Publications

FOREWORD

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a human rights promotion and protection mechanism of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) established by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly Resolution 60/251 of 15 March 2006.

The HRC in its Resolution 5/1 of 18 June, 2007 set out the detailed guidelines of the review process. The fist cycle of the review covers 2008-2011.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENT

The National Human Rights Commission acknowledges the efforts and sacrifice of members of staff of the Commission that took part in the 16 days activism on the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) in the 36 States of the Federation including the FCT. Indeed, the awareness raising campaigns, roundtable discussions and advocacy meetings across the country is reflected in this assessment which highlights the incidences of Sexual and Gender Based Violence in the Country.

The Commission recognizes the profound support and drive of the Executive Secretary, Tony Okechukwu Ojukwu Esq towards the successful campaign culminating in this assessment. Our profound appreciation also goes to Okwa Morphy and Benedict Agu who coordinated the compilation of findings from across the States.

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FOREWORD

The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC by law, is the foremost Human Rights Promoter and Defender in the Nigerian Body Politic. In furtherance of her statutory mandate of promoting the Observance of Human Rights in the country, the Commission undertakes periodic examination of Prisons and other detention centers across the country in order to ensure that the activities undertaken in those places conform to the Human Rights laws of the Nation. Specifically the Commission is expected ''to visit prison, police cells and other places of detention in order to ascertain the condition thereof and make recommendations to the appropriate authorities''. It is in fulfilment of this mandate therefore, that the NHRC embarked on a nationwide Prison Audit Exercise for the year 2018. This exercise was undertaken in fulfillment of her duties of ensuring the full enjoyment of human rights by both the free and the incarcerated without discrimination. This Report is on that Prisons Audit.

The Prison will always be central to the evaluation of human rights observances in any modern Nation State It is the critical institution in the overall agenda of seeking to promote and protect fundamental human rights of people who are incarcerated in various facilities so as ensure they are treated in accordance with the UN Minimum Standard for the treatment of inmates in the prison. It is the application of the UN Standard Minimum Rules in these Audits that serve as benchmark and guidelines to spot and identify areas that need to be addressed in the overall agenda of prison reforms by the Government.

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FOREWORD

Over the years, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights has developed a number of instruments to aid in the interpretation and implementation of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, particularly as it relates to criminal justice. In 2017, the Principles on the Decriminalization of Petty Offences in Africa were adopted by the African Commission. This becomes the latest development in a broader regional effort to articulate standards for acceptable human rights practices, specifically concerning matters of access to justice. This principle advocates for a holistic approach to the challenges that arise in Africa at the intersection between poverty, justice and human rights.

Despite efforts to transform criminal justice administration across Africa, particularly in Nigeria, the poor and other marginalized persons remain vulnerable to violation of their rights within the existing criminal justice framework. Such violations extend to both the enactment and enforcement of criminal laws in relation to petty offences, and to the policing which actively seeks to exclude categories of people from areas of public life, namely the poor.

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