NHRC Commences Public Inquiries Into Forced Evictions In June



NHRCThe National Human Commission (NHRC) will in June this year commence a nationwide public inquiry into complaints of forced evictions of persons in the six geo-political zones.
The Executive Secretary of NHRC, Prof. Bem Angwe who disclosed this on Monday when a delegation from the Amnesty International paid a working visit the Commission over the right adequate housing in Nigeria, said that the Commission has already called for memoranda from all concerned and affected persons in order find a lasting solution to the matter.
Prof. Angwe told the team led by Mr. Oluwatosin Popoola that the public hearing on the cases of planned and forced evictions ought have kicked off this month (May) but for the security challenges in the country; which has engaged the attention of the Commission.
He used the correct the impression that no compensations were paid victims of demolished structures in Abomena Wharf in Rivers , pointing out that available records confirm that the government paid compensations victims even though there were complaints which were also being addressed by the Rivers Government.
He said that “Rivers government had set up an appeal panel to address cases of inadequate compensations to those whose houses were pulled down”. He however expressed concern that the Rivers government breached its agreement with the house owners by demolishing their buildings before the expiration of the 3-month period earlier agreed upon.
He also informed the visiting international how the Commission successfully prevailed upon Lagos, Rivers state and the authorities of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), not to demolish further houses in Makoko, Waterfront and Mpape communities respectively.
Prof. Angwe also disclosed that the issue of forced eviction is a national concern and that all the stakeholders including the Amnesty International are expected to attend the public hearing and make presentations which would metamorphose into a policy guideline for government with regard to such matters.
Speaking on the issue of economic and of Nigerians which are often regarded as none justiciable, Prof. Angwe stated that there are sufficient in the Constitution and other human instruments to enforce , economic and cultural of Nigerians. He said the problem rather of awareness Nigerians who hardly approach the Commission the courts to enforce such rights.
Earlier, the leader of the Amnesty group, Mr. Popoola told the Executive Secretary that their visit to ascertain the extent of forced evictions in Nigeria and to also know the various roles being played by the commission to address the ugly trend.
Against this backdrop, he said that his organization interested in finding out the specific steps already taken by the commission to address cases of forced evictions which he noted has serious human rights implications on the victims.

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