By Adekunle Adeniyi/TnTv Network
Stakeholders have expressed divergent opinions on the proposed National Human Rights Commission Repeal and Re-enactment bill at the one-day public hearing organised by the National Assembly joint committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters.
The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele explained that there was need to widen the scope of funding for the Commission for impartial and independent operations.
Bamidele further explained that the preponderance of opinions of the various stakeholders on provisions of the bill will be taken into consideration in the final report of the committee.
The Nigerian military also differed on sections of the Act establishing the National Human Right Commission NHRC that gives it power that makes its decision similar in force with those of the country’s high courts.
This position came to the fore Monday at a public hearing on the National Human Rights Commission Act [Repeal and Enactment Bill] 2020 an event organized by the Joint Senate and House of Representatives Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters.
It was also gathered, that representatives of the security agencies differed on some of the provisions of the proposed, particularly section 5 ( j) of the bill which seeks to empower the commission to make an appropriate determination on complaints brought before it as may be deemed necessary in each circumstance. While others sought Judicial Power for the Commission. The military threw up these among other issues at the event which seeks to better reposition the Commission to tackle rising incidents of human rights abuses often by security agencies.
The military also faulted the exclusion of the Armed Forces, the DSS, the police, among others from the Governing Council of the NHRC.
In their separate submissions other stakeholders present including the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Anthony Ojukwu, harped on the need for enabling legislation to better reposition it in the face of worsening human rights records.
The Bill under consideration seeks to harmonize the National Human Rights Commission Act, 1995 and the Amendment Act of 2010 to, among other things, enable the Commission to conduct investigations and sustain contributions to the Human Rights Fund.
The provisions seek for the widening of the scope of funding for the Commission in making it not to solely rely on a government that may even be petitioned against by any aggrieved Nigerian.