Respect for Human Rights,Key to Good Governance In Africa – NHRC Boss

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has urged governments of Member nations of African Union (AU) to obey recommendations and decisions of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRI’) saying that failure will affect the effective protection of human rights which is key to good governance in the continent and elsewhere.


The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Chief Tony Ojukwu (SAN) who stated this at the 2022 African Bar Association conference in Lilongwe, Malawi noted that the major challenge of the recommendations of and decisions of the public inquiry mechanism of the National Human Rights Institutions in Africa is the implementation.

According to the Chief Custodian of Human Rights in Nigeria, with the high level of disobedience of court orders and judgments at both the national and supranational levels, it is debatable whether a continent known for weak implementation of international treaties, court orders and judgments will obey or implement the recommendations and decisions of NHRI’s


To address the aforesaid challenge in Nigeria, Ojukwu disclosed that Commission has embarked on a process of getting its establishment law amended to provide as follows: Section 22 (1) “An award or recommendation, made by the Commission shall be recognized as binding and subject to this Section and this Act shall, upon application in writing to the court, be enforced by the court.


“The court referred to include the federal high court, the state high court and the high court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT)”, the Executive Secretary added.


The Senior Advocate of Nigeria further stated that notwithstanding the circumstances, the Commission has conducted a number of public inquiries such as the Apo Killings, Military Shi’ittes clash, Special Anti-Robbery Squad Panel, Sexual and Gender Based Violence and END SARS protest.


He restated that with the level of poverty and illiteracy in the continent, the public inquiry mechanism of the NHRI’s in the continent remains a viable tool for an effective human rights protection in Africa, which is quick, less expensive, non-technical and responsive to the masses of Africa.


The NHRC Boss stated that the Commission has collated all the reports from 29 states on the 2020 SARS Panel pointing out that the it has paid a segment of compensations to victims amounting to N146 million, while only Lagos state out of the 14 state panels compensated the victims in the state.

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