“As a co-ordinating institution for the promotion and protection of human rights in Nigeria, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) is not more important than other stakeholders in the struggle for the promotion and protection of Human Rights in Nigeria”, these were the words of Executive Secretary of the nhrc, Prof. Bem Angwe, at a meeting with Partners held recently in the Commission.
Prof. Angwe said the Commission cannot single-handedly seek to achieve its mandate without going into partnership with key institutions who campaign for the cause of promoting and protecting human rights.
The meeting which was aimed at further consolidating the cordial relationship existing between the NHRC and relevant institutions also explored avenues of further collaboration in areas of promotion and protection of human rights while strengthening the capacity of stakeholders concerned.
In his remarks, a member of the Governing Council of the NHRC, Commissioner Olawale Fapohunda, said the resources of the Commission is always limited and cannot be enough to carry out all important activities. This therefore makes it imperative to explore ways to engage partners with similar mandate aiming at achieving the best in the promotion and protection of human rights in the country.
Commissioner Fapohunda said the Commission wishes to positively engage stakeholders like the Police to get rid of what hinders the achievement of their common mandates. Adding that the Commission is involved in the joint platform set up to review the legal status of the Nigerian Prisons. He said Lawyers are already being deployed to the prisons in the 36 states across the nation to address some legal anomalies which occur in prisons.
The Commissioner also said that the justice sector issue is always subdued in the constitutional reform process and there is need for the partners to make concerted efforts to ensure that it is given special prominence.
In attendance were the Nigeria Law Reform Commission, Nigerian Bar Association, ASF France (Lawyers without Borders), Legal Aid Council, Network of National Human Rights Institutions in West Africa, The Nigeria Police, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and other related matters (NAPTIP), and the Federal Ministry of Justice.