A human rights organization, the Citizens Advocacy for Social and Economic Rights (CASER) has approached a Federal High Court in Abuja for an order to compel President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint the board for the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
CASER also wants the court to compel Buhari to appoint a substantive Executive Secretary for the commission as provided in Section 2(3), Section 7(1) of the NHRC Act, 1995.
In an ex-parte application brought through the executive director of CASER, Barr Frank Tietie, the NGO is contending that unless the appointments are made, the agency cannot adequately carry out its “function of investigation and determination of cases of alleged human rights abuses in Nigeria together with awards of necessary compensations.”
Titie also claims that only the “Governing Council has the power to decide on petitions, cases and complaints of violations of human rights received from individuals or other persons or communities,” which according to Rule 65 of the Standing Orders and Procedure of the National Human Rights Commission Nigeria that are made pursuant to Section 23 of the National Human Rights Commission Act, 1995 (as Amended).”
In an affidavit attached to the application, Barr Ikechukwu Umezurike, a legal officer with CASER averred that NHRC has been without a Governing Board since July 1, 2015, adding that the tenure of Prof Bem Angwe expired on December 7, 2016.
No date has been fixed for hearing.