Death Of Job Seekers:Rights Commission Orders Comprehensive Audit



Chidi_Odinkalun 300The National Human Rights Commission of Nigeria,NHRC has directed its secretariat to carry out a comprehensive audit of over 20 job seekers who were killed in the stampede at various centres during the Immigration recruitment exercise last weekend.The directive was issued during the first statutory meeting of the Governing Council of NHRC held in Port Harcourt.
A communique of the meeting said among others that “Council received an interim report on the death of over 20 jobseekers at various venues in various parts of the country where they were invited to undergo aptitude tests preceding employment into the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS). Council directed the Secretariat to carry out a comprehensive audit of all the dead and injured victims during the exercise with a view to ascertaining appropriate remedies for them.

The Commission also condemned the growing violence in the country. “Council considered and strongly condemned the situation of escalating violence in the country in recent weeks, including in particular:the attack on and killing of school children in Federal Government College Buni-Yadi in Yobe State and other schools in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe States;• the abduction of women and adolescent girls in acts of extremist violence by non-state state actors;the killing of at least 119 persons in attacks against villages and human settlements in Southern Kaduna; the killing of over 100 persons in attacks by yet-unknown gunmen on villages and human settlements in Katsina State; and the killing of innocent citizens in various places in Benue State by yet-to-be identified gunmen. Council urges Government at the Federal and State levels to take urgent steps to arrest this situation, ensure effective deterrence and accountability for these atrocities, and improve the institutional capabilities for protection of the lives and property of all persons in Nigeria and for the protection of the institutions of democratic governance.

The Communique signed by the commission’s chairman and executive secretary reads in full:”The Governing Council of the National Human Rights Commission convened for its 1st 2014 statutory meeting at the Viontel Hotel in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on 19-21 March, 2014. Nine members of Council attended the meeting.

Council considered the Initial Report of the Technical Working Group on the Independent Review of Evidence of Gross Violation of the Rights to Participate in Government, to Public Service, and to Fair Trial Through the Election Petition Process in Nigeria, 2007-2011 (also known as the End Electoral Impunity Project). Following deliberations on the Report, Council accepted the recommendations of the Technical Working Group and resolved as follows:

“To forward to the Honorable Attorney-General of the Federation and Attorneys-General of the States in appropriate cases, list of persons indicted by the report with a recommendation for their prosecution;
“To establish a Unit within the Commission focused on investigating and reporting on electoral impunity;

“In keeping with the statutory responsibilities of the Commission, to focus its work on the right to participation and elections on monitoring election-related crimes (violence during elections) and ensuring
accountability for them;
“To collaborate with the National Judicial Institute (NJI) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to sensitise the judiciary on the need to prevent electoral impunity by ordering, in appropriate cases, for the prosecution of persons shown in election petition proceedings to be involved in electoral crimes; and

“To establish a thematic mandate on Law Enforcement, Security, Violence and Participation, and
accordingly appointed Mrs. Funmi Falana as Special Rapporteur with responsibility for this mandate.

Council considered a draft report of its Panel of Inquiry into the Apo Killings of 20 September 2013 and approved the release of the report to the public. Accordingly, Council directed the Executive Secretariat to issue Hearing Notices to all the parties to attend the sitting of the Panel for the release of the report and decision of the Commission on 7 April 2014.

“Council considered and strongly condemned the situation of escalating violence in the country in recent weeks, including in particular:the attack on and killing of school children in Federal Government College Buni-Yadi in Yobe State and other schools in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe States;• the abduction of women and adolescent girls in acts of extremist violence by non-state state actors;the killing of at least 119 persons in attacks against villages and human settlements in Southern Kaduna;the killing of over 100 persons in attacks by yet-unknown gunmen on villages and human settlements in Katsina State; and the killing of innocent citizens in various places in Benue State by yet-to-be identified gunmen. Council urges Government at the Federal and State levels to take urgent steps to arrest this situation, ensure effective deterrence and accountability for these atrocities, and improve the institutional capabilities for protection of the lives and property of all persons in Nigeria and for the protection of the institutions of democratic governance.

“Council received an interim report on the death of over 20 jobseekers at various venues in various parts of the country where they were invited to undergo aptitude tests preceding employment into the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS). Council directed the Secretariat to carry out a comprehensive audit of all the dead and injured victims during the exercise with a view to ascertaining appropriate remedies for them.

“Council commenced consideration in public hearing of the complaint by the Governor of Rivers State concerning the human rights situation in the State. DATED in Port Harcourt, Rivers State this 20th Day of March, 2014

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