Yemi Adedeji, Abuja
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) says it will embark on comprehensive audit of detention centres across the country next week, with the formal flagg-off at Kuje prison, Abuja.
The commission also said contrary to media report that it does not need to seek police permission before it can carry out its constitutional responsibility.
Tony Ojukwu, the Executive Secretary of the Commission, drop the hint in Abuja, during an interview with journalists at the CSOs/NHRC Dialogue on the State of Human Rights in Nigeria.
The Executive Secretary explained that the law establishing the Commission says should carry out an audit of detention centres to make sure they are being kept in line with both the constitutional and international standards.
He words:” “We have commenced the inspection of detention centres which we intend to flag-off before the end of this month formally at Kuje prisons and we also intend to do that in other geo-political zones. This is involving all our States offices, because we have offices in about 23 States,”
“For a very long time now, we have been doing prison audit, but it has not been as comprehensive as this. This is going to be in all the States of the country. Because of funding constraints some years back, only one or two states were audited. It’s a huge project for us”
“Our people are going to be in the field, we are going to visit military detention centres, police detention centres, ,SSS detention centres, prisons and so on. NDLEA, Customs detention centres will not be covered in this exercise. As funds improve we can now make provision to visit other detention centres,”
“Let me use this opportunity to clarify the issue which has been making waves in the media that the Commission had to take permission from the police to carry out the ongoing visit to detention centres, that is absolutely wrong, that is a misrepresentation of the facts. The truth is that the commission has power under the amendment Act of 2010 to visit any detention centres in this country without any permission of anybody,” Ojukwu stated.