NHRC Summons Navy Chief Over Alleged Rights Abuse

Ibok-Ete Ibas, NHRC, Rights Abuse, NavyThe National Human ‎Rights Commission (NHRC) has summoned the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, to appear before it on September 26.

He has been invited to answer to allegations of human rights violation levelled against him and the Managing Director of Naval Building and Construction Company Limited, Commodore Abdul Adamu.

In the summons made available to Channels Television on Wednesday, the Commission said it was in receipt of a complaint by the Managing Director of Lexy Nigeria Limited, Prince Leye Adetipe, against Vice Admiral Ibas and some staff of the Navy whom allegedly violated the rights of the complainant.

The NHRC implored the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, to direct the Navy Chief and the senior officers of the Nigerian Navy to appear before the Commission on the said date by 12 noon.

Prince Adetipe had in a petition, alleged that the Navy had terminated the company’s contract and engaged other building contractors at a construction site at the command of the Naval Building and Construction Company Ltd.

He also claimed that the Navy reneged on their joint venture agreement by refusing to declare the proceeds of the sale of the housing units and other developments, contrary to earlier signed agreement on May 19, 2015.

Adetipe accused the Navy of beating up some of their staff and other persons lawfully engaged by his company on February 19, 2016 and expressed worries that his life was in danger, as some naval ratings allegedly trailed his car on one occasion.

He has demanded for 10 billion Naira damages and asked the NHRC to grant him an injunction restraining the alleged violators from “tampering with me and members of the staff of the company and those legally engaged by my company at the site”.

NHRC Investigates Alleged Rights Violation By Nigerian Navy

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) says it will not hesitate to issue an interim order to halt the alleged illegal construction works at the command of the Naval Building and Construction Company Ltd., if the need arises after an on the spot assessment of the building site.

The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Professor Bem Angwe, gave the warning in Abuja Monday upon receiving an official petition from the Managing Director of Lexy Nigeria Limited, Prince Leye Adetipe.

In the petition, the alleged violators are listed as the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas and the Managing Director of Naval Building and Construction Company Limited, Commodore Abdul Adamu and staff of the Nigerian Navy.

The petitioner also alleged that the Navy violated their rights when they sacked them and engaged other building contractors and reneged on their joint venture agreement by refusing to declare the proceeds of the sale of the housing units and other developments, contrary to earlier signed agreement on May 19, 2015.

He also alleged that the Navy on February 19, 2016 beat up some of their staff and other persons lawfully engaged by his company and that his life was in danger, as some naval ratings allegedly trailed his car on one occasion.

In his prayers to the NHRC, Prince Adetipe demanded for 10 billion Naira damages.

He also urged the Commission to grant him an injunction restraining the alleged violators (listed above) from “tampering with me and members of the staff of the company and those legally engaged by my company at the site”.

Meanwhile, the Director Human Rights Monitoring, Mr Tony Ojukwu, has led a team of senior officials of the Commission for an “on the spot” assessment of the building site.

The inspection followed a directive by Professor Angwe, as a prelude to further investigations.

Rights Commission Probes Alleged Travel Restriction On Fayose

Bem-Angwe-ProfessorThe National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) says it will investigate the travel restriction allegedly placed on the Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose and one other Governor from the south-south by the Federal Government.

Executive Secretary of the Commission, Professor Bem Angwe, made the plan know on Monday while addressing members of the Ekiti State House of Assembly.

The lawmakers were in his office to submit a petition on the alleged placement of travel ban on Governor Fayose and the illegal arrest and detention for a member of the Ekiti State House of Assembly.

Ekiti State House of Assembly had petitioned the NHRC, National Assembly, Amnesty International, Embassies of the United States and the United Kingdom over the alleged plot by the Federal Government to prevent Governor Fayose from traveling outside Nigeria without getting clearance from the Department of State Service.

Governor Fayose is a member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party that has voice several criticisms against the current government of the All Progressives Congress.

Increasing Kidnapping Cases Worry Nigeria’s Rights Commission

Bem-Angwe-ProfessorThe National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has expressed concerns about the increasing cases of kidnapping in Nigeria particularly in the north central region.

At a meeting in Abuja on Friday with the Igbo and Catholic communities in Benue State, the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Professor Bem Angwe, said kidnapping of persons was a gross violation of peoples rights.

The group had come to submit a petition to the commission on the cases of kidnapping in the region.

Professor Angwe told them that the commission would invoke the nation’s laws to deal with persons caught violating the rights of others.

He said that the NHRC had in the recent past received similar petitions in relations to threats and kidnappings of some other residents of Benue State.

“I give the assurance that the National Human Rights Commission will take immediate action to redress this.

“I also want to let you know that as Nigerians you are free to live in any part of Nigeria and it becomes a responsibility of government at all levels to protect lives and property

“Every Nigerian is entitled to live a life without fear of molestation or any form of human rights abuse,” Professor Angwe stressed.

The Igbo community led by Mr Ikechukwu Obi, had petitioned the commission over the kidnap of 17 of their members in Gboko, Benue State, between 2013 and May 2016.

A group of Catholics also submitted a petition over the kidnap of the Vicar of Otukpo Catholic Diocese, Very Reverend Father John Adeyi who is still being held by his abductors since the April 24.

Rights Commission Vows To Punish Persons Abusing Children

Bem-Angwe-ProfessorThe National Human Rights Commission in Nigeria says it is prepared to deal with persons involved in the physical and emotional abuse of children.

The Executive Secretary of the commission, Professor Bem Angwe, gave the warning in Abuja on Tuesday while receiving a petition from the President of the Children’s Government in Nigeria and Cameroon, Zainab Mohammed.

Professor Angwe criticised the increasing cases of child abuse in Nigeria and promised that culprits would be made to face the consequences of their actions.

The National Human Rights Commission boss said that the commission was monitoring 48 cases of child abuse and the inhumane treatment being received by children who are out of the school system.

‎Zainab submitted the petition on behalf of Nigerian children.

She appealed to the commission to take up the case of a four-year old pupil who was allegedly raped by the proprietor of her school in Mararaba, Nasarawa State, in order to protect the rights of children to a decent living.

Zaria Clash: Shiites Vow Not to Appear Before NHRC Investigative Panel

Shiites- Islamic MovementMembers of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria on Thursday vowed not to appear before the National Human Rights Commission ( NHRC) panel investigating the violent clash between them and the Nigerian Army.

In a statement issued by their spokesman, Ibrahim Musa, and made available to Channels Television, the Shiites said the reason they will not appear before the panel was due to the fact that its impartiality has been compromised and therefore, will not be fair to them.

They also posited that the tenure of the commission’s governing council had expired as at the time of setting up of the Panel.

According to the statement, under the rules of the commission, the Executive Secretary of the commission lacks the constitutional powers to decide on petitions, cases and complaints of violations of human rights received from individuals or groups.

Though they had earlier agreed to appear before any panel set up by the Human Rights Commission, the Shiites claimed they were no longer comfortable with the methodology adopted by the commission in relation to the matter on ground.

According to the statement, a letter to that effect has already been sent to the Chairman, Panel of Investigation of the National Human Rights Commission, Mr Tony Ojukwu.

NHRC Sets Up Investigative Panel On Oil Spillage

NHRCThe National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has set up a special investigative panel to look into petitions and complaints of oil spillage and environmental degradation by international oil companies in Nigeria to bring indicted companies to book.

The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Professor Bem Angwe said that along with the findings of the panel, previous reports and recommendations made over environmental degradation in the country would be implemented forthwith.

He said clean and healthy environments are rights of Nigerians and any company violating them must be made to pay and will not only be made to answer domestically but also internationally.

The UNEP report on Ogoni land is one of the popular reports on the enormous degradation in that region of which the recommendations are yet to be implemented over six years on.

The Human Rights boss says this time the IOC will be compelled to strike a balance between business and human rights.

Prof. Angwe said that the panel has commenced hearing of one of the many petitions on oil spill and environmental degradation pending before them.

They have 30 days to investigate these complaints, uncover the oil companies responsible and make recommendations on sanctions.

Polluted water bodies and streams with dying sea food, contaminated farmlands and destroyed sources of livelihood are the consequences of oil spillage and environmental degradation which have become the regular complaint from communities in the south-south geopolitical zone of Nigeria.

International oil companies chiefly responsible for these pollutions have often not been held accountable for remediation or compensation to the affected communities over the years while the degradation continues.

 

Lake Chad Basin To Invest 91mln Euros In 5 Years To Tackle Challenges

Sanusi_Abdullahi_Lake_Chad_Basin
Executive Secretary of The Lake Chad Basin, Sanusi Abdullahi

A total of 91 million Euros have been earmarked as part of a five-year investment plan to confront the challenges of the Lake Chad Basin Commission.

The funds were agreed on at the 16th ordinary session of the Lake Chad Basin Commission Council of Ministers.

They met to deliberate how water resources in the Basin should be managed.

The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Mr Sanusi Abdullahi, told a gathering at Niger Republic on Saturday that the funds would be effectively utilised and channelled into the improvement of the rivers around Lake Chad Basin.

Genuine implementation of the plan is expected to engender a free flow of water to the Lake Chad.

“The plan will be implemented by the commission to address issues of poverty and environmental degradation and increase the level of regional cooperation and integration among member states,” Mr Abdullahi said.

Communities residing around the Lake Chad Basin have continued to suffer one challenge or the other. Express release of member states’ contributions is expected to help reduce these challenges.

The Director of Planning, Federal Ministry of Water Resources in Nigeria, Wakli Adamu, said that contribution and distribution formula had been agreed upon and adopted.

Rights Commission To Develop Guidelines For Detention Facilities Improvement

Ben Angwe ProfThe National Human Rights Commission in Nigeria has announced plans to develop guidelines for the improvement of detention facilities in police stations across the country.

The Executive Secretary of the commission, Professor Ben Angwe, announced the plan while presenting an audit report of its 2013 Police Station Visitation in Abuja on Tuesday.

He decried cases of human rights abuses in many detention facilities, especially police stations.

Professor Angwe promised that the findings of the report would be used to address issues of human rights abuses in police detention facilities.

The visitation to police stations was conducted in line with the national Human Rights Commission’s mandate to inspect prisons, police cells and other detention facilities to ascertain the condition of the facilities.

“We will develop guidelines that will improve the conditions of detention facilities in Police stations across the country and also develop Human rights training for the police based on the areas of challenges that had been identified,” he said.

The Executive secretary of the commission admitted that more work needed to be done to stop human rights abuses in detention facilities.

A representatives of Justice for All and Cleen Foundation, Robim Campbell,  however, commended the Nigeria Police Force for its improved detention facilities.

The chairman of the National Committee Against Torture, Dr Sam Ameh, appealed to Nigerians whose rights were abused to report such cases to the committee.

“If there is a case of torture there is now an avenue for Nigerians to report. Our position is like a semi-judicial organisation. once we get a report, we will investigate and call the police to also investigate to determine who was wrong and recommend prosecution,” he said.

The visitation exercise covered 369 police stations across the six geo-political zones and out of the police stations visited, only 10 had good detention facilities.

Christian Pilgrims Commission Reduces 2013 Pilgrimage Fares

The Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission has announced a reduction in fares for Nigerians willing to partake in this year’s pilgrimage.

Pilgrims to Jerusalem will pay the sum of N350,000 for this year.

Executive secretary of the commission, Mr John Kennedy Opara, at a news conference in Abuja said that the reduction is targeted at making pilgrimage affordable for all Nigerians in spite of their economic status.

He said that the commission plans to make pilgrimage an activity that would help shape people’s character.