facing Northeast Nigeria.
The new programme will focus on further strengthening national capacity to effectively investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate terrorism cases, with respect for the rule of law and human rights, and to counter violent extremism. In particular, this phase of the programme prioritizes support for Nigeria to deal with the unique terrorism-related criminal justice challenges it faces in Northeast Nigeria, the region most affected by Boko Haram.
The project was designed and is being implemented in close consultation with Nigerian counterparts and will support the implementation of the Nigerian Policy Framework and National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism, which was adopted in 2017.
The programme will partner with the Office of the National Security Adviser as well as with the Federal Ministry of Justice, Federal High Court, Department of State Services, Nigeria Police Force, National Judicial Institute, Nigerian Bar Association, and the Nigerian military, amongst others, to deliver in-depth training and on-going advisory support.
The EU, UNODC and CTED welcome this on-going partnership with Nigeria as an important step in global efforts against terrorism.