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Senate confirms appointments of Chair, members of NHRC

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The Senate on Tuesday confirmed the nomination of Salamatu Hussaini Suleiman as Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission.

Also confirmed were the appointments of fifteen other nominees as members of the Commission.

The nominees include: Mrs. Beatrice Jedy-Agba, Amb. Umar Zainab Salisu, Mrs. Dafe T. Adesida, Joseph Onyemaechi Mmamel, Ahmad Abubakar Fingilla, Kemi Asiwaju-Okenyodo, and Abubakar Muhammad.

Others are: Femi Okeowo, Sunny Daniel, Barr. Agabaidu Chukwuemeka Jideani, Mrs. Nella Andem-Rabana, Azubuike Nwakwenta, Jamila Isah, Mrs. Idayat Omolara Hassan, and Mr. Anthony Ojukwu.

The confirmation of the nominees followed the consideration of a report by the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters.

Chairman of the Committee, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti Central), said that the Committee was guided by the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and the extant law, which established the National Human Rights Commission.

He, however, observed that Section 14(3) of the Constitution requires that the composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies, should reflect the Federal Character Principles.

Citing Section 3(2) and 3 of the National Human Rights (Amendment) Act, he noted that the composition of the Council to consist of the Chairman and Members of the Commission should represent various segments of the human rights community.

According to the lawmaker, “it is noteworthy to state that the composition of the Governing Council of the National Human Rights Commission as presented to the 9th Senate, does not comply with the provisions of the Constitution as it relates to the Federal Character Principles.”

He added that, “human rights issues does not only affect a segment but cut across all parts of the country. As such, all geo-political zones must be represented in conformity with the provisions of the Constitution, in light of emerging human rights abuses in the country.”

The lawmaker, therefore, urged, “that the Senate do draw the attention of Mr. President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federation to the lop-sidedness in the composition of the Governing Council of the National Human Rights Commission, which is an infraction against the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended.”

Bamidele further noted, “that the Senate and indeed the National Assembly does not only make law but also ensures that the laws made are complied with, through the mechanisms of checks and balances.

“Therefore, it is our duty to draw the attention of the Executive who is saddled with the responsibilities of making nominations for appointments into any position in the country to ensure compliance with the Federal Character Principles in line with the Constitution.”

Contributing, Senator Jibrin Barau (APC, Kano North) described the nominees as “qualified to hold the saddle of the position that each of them were nominated for.”

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, in his remarks after the appointments of the nominees were confirmed, urged the executive arm of government to comply with the observations raised by the Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters Committee, by ensuring it adheres to the Federal Character Principles as provided in the 1999 Constitution (as amended) in making appointments.

“The Committee has raised some observations, and I want to reiterate here that the executive should take very serious note of the observations raised in the area of ensuring that there is compliance with the constitutional provisions for appointments like this”, the Senate President said.

 

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Defence and Security

Security: Strengthens Fight Against Sea Crimes With 14 Enhancement Boats

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The Federal Government has commissioned enforcement and security facilities for the nation’s maritime industry, including five new patrol and security boats.

The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, who commissioned the project in Lagos State on Monday, said the project was part of the government’s commitment to good governance and institutionalised policies for improved maritime safety and security.

“The commissioning reaffirms our commitment as the project to be commissioned is directly tied to the mission of NIMASA which is to achieve and sustain safe, secure shipping, cleaner oceans and enhanced maritime capacity in line with best global practices towards Nigeria’s economy and development.

“There are five sets of the art enforcement platforms that will ensure strict compliance and adherence that will expand laws governing the operations of the maritime domain.

“These platforms will give NIMASA the much-needed tools required to function as a maritime administration in line with the protocols and conventions of the International Maritime Organization and International Labour Organization to which NIMASA represents Nigeria as its contracting partners,” he said.

The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Bashir Jamoh, stated that the expansion of its security access would intensify the internal security under waterways, taking into cognizance the recent cases of oil theft.

“While we have our vision set on achieving something great, we spontaneously took cognizance of the damaging impact of piracy, kidnapping of sea bearers, smuggling, illegal oil bunkering, robbery, sea unregulated and unreported fishing has harped on our maritime sector.

“Beyond the stride and overcoming the maritime crime at the Gulf of Guinea, the management of the maritime administration put more attention on ensuring that we maintain steady and straightforward output in building our infrastructure,” he added.

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Defence and Security

National Defence College alumni association advocates security for nation’s forests

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The Alumni Association of the National Defence College (AANDEC) on Monday in Abuja advocated for concerted efforts to secure the nation’s forests.

The association also advocated for the deployment of technology by the military and other security agencies in tackling insecurity across the country.

AANDEC made the calls at a news conference addressed by its president, retired Air Commodore Darlington Abdullahi, to herald its 12th national security seminar.

The seminar, with the theme: “Application of Technology as Force Multiplier in Enhancing Peace and Security in Nigeria’’ holds in Abuja on Tuesday and Wednesday.

AANDEC organises the seminar annually in collaboration with the Office of the National Security Adviser and the National Defence College, to address, contemporary national security issues.

Abdullahi said the call for adoption of technology in fighting insecurity became necessary owing to the issue of uncovered spaces and number of forests being used by criminals as hideouts.

He said that AANDEC believed that it was time to consolidate on the successes already achieved by applying some force multipliers, considering the spread of criminal activities.

He added that there was the need to leverage on technology to adequately enhance security operations and put an end to terminologies such as “ungoverned spaces’’ and “unknown gunmen’’.

According to him, there is a limit to which the military can continually increase the physical strength of the security services.

Abdullahi noted that the association’s suggestions would, however, not replace good governance as a means of ensuring that Nigerians are adequately catered for and given a sense of belonging.

He commended the research and development efforts of the armed forces of Nigeria and those of other security agencies.

He suggested that the efforts could be increased through the consideration of private sector participation in the funding and management of the Nigeria Defence Industrial Complex.

He added that the efforts must be developed with a business model supported by state protection and aggressive regional marketing focused on local resources such as in technical education.

“The need to develop or review a Military Technology Development Strategy for the nation, especially the defence industrial base, deserves more attention now to aid self-sufficiency in defence equipment production.

“This can be achieved by developing clusters of interrelated value chains within category-based technological specificities such as the production of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles,’’ he said.

He noted that Brazil adopted the approach to prevent proliferation of research institutes.

He said also that AANDEC chose theme of the seminar to aid the development of a robust national defence industry, it’s funding and administration.

“This is considering all we have gone through in trying to manage or resolve conflicts and dealing with terrorists, insurgents, and cyber criminals, bandits and unknown gunmen,’’ Abdullahi explained.

 

(NAN)

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Defence and Security

Nigeria Is Not Under Any Threat – Defence HQ

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The Nigerian Defence Headquarters has said there is no cause for alarm with the presence of some United Nations Peacekeeping Fighting vehicles and equipment recently sighted in Benin, Edo State.

In a statement issued by Acting Director Defence Information, Brigadier General, Tukur Gusau, in Abuja, explained that Nigeria is contributing troops to various United Nations operations, the most recent is United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), Southern Sudan.  The Mission is commanded by a Nigerian, Major General Benjamin Olufemi Sawyerr.

General Gusau said It should be noted that the UN doesn’t have its own troops, rather it enters into agreement with troops contributing countries to provide their personnel and equipment for operations in its various missions.

‘Therefore, it is imperative to state emphatically that the military fighting vehicles and equipment painted in UN colour as sighted are being moved through the Warri port for movement to the mission area in Southern Sudan to marry up with our troops who were inducted into UNISFA mission last month.’

‘The Defence Headquarters wishes to react to some social media video clips been circulated arising from the presence of some United Nations Peacekeeping fighting vehicles and equipment sighted recently in Benin, Edo state. This has resulted to insinuations which are inimical to public peace and may even cause panic.’

The Director declared that the Defence Headquarters under the leadership of General Lucky Irabor CFR wish to assure Nigerians that our nation is not under any threat that will warrant the deployment of United Nations troops in our soil.

 

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