Lawyers Seek Investigation Into Allegations Of Rights Abuse In The Judiciary

Judges, NJC, NBA, investigationA group of lawyers are still kicking against the arrest of judges by the operatives of the Department of State Service (DSS) and the continued detention of Nigerians who have been granted bail by various courts.

The lawyers under the auspices of Lawyers in Defence of Democracy staged a protest on Monday in Abuja.

In a protest letter, the lawyers called on the National Judicial Council and the Chief Justice of Nigeria to direct all judges in the country not to hear any applications from the DSS and other agencies, except bail applications until there is obedience to all pending orders against them.

They alleged that there was continuous abuse of Nigeria and disregard for the rule of law and asked the National Human Rights Commission to investigate their claims.

Channels Television’s correspondent, Amaka Okafor, reports that the lawyers carrying placards were joined by musical groups.

The spokesman for the group, Kenga Ugochiyere, decried what he called disrespect for the judiciary by agencies of government, pointing out that it is not good for the country’s democracy.

“To ensure the independence of the judiciary the national judiciary must take a stance,” he stressed.

At the office of the National Human Rights Commission the group raised issues of abuse of court orders, citing persons that have remained in detention in spite of getting bail from the court.

After they tabled the issues, the Executive Secretary National Human Rights Commission, Professor Bem Angwe, assured them that the commission would look at their request and act accordingly.

This protest comes days after another group threw its weight behind the department of state services for the raid of judges‘ homes across the country.

NHRC Declares Port Harcourt Prisons Nigeria’s Most Congested

Bem Angwe, NHRC, West Africa, Human Rights,The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has declared the Port Harcourt Maximum  Security Prison with 3,430 Awaiting Trial inmates as the most congested in the country.

In a statement made available to Channels Television, the Executive Secretary of the Commission. Professor Bem Angwe, appealed to the Federal and Rivers state government to take urgent measures to address the congestion.

Professor Angwe added that decongesting the prison based in the Rivers State Capital will help reduce the increasing cases of attempted jail breaks.

NHRC Begins Probe On Shiite/ Army Clash

Army-Shiite-clashThe investigative panel set up by the NHRC on the clash between the Nigerian Army and members of the Shiite sect in Zaria, Kaduna State has commenced sitting in Abuja.

This was disclosed on Tuesday by the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights ‎Commission (NHRC), Professor Bem Angwe, in Nigeria’s capital.

At the inaugural sitting of the panel, Professor Angwe said that the aim of the hearing was to unravel the truth about the clash.

He also announced the receipt of 158 memos from 13 states, promising that all parties involved in the matter would be given a fair hearing.

In his introductory remarks at the session, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, confirmed his presence on the day of the clash.

He maintained that the Army acted within the Rules Of Engagement guiding their conduct, warning that the activities of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (popularly known as Shiite) would be worse than Boko Haram if left unchecked.

A lawyer, Mr Tony Ojukwu, who will lead the NHRC panel, said that the was panel expected to find out the immediate and remote causes of the violations.

He added that the panel would also find out those responsible for the December 12, 2015 clash and recommend remedies, if possible, for the violations in addition to finding out those who lost their lives and properties destroyed on both sides during the clash.

Benue Community Petitions Rights Agency Over Alleged Army Attack

Dickson-TarkighirResidents of North Bank area in Benue State have staged a protest at the National Human Rights Commission over an alleged army attack on their community over two weeks ago.

According to the leader of the group, Mr Dickson Tarkighir, who is also a member of the House of Representatives from Benue State, soldiers attached to the NASME Barracks attacked the community, beating and destroying property including cars and houses on the said date.

“We demand that your agency, which has been very outstanding on the issue of human rights, should investigate, prosecute and we are also seeking compensation,” Mr Tarkighir said while in a meeting with the leadership of the Commission on Tuesday.

The petitioners also alleged that the attack was triggered by an earlier confrontation with a soldier over a lady.

After the petition was received, the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Bem Angwe, assured the group of investigation into the matter.

“We will investigate these allegations and I want to assure you that the Federal Government is committed to protecting the rights of all Nigerians.

“The government is committed to providing redress when violation takes place,” he said, assuring the group of justice.

NHRC to Probe Immigration Recruitment Stampede

National-Human-Right-Commission-NHRC-logosThe National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, has promised to investigate the circumstances that led to the death of some applicants in last weekend’s nationwide recruitment by the Nigeria Immigration Service.

The commission made the pledge after receiving a petition from a civil society group, Citizens’ Advocacy for Social and Economic Rights, CASER, in Abuja.

The Executive Director of Citizen’s Advocacy for Social and Economic Rights, CASER, Frank Tietie, while presenting the petition, said that the Nigeria Immigration Service was wrong to have invited thousands of Nigerians for an aptitude test when they had only 4,500 vacancies.

The Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Professor Bem Angwe, while promising to unravel the cause of the stampede that led to the loss of lives in some the recruitment centers, described the death of the applicants as a sad event that should not be allowed to repeat itself.

The National Human Rights Commission having promised to thoroughly investigate the incident, also promised to recommend punishment for those found culpable in the recruitment exercise.

The expectations of thousands of graduates waiting at the recruitment centres to get employment  into the Nigeria Immigration Service were cut short as a result of a stampede at different venues of the interview.

Seven persons; five women and two men lost their lives during the incident.