HomeNewsAGF: Nigeria Compliant with Global Rights Obligations

AGF: Nigeria Compliant with Global Rights Obligations

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igeria is compliant with international human rights obligations, Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Lateef Fagbemi said yesterday.

He spoke while opening Lagos office of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

The AGF hailed the Bola Tinubu administration for not tampering with the commission’s independence.

“I am happy this government has not interfered with the commision’s independence.

“During last dissolution of boards of parastatals, government exempted the commission’s  governing council in deference to its independence under its Act and the Paris Principles.”, he said.

Fagbemi said the administration is determined to provide an environment for NHRC to protect rights of Nigerians.

“This inauguration, which further entrenches its independence, is a bold statement towards supporting the commission to protect rights of Nigerians,” Fagbemi said.

The AGF noted that ownership of offices constitutes important aspect of independence.

He said: “The national human rights institution of any country is an international obligation under United Nations Resolution 48/134 of December 20, 1993, and the Paris Principles setting up national human rights institutions.

“UN Resolution enjoins member states to have such independent institutions for promotion and protection of human rights.

“Nigeria is fully compliant with this obligation in establishment of the commission.

“Under Paris Principles, such institutions are independent.

“Under Section 6 (3) of NHRC Act 1995 as amended, the commission in carrying out its mandate and operations shall not be subject to control…”

Fagbemi said eight offices would be opened in Ekiti, Rivers, Imo, Anambra, Kebbi, Adamawa, Katsina and Benue.

NHRC’s Executive Secretary, Tony Ojukwu, called for review of the commission’s enabling law and more funding.

He said: “Some areas to further entrench NHRC independence are funding, 22 new  state offices, amending the Act, Practice Directions on recognition and enforcement, vehicles for 36 offices, digitisation, training and welfare.”

He said the commission rented offices to hear complaints, noting to sustain its independence, it needs offices.

Ojukwu said construction began in 2019, adding eight others would be ready soon.

He called for more funding, saying: “We appeal to National Assembly and Budget Office to appropriate more funds.”

Also present were Chair of House of Representatives Committee on Human Rights, Peter Makinde; rights activist, Femi Falana, NHRC Governing Council Chair, Dr Salamatu Suleiman, representatives of Lagos attorney-general and the police, among others.

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