The rights commission will also conduct public inquiry on demolitions and forced evictions in Nigeria.
The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, said on Wednesday it has constituted a working group to lead the audit of detention centres throughout the country.
The Commission said at the end of the fourth 2013 statutory meeting of its Governing Council in Abuja that the audit became necessary following concerns about the proliferation of ungazetted detention centres among various agencies in the public sector in different parts of the country in recent times.
The Council, which also considered the completion of the process of development of its triennial strategy and plans for between 2013 and 2016, said it also authorized the establishment of a special unit in the Commission in charge of human rights crimes and mass atrocities.
Chairman of the Commission, Chidi Odinkalu, said the setting up of the special unit was within the framework of the strategic planning process to enable the Commission optimally fulfill its statutory roles with respect to human rights crimes and mass atrocities in the country.
In addition, the Council directed the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Bem Angwe, to identify dedicated human assets to run a specialized Refuge and Trauma Centre for women affected by domestic violence, to be established in Abuja.
The Centre, Mr. Odinkalu said, was a reflection of the Commission’s concerns for the intensity of domestic violence as a crisis for criminal justice, public health, and social development in Nigeria, adding that the Council resolved to work in collaboration with its partners to tackle the menace.
As part of its strategic planning process, the Council approved the establishment of 11 thematic priorities for the Commission’s programmes in pursuit of its mandate in the next three years.
These include those for vulnerable communities: migration, forced displacement and trafficking in persons; gender: citizenship, equality and non-discrimination: economic, social and cultural rights: food security, climate change and environment.
Others include law enforcement, violence and security; freedom of expression, communications and the media; freedom of religion and conscience; human rights, business and regulatory agencies, and impunity and access to remedies.
To advance the work of the Commission in the identified priority areas, the Council said it also established and charged its commissioners with the responsibility of providing leadership in the work of the Commission, including monitoring, reporting of violations, liaison with advocates and partners, and interventions and remedies.
The vulnerable communities, including disabilities, the elderly, children, persons living with HIV/AIDS, widowhood, and albinism, would be supervised by Ranti Daudu; Impunity and Access to Justice (including Administrative justice; enforcement; compliance and rule of law) by D.O.C. Ezeigwe, while Gender (including all aspects of human rights of women and the girl child, maternal mortality; and violence against women) would be under Saudatu Mahdi.
Ifeyinwa Njokanmma would take charge of Migration, Forced Displacement and Trafficking in Persons; Kayode Komolafe for Economic, Social & Cultural Rights (including the human rights to health, education, social protection, housing and shelter as well as labour issues and livelihoods); Citizenship, Equality & Non-discrimination for Ibrahim Nikau; and Freedom of expression, communication and the media for Eugenia Abu.
The Council also considered plans for the conduct of a public inquiry on demolitions and forced evictions in Nigeria and authorized that hearings should hold in four locations across the country, namely Abuja, Enugu, Kano and Lagos, with the panel’s initial sitting billed for Lagos on November 18-21, 2013.
During the meeting, the Council received and considered an interim report on the alleged killings of squatters in the Apo Area of Abuja on September 19 and authorized its secretariat to undertake further work on the issue with a view to finalizing the report and findings of the Commission.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...