The Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission, Tony Ojukwu (SAN), has said that the commission received more than two million complaints in a year.
Ojukwu also said if each of the complaints is investigated with a sum of N5,000, it will cost the commission nothing less than N10 million to investigate the complaints.
The human rights agency chief said the annual budget of the commission is N4.5 billion and it’s expected to carry out its activities such as rents for its state offices, salaries and investigations of complaints among other responsibilities from the budget.
He decried the low budgetary allocation to the commission, adding that the paltry annual budget allocation of N4.5 billion is grossly inadequate to meet the mandates of the commission.
He lamented that most of the state offices occupied by the commission are on rented structures which may expose it to notions of politics and interested landlords.
“Together, we can raise awareness on human rights issues and spark meaningful conversations that lead to effective positive change,” Ojukwu said.
Continuing, he said the NHRC is committed to its mandate of promoting, protecting and enforcing human rights in the country, adding that it will remain committed to the vital role it plays in ensuring that the rights of every individual are respected and protected, regardless of their background, beliefs or circumstances.
“The commission is here to serve as a beacon of hope, a refuge for the oppressed and a watchdog against any encroachment on human rights,” Ojukwu said.
In his speech, Chairman, FCT Correspondent Chapel, Nigerian Union of Journalists, Mr. Jide Oyekunle, observed that most of the cases of human rights violations are being carried out by the police.
He noted, “Nigeria Police has become more of an instrument of oppressions and coercion against innocent citizens, and a willing tool in the hands of the rich and few powerful individuals in the society to intimidate and victimise the common man or perceived opponent.
“The lack of trust and confidence in the police by the Nigerian citizens continues to exist irrespective of the hypocritical posters and television advertisements by the police authorities to create a positive image for the force.”
He added that, despite the success recorded politically, Nigerians keep receiving human rights violations at the hands of security agencies, without any of the perpetrators being punished.
Oyekunle said the issue of human rights violations in Nigeria has become a hydra-headed monster that we must all join hands to kill before we all become the victims.
Madukwe B. Nwabuisi is an accomplished journalist renown for his fearless reporting style and extensive expertise in the field. He is an investigative journalist, who has established himself as a kamikaze reporter.