The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, says it would by next month commence a nationwide public inquiry into complaints of forced evictions of persons in the country’s six geopolitical zones.
Executive Secretary of the Commission, Professor Bem Angwe announced the development when a delegation from the Amnesty International looking into the right to adequate housing in Nigeria paid him a working visit.
A statement the Director of Public Affairs and Communications, Muhammad Ladan said the Commission has already called for memoranda from all concerned and affected persons in order to find a lasting solution to cases of forced evictions of persons in the country.
The statement said Professor Angwe told the team, led by Mr. Oluwatosin Popoola that the public hearing on the cases of planned and forced evictions could not start in May, due to the nation’s prevailing security challenges.
It quoted the Executive Secretary as informing Amnesty International that the commission successfully prevailed on Lagos State, Rivers and the authorities of the Federal Capital Territory to stop further demolition of houses.
Professor Angwe further told the team that there are sufficient provisions in the constitution as amended to pursue the issue of economic and social rights of Nigerians.
NCHR resolution below:
Forced Eviction: Human Rights Commission Investigates
13 April 2013
By National Human Rights Commission Nigeria
Following complaints from within and outside the country on the alleged actual/planned forced eviction of residents of various Communities across many states in Nigeria without resort to acceptable procedures; and worried by the alleged use of law enforcement agencies and the military in the various exercises;
Conscious of the fact that the alleged demolitions and forced evictions have overbearing effect on the fundamental rights of the affected communities, particularly their rights to life, adequate housing, dignity of human person, heath, education and family life as guaranteed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights as well as other regional and international human rights instruments to which Nigeria is a party;Pursuant to its mandate and powers in section 6(1) of the National Human Rights Commission Act (as amended) and further to the investigations being carried out at some affected locations across the states of the federation and the FCT, the Commission has RESOLVED to undertake a public inquiry into cases of demolitions and forced evictions in Nigeria with the following objectives:To inquire into allegations of demolitions and forced eviction in Nigeria and all Human Rights issues associated therewith;To determine the effect of these acts on the rights of the alleged victims and formulate appropriate recommendations in redressing the violations.To consider the desirability of a set of guidelines or policy recommendations on demolitions and forced evictions in Nigeria;To formulate recommendations to the Federal Government for consideration and adoption in accordance with the National Human Rights Commission Act (as amended); andTo undertake any other task that may be necessary or incidental to the foregoing.Affected individuals, groups, non-governmental organizations, community based organizations, professional groups, including legal practitioners, urban and regional planners, environmentalists, relevant government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, security agencies and members of the general public are hereby invited to send in memoranda on this important national issue, in line with the terms of reference mentioned above.All memoranda are to be addressed to:
The Executive Secretary
National Human Rights Commission
No. 19, Aguiyi Ironsi Street