Rights Commission Beams Searchlight On Ongoing Violence, Extra Judicial Killings, Others
SAN FRANCISCO, March 21, (THEWILL) - The Governing Council of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has condemned the ongoing violence as well as other extra judicial killings in the country .
At the first statutory meeting of the Commission for 2004 which held between Wednesday and Friday in Port Harcourt, the River State capital, the Governing Council which considered the Initial Report of the Technical Working Group on the Independent Review of Evidence of Gross Violation of the Rights to Participate in Government, to Public Service, and to Fair Trial Through the Election Petition Process in Nigeria, 2007-2011 (also known as the End Electoral Impunity Project).
accepted the recommendations of the Technical Working Group and resolved as follows: To forward to the Honorable Attorney-General of the Federation and Attorneys-General of the States in appropriate cases, list of persons indicted by the report with a recommendation for their prosecution; To establish a Unit within the Commission focused on investigating and reporting on electoral impunity; In keeping with the statutory responsibilities of the Commission, to focus its work on the right to participation and elections on monitoring election-related crimes (violence during elections) and ensuring accountability for them; To collaborate with the National Judicial Institute (NJI) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to sensitise the judiciary on the need to prevent electoral impunity by ordering, in appropriate cases, for the prosecution of persons shown in election petition proceedings to be involved in electoral crimes; and To establish a thematic mandate on Law Enforcement, Security, Violence and Participation, and accordingly appointed Mrs.
Funmi Falana as Special Rapporteur with responsibility for this mandate.
The Council also considered a draft report of its Panel of Inquiry into the Apo Killings of 20 September 2014 and approved the release of the report to the public.
Accordingly, Council directed the Executive Secretariat to issue Hearing Notices to all the parties to attend the sitting of the Panel for the release of the report and decision of the Commission on 7 April 2014.
The Council considered and strongly condemned the situation of escalating violence in the country in recent weeks, including in particular:the attack on and killing of school children in Federal Government College Buni-Yadi in Yobe State and other schools in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe States; the abduction of women and adolescent girls in acts of extremist violence by non-state state actors; the killing of at least 119 persons in attacks against villages and human settlements in Southern Kaduna;the killing of over 100 persons in attacks by yet-unknown gunmen on villages and human settlements in Katsina State; andthe killing of innocent citizens in various places in Benue State by yet-to-be identified gunmen.
Council urges Government at the Federal and State levels to take urgent steps to arrest this situation, ensure effective deterrence and accountability for these atrocities, and improve the institutional capabilities for protection of the lives and property of all persons in Nigeria and for the protection of the institutions of democratic governance.
The Council received an interim report on the death of over 20 jobseekers at various venues in various parts of the country where they were invited to undergo aptitude tests preceding employment into the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS).
Council directed the Secretariat to carry out a comprehensive audit of all the dead and injured victims during the exercise with a view to ascertaining appropriate remedies for them.
It also commenced consideration in public hearing of the complaint by the Governor of Rivers State concerning the human rights situation in the State.