The National Human Rights Commission has reaffirmed its commitment to prosecuting perpetrators of violence and electoral offences in Rivers State.
Ahead of the court ordered re-run election in Rivers State, the commission said that it would work with the Independent National Electoral Commission and other Security Agencies to prosecute the law offenders.
The Executive Secretary of the commission, Professor Bem Angwe, warned politicians and their supports to play by the rules and avoid infringement of people’s right to freely elect leaders of their choice.
He added that the commission would monitor the conduct of the elections on Saturday, as part of efforts to ensure that the rights of voters in the state were respected.
As the re-run election date draws near, tension and pockets of violence have been witnessed in some parts of the state, leading to heavy presence of security personnel in the State.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has expressed concerns about the condition of the over two million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Nigeria.
Addressing a stakeholders meeting in Abuja on Thursday, the Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Professor Bem Angwe, said an increasing number of states were neglecting the welfare and rehabilitation of IDPs residing in the various states.
He pointed out that most state governments now rely heavily on the Federal Government to address the challenges of the displaced persons.
Mr Angwe advised state governments to be alive to their responsibilities, as the commission remained committed to protecting and preserving the rights of all Nigerians by holding the state governments accountable for their actions.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Human Rights, Edward Pwajok, appealed to Nigerians to give peace a chance just as his colleague in charge of IDPs, Refugees and Northeast Initiatives blamed state governments for their slow response to the challenges of the displaced persons.
The meeting was aimed at assessing the state of IDPs in the nation, after representatives of State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) from Adamawa, Borno, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Taraba and Yobe made presentations.
The Minister of Interior, General Abdulrahman Dambazau (Rtd), has read the riot act to officials of the Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS), saying the era of indiscriminate delay by prisons officials to present accused persons in court would no longer be tolerated.
General Dambazau gave the warning at an emergency summit on the state of prisons in Nigeria organised by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
While calling for an urgent decongestion of the prisons across all states in Nigeria, General Dambazau also decried the increasing number of awaiting trial inmates and the inhuman treatment they face in prisons.
In a moment of lamentation, the Controller General of the Nigerian Prisons Service, Dr. Peter Ekpendu, enumerated the various challenges of the service as the Executive Director of Carmelite Prisoners Interest Organisation, Reverend Father Ambrose Ekeroku, criticised the inhuman treatment of prisoners by prison officials and security agencies.
The Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Professor Bem Angwe, used the occasion to advise the Federal government against swapping of prisoners.
Nigeria and the sub-Saharan Africa are faced with problems of prison congestion, excessive use of force during arrest of suspects, torture, unlawful detention and abuse of prisoners among other issues.
The prisons reform conference, according to the organisers, was aimed at exploring new efforts at reforming the sector in a bid to proffer effective and sustainable solution.
The Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Professor Bem Angwe, has announced plans by the commission to translate the universal declaration of human rights into four major Nigerian languages as part of efforts to sensitize Nigerians on their rights.
Professor Angwe, who disclosed this in Abuja at an exhibition of human rights publications in local languages said that many Nigerians were unaware of their rights so they find it difficult to demand for such rights due to ignorance.
He further said that the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) was collaborating with the human rights commission of Mexico to make the universal declaration of human rights accessible to all Nigerians and all persons resident in the country.
He gave a hint about the planned review in Abuja when a member of the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights, Miss Faith Tlakula, led a delegation on a working visit to the headquarters of the commission.
Professor Angwe said that the committee, which was appointed last week, had been mandated to carry out a thorough review of such laws that impede the protection and enforcement of human rights.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has announced plans to inaugurate a committee of experts to review all existing laws that contravene the provisions of human rights in Nigeria.
The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Professor Bem Angwe, gave a hint about the planned review in Abuja on Friday when a member of the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights, Miss Faith Tlakula, led a delegation on a working visit to the headquarters of the commission.
Professor Angwe said the committee, which was appointed last week, had been mandated to carry out a thorough review of such laws that impede the protection and enforcement of human rights.
Miss Tlakula, who is also the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa, said that her team came to the NHRC to know what the commission was doing to scale up compliance to the Freedom of Information Act in Nigeria.
She said that the NHRC was expected to play a leading role in meeting with civil society groups towards advocating a robust flow of information.
The leader of the delegation also decried the slow pace of disposing court cases concerning non-compliance to the Freedom of Information Act.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has vowed to bring perpetrators of human rights violation in the country to justice.
The Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Professor Bem Angwe, read the riot act on Monday at a gathering with officials of the National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
The declaration is part of measures to curb the number of women and children becoming widows and orphans as a result of the activities of insurgents, which is becoming worrisome to the NHRC.
Professor Angwe identified the activities of insurgents as a major challenge in the protection of human rights but promised that the commission would not allow human rights violators to further worsen the situation.
He appealed to women and victims of domestic violence to stop shielding perpetrators, stating NHRC’s determination to bring such perpetrators to justice.
Angwe further urged the Federal Government to establish a social security scheme that would see to the needs of rape victims and persons whose rights and dignity had been violated.
Taking up the challenge, President of the NCWS, Nkechi Okemili-Mba, pledged to sensitise women on their rights and the need to protect them.
There are about 200 daily reports of cases of human rights violation.
Participants at the event believed that victims of all forms of rights violation would heave a sigh of relief if the NHRC truly matches words with actions.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has advised the Federal Government to urgently address issues of displaced persons in the north-east part.
The Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Professor Ben Angwe, who spoke at a forum on Tuesday in Abuja said many victims who fled the country because of insurgents’ activities could no longer identify themselves as Nigerians.
Mr Angwe said Africa was being confronted with the problem of statelessness, due to conflict and terrorism.
“The realities of our time present situations that we never envisaged in our country.
“Just as Nigerians are becoming suicide bombers, very unfortunate circumstances, so are many Nigerians, today becoming stateless people,” the NHRC Executive Secretary said.
He declared that Statelessness had become a human rights issue, pledging that the commission would continue to protect Nigerian’s rights at all times.
“It is becoming very obvious that some Nigerians in some communities are stateless without our knowledge,” Professor Angwe stated.
A representative of the United Nation High Commission for Refugees, Angele Dibonque-Atangana, stressed the need for governments across the globe to work towards addressing the causes of statelessness.
She announced measures being taken by the commission to address the issue.
“UNHCR has the mandate to identify, prevent and reduce statelessness and also protect and seek solution for those persons that face statelessness.
“Working with governments and crucial partners, the office is implementing a 10-year campaign to eradicate stateliness between now and 2024.
At the forum organised by the NHRC were human tights experts who gathered to see how to address the issue of statelessness, which is said to be on the increase in Nigeria, as a result of terror attacks on communities in the north-east, the stronghold of the Boko Haram terrorist group.
The one-day forum on statelessness was aimed at creating awareness on statelessness and the increasing number of stateless councils, as some Internally Displaced Persons have become refuges in another country.