Publications

FOREWORD

The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC by law, is the foremost Human Rights Promoter and Defender in the Nigerian Body Politic. In furtherance of her statutory mandate of promoting the Observance of Human Rights in the country, the Commission undertakes periodic examination of Prisons and other detention centers across the country in order to ensure that the activities undertaken in those places conform to the Human Rights laws of the Nation. Specifically the Commission is expected ''to visit prison, police cells and other places of detention in order to ascertain the condition thereof and make recommendations to the appropriate authorities''. It is in fulfilment of this mandate therefore, that the NHRC embarked on a nationwide Prison Audit Exercise for the year 2018. This exercise was undertaken in fulfillment of her duties of ensuring the full enjoyment of human rights by both the free and the incarcerated without discrimination. This Report is on that Prisons Audit.

The Prison will always be central to the evaluation of human rights observances in any modern Nation State It is the critical institution in the overall agenda of seeking to promote and protect fundamental human rights of people who are incarcerated in various facilities so as ensure they are treated in accordance with the UN Minimum Standard for the treatment of inmates in the prison. It is the application of the UN Standard Minimum Rules in these Audits that serve as benchmark and guidelines to spot and identify areas that need to be addressed in the overall agenda of prison reforms by the Government.

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FOREWORD

Over the years, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights has developed a number of instruments to aid in the interpretation and implementation of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, particularly as it relates to criminal justice. In 2017, the Principles on the Decriminalization of Petty Offences in Africa were adopted by the African Commission. This becomes the latest development in a broader regional effort to articulate standards for acceptable human rights practices, specifically concerning matters of access to justice. This principle advocates for a holistic approach to the challenges that arise in Africa at the intersection between poverty, justice and human rights.

Despite efforts to transform criminal justice administration across Africa, particularly in Nigeria, the poor and other marginalized persons remain vulnerable to violation of their rights within the existing criminal justice framework. Such violations extend to both the enactment and enforcement of criminal laws in relation to petty offences, and to the policing which actively seeks to exclude categories of people from areas of public life, namely the poor.

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FOREWORD

The State of Human Rights in Nigeria 2018 Report is produced pursuant to Section 5(c) of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Act 1995 (as amended) which obligates the Commission to publish and submit from time to time, to the President, National Assembly, Judiciary, States and Local Governments report on the state of human rights promotion and protection in Nigeria.

This Report is a part of the series produced since 2006 maiden publication. It builds on experience garnered over the years. It is a reflection of pattern and nature of complaints received by the Commission in the Headquarters and State offices within the year under review.

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FOREWORD

The 2018 National Audit Report of Police Detention Centers produced by National Human Rights Commission is the second in the series of this important publication.

Why Should the National Human Rights Care About Detainees?
The National Human Rights Commission Act 1996 (as Amended),Section 6(d) of the Act, states that the Commission has the power to:

''Visit persons, police cells and other places of detention in order to ascertain the conditions thereof and make recommendations to the appropriate authorities''

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