Buhari Urged To Sign Bill Giving Financial Independence To National Human Rights Commission

President Muhammadu Buhari has been asked to assent to the ‘National Human Rights Commission Bill 2022’ recently passed by the Senate, with a view to making the Commission independent and free from federal government interference.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Bamidele Opeyemi, made the call in a report as cited in a statement issued by Fatimah Agwai Mohammed, NHRC Deputy Director Public Affairs, on Monday.

The lawmaker said that among other things, the bill will provide for adequate funding of the Commission, include the National Human Rights Fund in the annual National Budget thereby improving its performance and strengthening its investigative capacity.

“A virile and enduring democratic value system cannot be fully entrenched in Nigeria if we do not have an Independent and incorruptible human rights Institution with adequate funding mechanisms free from unnecessary interference from the Government”, Senator Opeyemi added.

On his part, the Executive Secretary NHRC, Tony Ojukwu SAN expressed hope that the president will assent to the new Bill (National Human Rights Commission Act 2004 (Repeal and Enactment) Bill 2022).

He said that the president’s assent to the Bill will be recorded in the nation’s history as one of the giant achievements of the current administration.

He said: “The bill will address the issue of inadequate powers and funding that have hindered the effective operation and functioning of the Commission since its establishment in 1995”.

“In the face of these challenges, the Commission is making efforts to better human rights protection as it grapples with numerous complaints that come before it on a daily basis.

“it is expected that when the law is finally signed by the President, it will sustain the grade ‘A’ status of Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission as rated by the Global Alliance of Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) in recognition of its compliance with the provisions of the Paris Principles”.

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