By Ikechukwu NNOCHIRI, Abuja
The mounting cases of human right abuse in the country would be drastically reduced if mechanisms to provide victims with lawful remedies are strengthened, the NationalHuman Rights Commission, NHRC, has said.
The Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Mr. Roland Ewubare, who made this declaration during a roundtable conference, organized by the right body with a view to accentuating some of the gray areas in human right enforcement strategies in Nigeria, further urged President Goodluck Jonathan to give speedy consideration to an amended National Human Right Bill sent to him by National Assembly for approval, stressing that it would go a long way towards empowering the commission in its bid to end torture in the country.
According to him, â€œthe level of human rights violations throughout the country remains very high even as access to justice remains strewn with hurdles.
â€œThe mechanisms to provide victims with lawful remedies must be strengthened. For instance, with concerted effort and doggedness, the NHRC Amendment Act has completed parliamentary
procedures having been passed by the National Assembly. It now awaits the assent of the President.
â€œWhen it becomes law, NHRC would be significantly strengthened and better situated to carry out its mandate of promotion and protection of human rightsâ€ he said.
Meantime, the Chairperson, Senate Committee on legal matters, Judiciary and Human Rights, Senator Umaru Dahiru and her House or Representatives counterpart, Hon. Benny Lar, has pledged to synergize their efforts, with a view to ensuring the early passage of the amendment bill into law when approved by president Jonathan.
Senator Dahiru who bemoaned the fact that the NHRC lost itâ€™s â€˜Aâ€™ status at the International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions, ICC, in 2006, however assured the commitment of the federal government to redress the situation.
In his words, â€œAs part of the efforts to assist NHRC regain her â€˜Aâ€™ status at the ICC, the senate had passed the amendment bill of the NHRC Act since February 10, 2010 and I understand that the House of Representatives have also expeditiously passed the amendment bill too.
â€œMy committee will take all reasonable steps to ensure early submission of the bill to the president for
assent and in that way, we are sure all necessary efforts on our part would have been made to enable Nigeria get back her â€˜Aâ€™ status in the comity of National Human Rights Institutions, he said