… Want Names of Nigerians Unlawfully Detained by Police
The House of Representatives Committee on Human Rights on Thursday mandated the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to furnish it with the list of Nigerians unlawfully detained by the police.
The Committee also urged the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) to tame the rising incidences of human trafficking across the shores of Nigeria.
Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Edward Pwajok (Plateau-APC) gave the charge when the two agencies appeared before members of the committee to defend their 2018 budget proposals.
The lawmaker also emphasised the need for the NHRC to push for the domestication of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act in all the states of the federation.
Responding to the demands of the agencies for an increased budgetary allocation, Pwajok said that it was necessary to heed the call to enable NHRC discharge its responsibilities effectively.
“The agency should submit the list within one week. It is an issue of writing to the force headquarters. It shouldn’t take them too long; I expect an immediate response because there are crime records in all police stations in Nigeria. There are people who are arrested and kept beyond the constitutional timeline. That way, the police would be kept in their toes.
“They would know that people are also watching. You don’t detain Nigerians unduly,’’ Pwajok said.
“From our interactions with both agencies, we are satisfied with their performances in 2017. The problem they have is the challenges of inadequate funding.
“But we are going to make a case for an upward review of the money that should go to particularly the Human Rights Commission; they have requested for more funds that was allocated in 2018 budget.
“They have a lot of work to do and issues of human rights are on the front burner of international discourse.
“We discovered that the international community has given our Nigerian Human Rights Commission category A status, that means we are doing our best to make sure that we respect human rights in Nigeria.
“If they are not properly funded, then we may go to Category B or C and that will have serious implications.
“Recently, the US government approved the sale of fighter jets to Nigeria; it means that they are satisfied with our respect for human rights.
Earlier, the acting Executive Secretary, NHRC, Mrs Oti Ovurawa requested for funds for effective delivery. She said that N6.8billion budgeted for 2018 would not be sufficient.
According to her, some of the projects to be executed by the commission in 2018 will include upgrading of facilities in the headquarters, zonal offices, upgrading of the ICT centres, purchase of utility vehicles as well as publicity of the commission’s activities, public enlightenment campaigns against the abuse of human rights and establishment of centres for missing persons.