18 May 2017

Nigeria: Reps Reject Bill On Stigmatisation of Boko Haram Victims

The House of Representatives on Thursday rejected a bill for an Act to prohibit the stigmatisation of victims of insurgency or militancy.

The bill, which was sponsored by Ahmed Yerima (Kano-APC), sought to provide for prosecution of any person or group, who may prevent such victims from reintegrating in the community.

Leading the debate on the bill, Mr. Yerima had said that the bill, if passed, would uphold and protect the fundamental rights of the victims to dignity and freedom of association as enshrined in the Constitution.

According to him, the bill targets victims of Boko Haram insurgency, who after rehabilitation, still find it difficult to reintegrate due to stigmatisation.

While canvassing support for the bill, the lawmaker stressed the need for a mechanism to restrain those who stigmatised such victims in the country.

In his contribution, the Chairman, House Committee on Rules and Business, Emmanuel Orker-Jev (Benue-APC), opposed the bill.

Mr. Order-Jev argued that what the bill sought to achieve had been provided for in relevant sections of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

He said "the Constitution is supreme over Acts of parliament" and urged members to drop the bill.

After contributions by members, the bill was rejected through a unanimous vote put by the Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara. (NAN)

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