Human rights defender
Justus is a Human Rights Defender from Nigeria who works as the Executive Director for the International Human Rights and Equity Defense Foundation (I-REF). Justus, who is also a human rights lawyer, focuses on a range of different topics. By providing free legal services and advice to the people tries his organisation aims to improve the access to justice of the population and the public accountability. Through doing direct intervention for victims and families of police violence, Justus is working on the topic of public safety and security with a special focus on unlawful acts committed by the police. His organisation also actively trains its staff members and volunteers with a view of building their capacity.
Human rights violations in Nigeria
In Nigeria, a large part of the population has lost confidence in the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) because of their the poor attitude to work, unethical conduct and dire disregard for fundamental human rights. People are subject to enforced disappearances, torture, extortion and are unlawfully killed. Many unlawful killings appear to be extrajudicial executions, and the perpetrators usually go unpunished. The families of victims are often not able to seek justice, because they cannot pay for a lawyer or the court fees.
Threats and harassment
Since Justus engages with the police and other security agencies and to stop torture, extortion, unlawful arrests and other human rights violations, the NPF and security agencies see his work as a threat to how they deal with human rights. That is why Justus is facing threats and attacks, committed by the police.