By Austin Ogwuda
Asabaâ€”The Committee For the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), Delta state chapter, has cried out over alleged violation of human rights in the state.
The group, in a position paper submitted to the governor at the ongoing Town Hall meeting, lamented the arbitrary manner the rights of citizens were being violated by security men.
In the paper signed by the Chairman, Oghenejabor Ikimi, and Secretary, Benefit Orugbo, the group said:Â Â â€œWe members of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, (CDHR), Delta State chapter, appreciate your humility as the chief servant of the people of our dear state in organizing this novel forum where Deltans would be afforded the opportunity of expressing how they feel about their government and also to hear the side of government on issues affecting the good people of Delta State.
â€œThe above no doubt is in line with the constitutional provisions of Section 14(2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which prescribes that the primary responsibility of government shall be the welfare and security of its citizenry.
â€œThe three-point agenda of the state government, i.e. peace and security, human capital development and infrastructural development remain the most spoken about in Delta State and we would like to point out here that the greatest challenge to its success is the incessant violations of the fundamental rights of the ordinary and indigent residents of the state by security operatives and public officeholders in the state under the watchful eyes of the state government.
â€œFor instance, we are not oblivious of the existence of an agency like the Department of Peopleâ€™s Rights in the State Ministry of Justice, which aims and objectives are to defend and protect the fundamental rights of persons in the state with its only office located in Asaba.
â€œWe note with sadness and pain the fact that ordinary and indigent Deltans, with little financial means to travel from their rural settings to Asaba, the state capital to lay their complaints, have
been deprived of the services of the above government agency.
â€œWe use this medium to recommend the establishment of the Peopleâ€™s Rights Department in at least all the zonal offices of the State Ministry of Justice if funding would be an impediment to the realization of same in each local government area or better still in each ward of the state.
â€œWe also recommend the amendment of our Laws to make allowance for ordinary and indigent victims of rights violation to approach the Courts in Delta State for redress more easily as is being done under the epistolary jurisdiction of the India High Courts where any indigent member of the public can address complaints directly to a Judge who is in turn empowered to make orders as may be necessitated by the facts of the case without paying filing fees or engaging the services of a legal practitioner.â€