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The African Commission On Human Rights Probes Nigeria


The African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights is probing Nigeria's rights records. Watchdog groups have accused security agencies of excessive use of force and extra judicial killings. The government denies the charge and says it is guided by the rule of law and the protection of individual rights. The rights commission is currently holding it's 44th session in Abuja. It will also determine to what extent Nigeria has implemented key provisions of the African Charter on Human Rights.

Fred Agbaje is a human rights attorney. He told VOA English to Africa reporter Chinedu Offor the country's rights records need a major improvement.

"The situation on the ground is not something that calls for joy in the country and I am happy that the commission for human rights is meeting and that they are taking a critical look particularly the issue of gross violation of human rights, the issue of abuse of the rule of law, that is particularly the court orders, extra-judicial killings particularly among the security agents in the country. Also the question of human trafficking is still there".

He says must take a firm position on Nigeria. " The Human Rights Commission must drum it loud and clear to the ear of the government of Nigeria that the era of gross violation of the rights of the citizenry is gone and that the rights of the citizen must take a central stage in the administration in this country".

Agbaje says the Nigeria government must hold its law enforcement agents responsible for any acts of rights abuses against citizens. "The law enforcement agents in this country in most cases and from my own private studies, about 85 percent of cases, law enforcement agents are the ones violating the law themselves".