Human Rights Commission orders probe of Rivers crisis

National Human Right Commission, NHRC logo

Panel expected to tender report by February.

The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, on Wednesday during a meeting in Abuja called for an urgent action to verify facts about the on-going crisis in Rivers State.

The council said it believed that if the crisis was not stalled, there could be further deterioration of law and order in the state.

The River State governor, Rotimi Amaechi, has reportedly been embroiled in a long standing battle with both President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Patience; a standoff which led to a bloody clash in the state’s House of Assembly in 2013. Mr. Amaechi has also, several times, accused the state Police Commissioner, Joseph Mbu, of working against his government.

Recently, the police allegedly shot a serving senator of the state, Magnus Abe, with a rubber bullet while trying to disperse the crowd at a rally organised by Save Rivers Movement group on Sunday.

The NHRC, during its meeting, set up a panel to undertake a verification mission to Rivers State. The members of the panel include its chairman, Kayode Komolafe, Rita Njokanmma, Eric Bell-Gam.

The missions of the panel would include identifying and interacting with all parties or actors connected with or affected by the crisis as well as recommending any interim measures to ameliorate or prevent further escalation of the situation in state into serious or massive violations of human rights.

The NHRC asked the panel to work on an expedited timescale and tender a report at the next regular meeting of the council in February.


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