The Federal Government on Thursday inaugurated an Inter-Ministerial Committee to prepare Nigeria’s third review cycle of the Universal Periodic Review of human rights situation in Nigeria.
Dr. Habiba Lawal, the Acting Secretary to Government of the Federation, performed the inauguration.
Lawal noted that since the last review in 2013, significant developments and achievements had been recorded by Nigeria in the implementation of its voluntary commitments.
She said the Terms of Reference to guide the committee include: “To prepare and submit to the Federal Government a draft report of the human rights situation in Nigeria in accordance with the UNHRC guidelines for the purpose of the review.”
Others are: “To assess the level of implementation of previous recommendations made to Nigeria by UNHRC during the second review cycle, and to take appropriate steps toward the implementation of recommendations accepted by Nigeria.
“To plan and coordinate the processes necessary for the preparation of the Universal Periodic review country report including the engagement of consultants to work on the draft.”
Lawal urged members of the committee to discharge the assignment given to them with all seriousness.
Also speaking, Oti Ovrawah, the acting Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission, explained that the Nigeria Human Right Situation would be due for another review process in June 2018 as part of the third review cycle.
Ovrawah said that the commission was pleased that appropriate steps were being put in place for the review of the commission.
In his remarks, Taiwo Abidogun, the Chairman of the Committee, thanked Lawal for the honour and opportunity to serve in the committee.
Abidogun, who is the Solicitor-General of the Federation, promised to carry out his duties with all sense of responsibility, promising that the terms of reference would be their guide.
He, however, solicited the support of the SGF to provide all required logistics to help facilitate their job as they had limited time to submit the report.
Abidogun said: “The preparation is somewhat behind time. We want to plead that all required logistics and funding should be made available for us to move fast.
“We have just six months to submit the report to the United Nations Human Rights Council, and we will try to submit within a very short time.”
Members of the committee were drawn from the Federal Ministries of Justice, Interior, Health, Education, Women Affairs, Nigeria Police Force, Civil Society Organisations, and the Nigeria Bar Association, among others.