Communique Issued by the NHRC Governing Council

Posted: 2013-04-09

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED BY THE GOVERNING COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION AT THE END OF ITS 2ND 2013

The Governing Council of the National Human Rights Commission held its 2nd 2013 Statutory meeting at Nasfah Hotel, Minna, Niger State between 22nd and 23rd of March 2013

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED BY THE GOVERNING COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION AT THE END OF ITS 2ND 2013 STATUTORY MEETING HELD IN MINNA NIGER STATE BETWEEN 22ND AND 23RD MARCH , 2013.

The Governing Council of the National Human Rights Commission held its 2nd 2013 Statutory meeting at Nasfah Hotel, Minna, Niger State between 22nd and 23rd of March 2013. The meeting was preceded by a 3-day retreat organized for Council members and Management staff with the theme: Institution Building for Credible Public Service in Nigeria: Challenges for the National Human Rights Commission. The Retreat brought together major stakeholders on human rights promotion and protection in Nigeria including the former Executive Secretaries of the Commission, Professor Muhammed Tabiu (1996- 2000) and Mallam Bukhari Bello( 2000- 2006).

The opening ceremony of the Retreat was chaired by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation ably represented by Dr. Jamila Shuara, Permanent Secretary, Special Duties,( OSGF). Other Special guests were- Alhaji Kola Belgore, Chairman, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) who delivered the Keynote Address, the representatives of the Chief Judge of Niger State and the Chief Commissioner, Public Complaints Commission, the Niger State Head of Service and other members of the State Executive Council. The Retreat was declared open by the Chief Servant of Niger State, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, CON, Talban Minna represented by the Secretary to the Niger State Government, Right Honourable Saidu Ndako Idris. Also in attendance were the Registrar of ECOWAS Court, Mr Tony Maidoh, Ms Yemi Adamolekun of "Enough is Enough" (EIE) and representatives of development partners from Department For International Development(DFID), Ford Foundation and the Lagos Multi-Door courthouse.

Several papers were presented by resource persons (Professor Nsongurua Udombana of University of Uyo, Mr. Innocent Chukwuma of Ford Foundation, Ms Catherine Weiss of DFID; Mr. Kehinde Aina of the Lagos Multidoor Courthouse, Professor Muhammed Tabiu of Bayero University, Kano and Mallam Bukhari Bello- (former Executive Secretary of the NHRC).

The retreat discussed how to set the goals of the Commission, the appropriate business model as well as how to reposition the Commission as a leading credible national institution in Nigeria. Also discussed were the challenges in casework and enforcement as well as other issues for the smooth operation of NHRC Amendment Act, 2010.

The meeting of the Governing Council reviewed the state of human rights in Nigeria generally and also considered issues of significance to the operation of the National Human Rights Commission.

At the end of the meeting, the Council noted and resolved as follows:

(i) That the issue of human remains discovered on Ezu river in Amansea town, Awka, Anambra State in January, 201n 3 was tragic and deeply embarrassing. Therefore, the National Human Rights Commission will launch a set of consultation with other interested institutions within and outside government on this and wider patterns of extrajudicial killings in Nigeria with a view to determining weather any human rights crimes may have been committed and documenting the Commission's findings.

(ii) That the Commission will undertake under the National Human Rights Commission Act, as amended, a public inquiry into demolitions and forced evictions with the following terms of reference:

(a) To inquire into demolitions and allegations of forced evictions in Nigeria or any part thereof and into any other issues of human rights or wellbeing associated therewith;

(b) To consider the desirability of a set of Guidelines or policy recommendations to address demolitions and forced evictions in Nigeria;

(c) To formulate recommendations for consideration and adoption in accordance with the National Human Rights Commission Act (as amended); and

(d) To undertake any other tasks that may be necessary incidental to the foregoing. Accordingly, the Secretariat of the Commission is authourised to invite memoranda from members of the public in line with terms of reference. All memoranda are to be addressed to the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission at the Headquarters of the Commission, No. 19 Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Abuja. The venue, dates and procedures for the inquiry will be published in due course.
(iii) That the Council commenced deliberations on its draft Rules of Procedure which is expected to be finalised and authorised for publication at its next statutory
meeting in April 2013.
(iv) That the next Governing Council meeting will be held in Lagos from the 25th to 27th April 2013.
Appreciation and Acknowledgements
(v) The Council acknowledges the generous support of Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) and the Government and good people of Niger State, most especially, the Chief Servant, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, CON, Talban Minna. We also thank our development partners and CSOs present-the DDFID, Ford Foundation, the ECOWAS Court, the Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse and EIE. Our appreciation also goes to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF); the Chairman of AMCON; The Honourable Chief Judge of Niger State; and the Chief Commissioner, Public Complaints Commission for finding time to grace the occasion.


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