Electoral Malpractice: Osunbor, Olafemi Condemn NHRC Report

NHRC indicts Oserheimen Osunbor and Clarence OlafemiA former Governor of Edo State, Professor Oserheimen Osunbor, has faulted the report of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) that indicted him for electoral offence.

Professor Osunbor described the allegation as malicious and unfounded during an interview with Channels Television.

“It is a pity that a body that calls himself a human rights commission should be violating the human rights of people.

“I believe something is seriously wrong with our human rights commission for them to be indicting somebody. They never invited me for any investigation.

“They should tell the world what offence I committed and I will be prepared to face the investigation if that is actually the case,” he said.

The former governor stated that the NHRC also acted in contempt of court for indicting him a second time after he had earlier sued them for indicting him falsely.

Meanwhile, a former Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly and acting governor of the state, Mr Clarence Olafemi, has threatened to sue the NHRC for including his name in the list of people indicted for electoral malpractices during the 2007 and 2011 general elections.NHRC indicts Oserheimen Osunbor and Clarence Olafemi

Mr Olafemi told Channels Television he had been cleared by the Appeal Court and wondered why the issue was being brought up at this time.

“We have written them (NHRC) before when that issue was being paraded by the same body, some five or six years ago.

“The Court of Appeal has ruled that I have not committed any electoral offence. Are they better than the Court of Appeal?” the former acting governor questioned.

The reactions are coming after the former Governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, aslo said that the NHRC was wrong to have accused him of being involved in electoral malpractice during the 2007/2011 general elections.

He said that the commission did not properly study the judgment of the Appeal Court in Benin, which removed him, adding that the judgment later proved to have been wrongly given against him.

The NHRC report on ending electoral impunity had indicted 118 persons of committing various forms of malpractices and violence during the 2007/2011 general elections in Nigeria.

Amongst those indicted by the report were Dr. Uduaghan, former Governor of Edo State, Professor Oserheimen Osunbor, a former acting Governor of Kogi State, Clarence Olafemi and a former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Maurice Iwu among others.

2007/2011 Elections: NHRC Indicts Osunbor, Iwu, Uduaghan Of Malpractice

NHRCThe National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) report on ending electoral impunity has indicted 118 of committing various offences.

The indicted persons are said to have committed various forms of malpractices and violence during the 2007/2011 general elections in Nigeria.

Amongst those indicted by the report are the former governor of Delta State, Emmanuel Uduaghan, former governor of Edo State, Professor Oserheimen Osunbor, a former Acting Governor of Kogi State, Clarence Olafemi and a former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Maurice Iwu and Senator Ayo Arise.

Others are the Independent National Electoral Commission and its officials in Anambra, Ebonyi, Delta, Kastina, Kogi and Rivers States, the Appeal Court, Election Petition Tribunals and political parties such as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Nigerian People Party (ANPP).

The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Prof. Ben Angwe said those indicted will be further investigated and charged to the appropriate courts of the land.

The report noted that violence has become part and parcel of elections in Nigeria, noting that cases of ballot box snatching, kidnapping and even murder have been reported during various elections conducted in Nigeria.

Prof. Angwe further noted that it will no longer be business as usual as anyone found wanting will be charged to the appropriate court.

Speaking on behalf of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), a National Commissioner in the Organization, Mr Adedeji Shoyebi, said violence has contributed to the recent inconclusiveness of elections across the country and advocated for an electoral offences court as a solution to the menace.

The Chairman of the Technical Working Committee, which carried out the review of the elections, Prof. Nsongura Udombana, gave a breakdown of those indicted by the various electoral tribunal across the country.

NHRC Advocates International Cooperation To Tackle Terrorism

NHRCThe National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has called for international cooperation in fighting what it termed ‘economic terrorism’ in Nigeria.

The Executive Secretary of NHRC, Professor Ben Angwe, made the appeal on Tuesday during a consultative meeting with a 10-man delegation from the United States in Abuja.

Professor Angwe told the White House security delegation that diversion of funds meant for fighting insurgency to other countries, puts the lives of many Nigerians at risk, while stressing that such needed to be tackled and the funds recovered.

He stressed the need for Nigeria to collaborate with the international community to fight the two major forms of terrorism – insurgency and economic terrorism.

Reacting to the human rights violations by the Nigerian military in its war against terror, the NHRC boss said that there has been a clear indication from the military that such violations would no longer occur.

He added that a special investigative panel had been deployed to look into such abuses, specifically the recent clash between the Nigerian Army and members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria.

In his reaction, the head of the US delegation, Ambassador Stephen Nolan, observed that such incident could only arise out of weakness in governance, saying the consultative meeting was set to tackle such matters.

He added that the meeting would fashion ways to help improve the justice and security sectors of the country for better service delivery.

The delegation had experts from the United States Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, International Development and Governance.

Human Rights Commission Assures IDPs Of Safety

Borno idpsThe National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), has assured Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Abuja that the commission will do all it can to ensure their safety and right to shelter.

The Promise was made in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, on Friday by the Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Professor Ben Angwe, while receiving displaced persons from WASU IDP camp in Apo District of the Federal Capital Territory.

Some of the IDPs were at the commission’s office to seek help, following an eviction notice by the owner of the estate they had taken refuge.

He assured the developer that the commission would work to ensure that the IDPs were relocated within the shortest possible time by the relevant authorities.

After the meeting, the Executive Secretary and his team joined the displaced persons to the said settlement where he inspected their living conditions.

NHRC Asks FG To Address Increasing Number Of Displaced Persons

internally-displaced-persons-NEMA (1)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.

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.