26 July 2018

Nigeria: NHRC to Investigate Alleged Fraudulent Activities in IDP Camps

Photo: The Guardian

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) says it will investigate all genuine cases of sharp practices at Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in the country.

The Executive Secretary of the commission, Tony Ojukwu, disclosed this on Thursday in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, at a two-day interface with the government agencies with protection mandate in the state.

Mr Ojukwu assured that the commission would act on any genuine report on short changing IDPs in the distribution of food and other relief items.

However, he said the commission would rely on genuine information from the humanitarian actors to address such complaints.

The executive secretary commended the police for their response to allegations on short changing the IDPs as they sanction perpetrators.

"We will stop at nothing to ensure that violators of children and gender rights in IDP camps do not elude sanctions.

"Those who short change IDPs in the distribution of food and medical items must not go unpunished.

"If some persons cheat on IDPs and we look the other way, we don't know the next people that will become IDPs.

"I must commend the Nigerian Police for ensuring they respond fast on allegations of violation of IDPs rights, they do achieve this by constituting an investigation panel that could uncover perpetrators of such acts,"Mr Ojukwu said.

He said the interface with humanitarian actors was to enable the commission create a platform where other actors in humanitarian activities share information of mutual interest.

He said the platform would also create an opportunity for the protection actors to discuss ways forward in dealing with protection and humanitarian issues as relate to the protection action groups.

Besides, he said the meeting would enable protection actors to identify potentials and areas of future collaborations that would improve on the system and communities.

Mr Ojukwu suggested the introduction of social media platform that could enable stakeholders to interact and share ideas without necessary meeting physically.

He commended the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for the robust partnership.

He said the collaboration between the NHRC and UNHCR has impacted positively in the sensitisation of human rights of citizens in Nigeria.

He urged other development partners to emulate the UNHCR to reach out to humanitarian protection project areas to be able to see things for themselves.

Mr Ojukwu commended all the MDAs and NGOs involved in the humanitarian industry for their contributions to human protection and monitoring.

Ahmed Teejan-Cole, the Resident Officer of UNHCR in Yola, said the interface was to enable partners attain their goals.

Mr Teejan-Cole said the interaction would enable proficient citizens' protection and other humanitarian services in affected communities.

He commended the Adamawa State Government for its hospitality and accommodation of IDPs from other states.

The forum drew representatives from the Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency, Adamawa Ministries of Health, Agriculture, Education and Women Affairs.

Other MDAs in attendance were the Department of State Services, Nigerian Police Force, Nigerian Immigration Service and several NGOs in the humanitarian service sector.

(NAN)

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