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Public agencies should protect the rights of Nigerians

29 May 2014, 09:36

I earlier sent a petition against the SSS to the National Human Rights Commission and the House of Representatives Committee on Human Rights. Ado Abdul Sule,the Secretary, House of Representatives Committee on Human Rights informed me by phone this morning that the House of Representatives is not empowered constitutionally to look into human rights abuses petitions from Nigerians. He said that only the NHRC is constitutionally empowered to do so. He advised me to go to the courts. Sule equally told me they are presently busy with budgeting issues.

I checked the National Assembly website and got the following information:

About the Committee on Human Rights:

Order XVII Rule B. 34.-(1) of the House Standing Rules 2007 states that there shall be a Committee to be known as Committee on Human Rights consisting of not more than 40 members appointed at the commencement of the life of
the House.

(2) The Committee's jurisdiction shall cover:
(a) All human right issues including petitions of rights
(b) Human Rights Commission;
(c) Public Trustees;
(d) Coordination and implementation of Child Right Act and
other matters related thereto;
(e) National Refugee Commission;
(f) National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons
(g) Consideration and Appropriation of Annual budget estimate of
related MDAs.

Clearly, Ado Abdul Sule is saying that item (a) is not within their constitutional duties but item (g) is part of their constitutional duties.

The NHRC has refused to act on my petition.The SSS have continued to violate my fundamental human rights at will. The House of Representatives that should provide oversight functions and act on my petition claims it has no powers to do so. In Nigeria, public agencies simply look the other way rather than protect the rights of Nigerians. Too bad!

When will our public agencies recognize the common man as individuals to be protected against the lawlessness of our security agencies?

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