In recognition of the dignity and rights of citizens and residents, the lakes The State House of Assembly seeks to establish the Lagos State Human Rights Committee.
The chairman of the Committee on Judicial Affairs, Human Rights, Public Petitions and LASIECMister Victor AkandeThis was announced during a meeting of stakeholders on Wednesday at the assembly complex.
Akande said the committee was created in the bill titled ‘An Act to Amend the Public Defender’s Office Act, 2015’.
He pointed out that before the transfer of any executive bill to the Legislative Chamber, it was important to observe a public hearing and, in this case, a meeting of interested parties is needed to take cognizance of the comments of the public.
The legislator stated that the creation of the Lagos State Human Rights Committee would further enhance the adoption of equal and inalienable rights of all members of the public.
He promised that the Lagos State House of Assembly would put a spotlight on the bill and expand it where necessary.
The president added that the Chamber will propose a robust law that addresses the problems of citizens and seeks a better way to defend them.
Speaking, Human Rights Activist, Mr. femi falanathanked the executive arm for sending the bill to the House as part of the resolutions formed at the EndSARS State Judicial Panels of Investigation.
Falana noted that the Public Defender’s Office had been entrusted with the monumental task of protecting the rights of Lagos State residents and visitors from government officials, individuals and organizations.
“The planned Human Rights Committee must be an independent body, as it will be an agency that will register the complaints and petitions of more than 21 million people.
“It will also address international forums and organizations such as ECOWAS and the United Nations on human rights issues in Lagos, Nigeria and Africa,” he said.
Falana, who argued for its independence, said the agency’s funding should also be independent since most human rights bodies do not rely on government stipends.
He suggested that the composition of the committee should involve a senior officer from the Nigerian Armed Forces to bridge the gap between the Force and any human rights cases that would be heard by the committee.
Falana further suggested that after the stakeholder meeting, various human rights agencies in the state be contacted to receive their memos.
For her part, the Director of the Public Defender’s Office, Lagos, Ms. Olayinka Adenrerahe said the committee would require separate funding as the Public Defender’s Office was already overwhelmed with human rights cases.
Also, ma’am sowemimo bimboof the Ministry of Justice, said that the state intended to implement the recommendations of the investigation panel on EndSARS.
Sowemimo added that the sought amendment was an attempt to get that up and running, monitor and observe its efficiency in the system.
Similarly, Mrs. Semi OgunfowodeSenior State Attorney for the Center for Citizen Mediation praised the process in relation to the bill.
ogunFowode said the committee was proof that the government was concerned about the welfare of the people.
News sourceCredit: YAYA