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NHRC governing board appointments lacks transparency – ICC

The International Coordinating Committee (ICC) of the National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) has recommended that Nigeria review the statutory provisions for the appointments of governing council for National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and improve the budgetary allocation of the commission or risk its “A” status by the next accreditation.

This revelation was made by the Executive Secretary of National Human rights Commission, Prof. Bem Angwe, during a press conference to announce the reaccreditation of “A” status to the commission by ICC at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.

“The coordinating body while granting the “A” status made other recommendations which require the federal Government of Nigeria to address before the next round of accreditations’” he said.

“Review of statutory provisions for the appointment of Governing Council members of the commission…the process is not transparent enough to guarantee an impartial and democratic exercise that will ensure the appointment of core human rights experts into the council. The procedure for removal of members, though greatly improved against the extant procedure before 2010 amendment Act, remains opaque and capable of being abuse.”

“The commission is inadequately funded in view of the size of Nigeria and its population and the variety of human rights issues that needs to be addressed particularly in the face of the human rights challenges thrown up by terrorism and counter terrorism operations. “

“The annual report of the commission be tabled before parliament for debate and immediate follow up action every year”.

Recall that, the National Human Rights Commission lost “A” status in the year 2007 and was downgraded to “B” status by ICC following political interference in the affair of the commission.

However, following the amendment of the commissions’ Act by the National Assembly in 2010, reconstruction of the commission’s governing council and fulfillment of other requirements of the Paris Principle and ICC accreditation standard, the commission regained the lost “A” status.

 

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