The Kogi government has inaugurated a 10-man Human Rights Special Intervention Group (HRSIG) committee to help the victims of human rights abuse have access to justice.
The committee was inaugurated on Friday in Lokoja by Abdulahi Zakari, the Director-General, Office of the Public Defender and Citizens’ Rights Commission (PDCRC).
Zakari said that the inauguration was in response to the persistent violations of the rights of Kogi residents and the inability of the victims to access justice.
According to him, the committee inauguration is a timely response by the ‘pro-youth and pro-poor governor’, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, towards ensuring that the rights of residents and citizens of the state were secured.
He said that the governor had, while identifying with the youth, promised to set up a special committee to handle the alleged brutality by law enforcement officers.
The director-general noted that the committee members were drawn from relevant agencies, based on their track records, urging them to consider their service as to God and humanity.
He enjoined them to respond to issues of domestic violence and abuses and other issues pertaining to violation of the fundamental human rights of the people of the state.
Zakari added that the committee should also respond to illegal arrests and detention by law enforcement agencies and submit monthly report to PDCRC.
He said that the committee would be operating under PDCRC, established on June 3, 2019, to respond to the need for access to justice by the indigents and ensure the protection of their human rights.
The director-general commended the governor for his quick response to the yearnings of the citizens, particularly through the sweeping reforms of the criminal justice system in the state.
He noted that the state’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Ibrahim Mohammed (SAN), had been in the forefront of many great reforms in the criminal justice sector, such as the establishment of PDCRC.
”Kogi is one of the very few states that have PDCRC to respond to the need for access to justice as one of the critical functions of government,” he said.
The Chairman of the commission’s Governing Council, Muizideen Abdullahi, urged members of HRSIG to rise up to the challenge and handle their assignments with all the attention it deserved, saying it was a call to serve humanity.
Members of the committee were drawn from the Police, DSS, NSCDC, the National Human Rights Commission, Ministry of Justice, NBA and the Office of PDCRC.
In his acceptance speech, the chairman of the commission, who is also the Vice-Chairman of NBA, Lokoja branch, assured of members’ commitment to ensuring the delivery of their mandate to the best of their abilities.