Published by Mazi Collins on Sunday, December 4, 2016. 10:43 AM

AU delegates

The African Union Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights has backlashed Buhari’s led Federal Government on excessive use of force by the country’s security forces, a resurgence of agitation and militancy in the Niger Delta among others.

This was disclosed to the press in Abuja on November 30, 2016 by the Commissioner Rapporteur responsible for the Human Rights situation in Nigeria and Rights of Women in Africa, Lucy Asuagbor.

Her delegation praised the Federal government for the political will and commitment towards the effective adoption and implementation of African Charter and other ratified regional and international human rights instruments in the country’s legislation.

In her words, “the delegation commends the Government of Nigeria for its political will and commitment towards the effective enjoyment of human rights, including through the adoption, since the last visit of the Commission to Nigeria, of legislative and other measures to implement the African Charter and other ratified regional and international human rights instruments.”

The delegation, however, noted that the commission is concerned about number of Human Rights abuses, which has persisted in some quota.

The commissioner stated that, “in spite of these positive aspects, the delegation is concerned about a number of challenges, including the following: Resurgence of agitations and militancy in the Niger Delta Region; Reports of killings following incidents of violence between pastoralists and farmers; Overcrowding of prisons and the situation of 70% of inmates awaiting trial for long period of time some for more than ten years; Backlog of cases in the judiciary; Allegations of excessive use of force by security forces in the context of public protests as highlighted by the clashes in Zaria; The proper resourcing of administration of justice agencies including the NHRC and the legal aid agency.

The lack of certainty on the status of those who remain on death row for years; The lack of adequate funding, which affects crucial programs of the NHRC, NEITI, NCWD, NDDC, among others; Allegations of sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls in IDP camps and the existence of orphaned children; Allegations of violations of human rights and humanitarian law norms including excessive use of force, arbitrary detention and torture by security forces and civilian militia groups and the lack of independent investigation into these allegations.”

Others are: “the humanitarian issue in the North Eastern Nigeria, reports of severe restriction in IDP camps.”

The commission stated a detailed mission report with specific recommendations would be prepared after the working visit.


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