Ese Oruru: Hearing Of Abduction Case Shifted Till Dec. 8

Ese Oruru, AbductionThe hearing of the case of 14-year-old, Ese Oruru, allegedly abducted from Bayelsa state has been shifted to December 8, 2016.

The postponement follows the absence of the presiding judge of the Federal High Court in Yenagoa, the state capital, on Monday.

Although both the prosecuting counsel and the defense team were present in the court for continuation of the hearing, no reason was given by the court officials on the absence of the judge.

The accused, Dairu Yinusa who is currently on bail was also present in court and his lawyer, Mr Kayode Olaosebikan, told journalists that he is eager to have the case concluded.

Meanwhile, the parents of Ese Oruru who were also present in court expressed concern over the outcome of the case, as well as the education and living conditions of their daughter and her baby, owing to their inability to adequately cater for their needs.

Dairu is accused of conspiring to abduct Ese to Kano and is facing a five-count charge of criminal abduction, sexual exploitation and unlawful carnal knowledge of a minor.

He pleaded not guilty to all. A lawyer in the defense counsel’s team said they believed it was ‘a typical case of Romeo and Juliet’ and that they do not believe that Ese was 13 years old.

Charges against Yunusa were filed after Miss Oruru was handed over to her parents after six months of her alleged abduction.

He was granted bail of three million Naira and two sureties of like sum who were asked to present three years tax clearance receipts.

 

Nigeria’s Military Wants To Be Part Of Human Rights Violation Probes

Military, Human Rights The Nigerian military has appealed to human rights organisations to carry the military along during any human rights violation investigations involving the armed forces.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, made the call at a seminar on the “administration of military justice system” on Wednesday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

He decried that most times, the military was indicted before they were asked to comment on the recommendations of a report.

General Buratai noted that the military should be involved from the moment the violations were identified and co-opted into the investigation process.

He told the gathering that the military had established a human rights desk to address the perceived impunity carried out in the army.

On his part, the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Professor Bem Angwe, spoke on the state of human rights within the Nigerian Army.

The facilitator, Nigerian Military/ Human Rights Dialogue, Mr Olawole Fapohunda, said the aim of the seminar was to improve the human rights record of the Nigerian military.

The military said it was committed to tackling the challenge of compliance with the minimum human rights standard in the administration of military justice in Nigeria.

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.

NHRC Tasks West African Countries On Human Rights Protection

Bem Angwe, NHRC, West Africa, Human Rights, The National Human Rights Commission in Nigeria (NHRC) has blamed the incessant violation of human rights in West Africa on the failure of most member countries to implement the Paris Principle on Human Rights, 23 years after its adoption.

The observation was made in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital on Monday by the Executive Secretary of NHRC, Professor Bem Angwe, who is also the President of the Network of National Human Rights Institutions in West Africa.

Professor Angwe said that only six out of the 16 countries in the West African region have human rights institutions that have adopted the international status on human rights, with no attempt by the rest to do so.

The Regional Representative of the United Nations Commission for Human Rights in West Africa, Mr Andera Ori, stressed the need for a thorough implementation of the Paris Principles through the legislative reforms in member countries.

The ECOWAS Head of Democracy and Good Governance, Eyesan Okorodudu, also said the implementation of the principle in member countries was key.

The Paris Principle was drafted in Paris, France’s capital in 1991 and was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993.

They are a set of international minimum standards which specify the status and functioning of national human rights institutions for the protection and promotion of human rights.

Unpaid Wages: Workers, Labour Unions Turn Out For National Protest

NLC_ProtestWorkers and union leaders across the country have begun gathering for a national protest in solidarity with workers being owed salaries.

The NLC President, Mr Ayuba Wabba, who convened the protest, also said it is to protest the killing of their members in Nasarawa State.

The stage is already set for the protest in Kaduna, Kwara, Nasarawa and Lagos States among others.

More than 20 states have been unable to pay monthly salaries of workers and others such as Bayelsa has resulted to paying half salaries.

However, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had issued a directive stopping the strike in Nasarawa on the grounds that it will interfere into the ongoing investigations of workers killed in the state.

In a compliance advisory signed by the Executive Secretary of the commission, Professor Bem Angwe, all parties to the complaint before the NHRC were strongly advised to maintain peace and order, pending the final determination of the investigation of the complaint.

The commission also advised the Nasarawa State government to suspend the implementation of the reduction in the workers’ salaries, pending the completion of the investigation of the complaints.

It further directed law enforcement and security agencies to ensure full adherence to the compliance advisory till the investigation was fully completed and determined.

The NHRC added that the advisory became necessary following the reports it received that the NLC was planning to hold a rally in Lafia, the Nasarawa State’s capital and other places to protest against the state government on August 23.

NHRC Cautions NLC Against Planned Protest In Nasarawa State

NHRC, NLC Protest, NasarawaThe National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and its affiliates to refrain from embarking on its planned protest in Nasarawa State.

Sequel to the death of two workers in the state in north-central Nigeria, the NHRC asked the group to desist from activities that would jeopardise the outcome of its investigation.

In a compliance advisory signed by the Executive Secretary of the commission, Professor Bem Angwe, all parties to the complaint before the NHRC were strongly advised to maintain peace and order, pending the final determination of the investigation of the complaint.

The commission also advised the Nasarawa State government to suspend the implementation of the reduction in the workers’ salaries, pending the completion of the investigation of the complaints.

It further directed law enforcement and security agencies to ensure full adherence to the compliance advisory till the investigation was fully completed and determined.

The NHRC added that the advisory became necessary following the reports it received that the NLC was planning to hold a rally in Lafia, the Nasarawa State’s capital and other places to protest against the state government on August 23.

The compliance advisory reads:

RE: PLANNED MASS PROTEST IN NASARAWA AND IMO STATES ON COMPLAINT OF ALLEGED SHOOTING AND KILLING OF NASARAWA STATE WORKERS AND DEMAND FOR JUSTICE.

INTERIM ORDER TO MAINTAIN STATUS QUO AND PEACE PENDING INVESTIGATION OF THE COMPLAINT.

ABUJA, 16 August 2016: This Advisory is issued in exercise of the responsibilities conferred on the National Human Rights Commission under Section 5(o) of the National Human Rights Commission Act, 1995 (as amended), which empowers the Commission to “on its own initiative…. report on actions that should be taken by the Federal, State or Local Government to comply with the provisions of any relevant international human rights instruments.” and

WHEREAS by a letter dated 3rd of August, the National Human Rights Commission received a complaint from the office of the President of Nigerian Labour Congress, alleging shooting and killing of some Nasarawa State workers by police in the course of meeting with the Governor of Nasarawa State.

WHEREAS the Commission has admitted the Complaint and commenced full investigation Pursuant to Section 5 of the National Human Rights Commission Act of 1995 (as amended) and have met with all the parties to the complaint.

WHEREAS it has come to the notice/attention of the National Human Rights Commission that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is planning to hold a rally in Lafia, the Nasarawa State Capital and other places to protest against the Nasarawa State Government on the 23rd August, 2016.

WHEREAS the National Human Rights Commission affirms that the right to assemble freely and to protest or demonstrate peacefully is a human right guaranteed by Sections 39-40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 and Articles 9-11 of the African charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which is domestic law in Nigeria.

WHEREAS the National Human Rights Commission also affirms that under Article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Nigeria is also party, “no restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other than those imposed in conformity with the law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order (order public), the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others”

AND WHEREAS there is need to forestall a recurrence of such incident during the planned rally which, though well within the right of the organised labour (and indeed any other citizen at that) to hold or participate in, could still go awry when members of the congress participating in the rally becomes uncontrollable, or are infiltrated by other elements with ulterior motives;

NOW THEREFORE, the National Human Rights Commission in a considered opinion in line with Sections 6 (1)(a) of the NHRC Act (as amended) and rules 67(1)&(2) of the Standing Orders and Rules of Procedure (STORP) of the Commission do hereby, issue the following interim measures as COMPLIANCE ADVISORY:

a) All parties to the complaint before the Commission are hereby STRONGLY ADVISED to maintain peace and order pending the final determination of the investigation of the complaint.

b) NLC and its affiliates are hereby STRONGLY ADVISED to refrain from embarking on the planned or any protest in connection with this complaint either in Nassarawa State or do any such act that will jeopardize, or has the potentials of affecting the protection of parties, victims, evidence, witnesses or any participants in the complaint process or the outcome of the investigation.

c) The Government of Nassarawa State is to suspend forthwith, the implementation of the reduction in the worker’s salary, pending the completion of the investigation of the complaints

d) All parties to this complaint as well as the law enforcement and security agencies are to ensure full compliance of this interim measure, pending the full investigation and determination of this complaint.

PLEASE NOTE: That by Section 6 (4) (d) of the NHRC Act, 1995 (as amended), it is a punishable offence for any person, body or authority to refuse to comply with lawful directives of the Commission.

Issued this 22nd day of August, 2016 at the National Human Rights Commission Headquarters.

Signed:
Prof. Bem Angwe
Executive Secretary/CEO

NHRC Asks Security Agencies To Respect Nigerians’ Rights

Bem-Angwe The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in Nigeria has advised security agencies to respect and uphold the rights of citizens while performing their duties.

At an investigative forum with the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Federal Capital Territory, Mr Muhammed Mustapha, the Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Professor Bem Angwe, said the commission would not shy away from invoking its powers to defend the rights of Nigerians.

He advised the Police Commissioner and other security agencies to operate within their rules of engagement in order not to violate the rights of innocent people.

The rights commission had summoned Mr Mustapha to explain the role of the police in the alleged man-handling of some traders and shop owners at Wuye market in Abuja.

Wuye-Market-Abuja
Police said it was at the Wuye market to restore peace

The traders, shop owners and a private developer had engaged in a running battle over the management of the market which was built on a public-private partnership arrangement since 2012.

While the shop owners insisted on taking possession of the shops, the developer resisted the attempt on the ground that the shop owners had not fully paid for the shops.

Professor Angwe informed the Police Commissioner of the petition against him and vowed to uphold the rights of Nigerians.

“The traders said the police was arresting their members and stopping them from occupying their shops in the ultra-modern market.

“They made a very serious allegation about their members being shot at and were left dying at the premises,” Professor Angwe told the police boss.

Mr Mustapha‎ denied the allegations against his men, saying every police officer was trained to defend people’s rights.

Muhammed-Mustapha-commissioner-of-police-in-FCT
Commissioner of Police in charge of the Federal Capital Territory, Mr Muhammed Mustapha

“In response to the matter before us, the last three weeks, we came in to restore peace. As for the allegation of deaths, I think these are just the usual tactic. Nobody dies,” he stressed.

Although peace has been restored at the Wuye market in Abuja, the battle between the traders, shop owners and the developer of the market is yet to abate.

Army Defends Operation In Niger Against Suspected Gun Runners

Illegal ArmsThe Nigerian Army has defended its operations in Bosso Local Government Area of Niger State, saying its troops were on operation aimed at safeguarding lives and property of citizens in the area before they were attacked by suspected armed bandits.

Speaking at the fourth National Human Rights Commission and Nigerian military dialogue on human rights, the Chief of Administration of the Nigerian Army, Major General Adamu Abubakar, said the troops were attacked by some gun runners and armed bandits in Kopa, Dagma and Gagaw villages of Bosso Local Government Area.

General Abubakar vowed that the military would deal with any violent threat to national security.

It was a day of sorrow and tears for some residents of Bosso Local Government Area of Niger State as the Nigerian military repelled an attack on troops of 31 Artillery Brigade.

The troops were said to be on an internal security operation in the area before they were attacked by alleged gun runners.

The soldiers responded and killed eight of the attackers.

Presenting a progress report on civil-military relations, the dialogue facilitator, Olawale Fapohunda, advised the Federal Government to reduce the burden of internal security placed on the military.

The Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Professor Bem Angwe, appealed to the Federal Government to promptly pay the entitlements of soldiers who died lives defending the nation to their families.

Although the August 6 encounter between the military and the alleged gun runners has been brought under control, the military expressed concerns about the activities of gun runners in the region.

It said their activities had direct bearing on the influx of weapons in some parts of the federal capital territory and the north-west geo-political zone.

Military Begins Rehabilitation Of Repentant Insurgents

Military, Insurgents, Boko Haram MilitantsThe Military has begun the process of reintegrating repentant members of the Boko Haram sect into the society.

The rehabilitation is part of the ongoing efforts by the Federal Government to rebuild Nigeria’s Northeast region, following terrorists’ attacks that have caused devastating damage in the region.

The National Security Council has mandated the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, to receive the repentant terrorists with a view to rehabilitating them.

The Director of Production, Defence Headquarters, Air Vice Marshal Emmanuel Anebi, who represented General Olonisakin, received various items for usage in the camp situated in Gombe, northeast Nigeria.

He said the programme, Operation Safe Corridor, was designed to receive surrendering Boko Haram members and take them through a process that would reintegrate them back to the society.

The Chairman of Operation Safe Corridor, Brigadier General Bamidele Shafa and the Executive Secretary of NHRC, Professor Bem Angwe, hinted that series of programmes have been earmarked for the process.

They reeled out different vocations and skill acquisition programmes to be held on camp towards reintegrating the repentant combatants into the society.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said that it has contributed its quota to the programme to make the camp conducive for the repentant militants.

Director General of NEMA, Mr Sani Sidi, disclosed that the agency has donated several items ranging from food and edibles to bedding materials as well as resource persons and camp officials required to carter for them.

The repentant terrorists now have a chance to begin normal life again, even as the military is currently conducting mop-up operations to clear the remnants of the terrorists.

Plateau Killings: NHRC Inaugurates Panel To Investigate Allegations Of Genocide

NHRCThe National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has inaugurated a four ma‎n panel of inquiry to investigate allegations of genocide and human rights violations leveled against the Nigerian Army by the people of Tarok Community of Wase Local Government Area of Plateau State.

Inaugurating the panel in Abuja, the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Professor Bem Angwe, charged members of the panel to determine whether or not there have been acts of genocide, crime against humanity and wanton destruction of properties by officers of the Nigerian Army in Tarok community.

Professor Angwe also mandates the panel to ascertain the number of injured persons and those who lost their lives.

The panel chaired by Mrs Emily Herbert has Abdul Yakubu and Olanike Omodara as members while Mr Wahab Oyedokun is to serve as Secretary.

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.