Stories written by Toye Olori

Communication Blackout, Rights Abuses in Nigeria’s Emergency States

Residents in the three Nigerian states where a state of emergency has been declared are living in fear as food prices soar and government soldiers conduct door to door campaigns to root out terrorists.

Shell Case Shows Failure of Nigerian Judiciary

The decision by The Hague over Shell’s liability for polluting in the Niger Delta shows that justice is possible – but it is extremely hard to achieve if you are taking on a massive multinational, says Amnesty International’s Africa programme director Audrey Gaughran.

Fijabi: 'Divorce is not favourable to women. Education can help women to assert their rights, but the law has to make provision for it first before they can seek for such rights.' Credit:

NIGERIA: Divorce a Tool To Relegate Women

The high rate of divorce in Kano state, northern Nigeria has become a worrisome phenomenon. Six months ago, an organisation of widows and divorcees tried to stage a massive march through the city of Kano to draw attention to their situation.

RELIGION-NIGERIA: Poverty, Frustration Fuel Sectarian Violence

The sectarian violence which broke out in several parts of northern Nigeria at the end of July has more to do with popular anger and frustration with prevailing economic conditions than religion, say religious experts and Muslim groups. Concerns have also been raised about the reaction of security forces.

Olukoye (centre) at work in his Oshodi clinic. Credit:  Toye Olori/IPS

HEALTH-NIGERIA: Business Booming for Traditional Bone-Setters

Dressed in a simple buba (Nigerian wear) and black trousers on this particular morning, Lawal Olukole receives patients in a six by six foot consulting room made of plywood.

DEATH PENALTY-NIGERIA: 'Forced Confessions' Condemn Hundreds

Amnesty International says that hundreds of those awaiting execution on Nigeria's death row did not have fair trials and may therefore be innocent.

DEATH PENALTY-NIGERIA: MPs Shout Down Abolition Bill

Hopes of a reprieve for hundreds of death row inmates in Nigeria were dashed when MPs threw out a bill which would have commuted all death sentences to life imprisonment and down-graded robbery with violence to a non-capital crime.

DEATH PENALTY-NIGERIA: Big Debate May Herald End of Punishment

Three Nigerian MPs have stepped in to end years of political inertia over ending the death penalty in Africa's most populous nation, forcing a parliamentary debate and vote on their Private Members’ Bill for abolition.

ENVIRONMENT-NIGERIA: Rich in Oil, Dependent on Firewood

It is a paradox of note: the fact that while Nigerians live in the world's sixth-largest oil producer, most of them still rely on wood for their fuel.

NIGERIA: Rights Activists Await Break With Past

The return of democracy to Nigeria in 1999 after years of military dictatorship has not brought an end to extra-judicial killings; rather, the number may have doubled in what is now often a daily occurrence, says the Civil Liberties Organisation - a human rights group based in the financial hub of Lagos.

DEATH PENALTY-NIGERIA: Hope Held Out for Death Row Inmates

"You see the fear in their eyes. When someone has been on death row for 10 to 20 years and a strange face comes closer, he thinks the hangman is probably coming to take him to the gallows."

RIGHTS-NIGERIA: Grim, Overflowing Death Rows

Some 600 people are now crammed into Nigeria’s disease-infested death rows and the number is certain to rise with a justice system that critics say has been resisting reform since the end of military rule in 1999.

POPULATION-NIGERIA: ‘We Want Recount”

Nothing seems to stir up emotions more than census in Nigeria. That's why some Nigerians are still contesting the results of the 2006 census, announced by President Olusegun Obasanjo late last month.

NIGERIA: Oil-Hungry China to Help Revamp Railway

China is extending a hand into the Nigerian transport sector in a deal to help the Nigerian government put back on track the country's foundering railway system.

DEVELOPMENT-AFRICA: Think Global, Eat Local

It's certainly a logical suggestion: in an effort to make cocoa-producing countries in Africa less dependent on consumers abroad, why not increase domestic consumption of cocoa products?

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