Human rights: PCC receives 9,016 petitions in eight months

The Public Complaints Commission, a parastatal under the Presidency, has received about 9,016 petitions over alleged human rights violations between January and August 2015.

Out of these complaints which came from the 36 states of the country and the Federal Capital Territory, 3,640 have been resolved while the remaining 5,376 are pending cases.

The Chief Commissioner of PCC, Mr. Emmanuel Ogbile, stated this in an interview with our correspondent on the sidelines of a meeting he held with the Chairperson of the Commission of Administrative Justice and Secretary-General of African Ombudsman and Mediators Association, Dr. Otiende Amollo.

The meeting with Amollo, who is also the Chief Ombudsman of Kenya, was aimed at repositioning the PCC in its determination to resolve grievances over perceived injustices among Nigerians.

At the event, Amollo urged African countries to unite and fight impunity and corruption which, he said, were major obstacles to Africa’s development.

Ogbile said, “If Nigerians are not aware of what the PCC does or that it exists to address their concerns relating to administrative perceived injustice, then that is why we are here. Between January and August 2015, the PCC received about 9,016 petitions from the 36 states and the FCT. While 3,640 cases have been resolved, there are 5,376 pending cases yet to be resolved. We have defined and designed certain strategies to improve.”

According to him, PCC would be organising a capacity building retreat scheduled for between October 14 and 16 to seek ways of improving on its mandate.

He said, “The purpose of the retreat is to reposition the ombudsman and bring out certain things that we have not done before; we intend to do them and one of such things is that we intend to engage Nigerians that have complaints to talk about the various agencies of government that people complain about, including the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, Nigerian Prisons Services and Nigeria Police Force in form of a public forum.

“We are expected to work harder and that is what we are doing to get Nigerians to appreciate that there exists the PCC through which they can seek redress.”

Amollo said corruption must be urgently tackled if Africa must progress in line with the dreams of its founding fathers.

He said, “Corruption is a problem everywhere in Africa and even beyond Africa. It is not just an African problem. And so, those who sometimes say corruption is only given to Africa are missing the point.

“The main problem is not corruption. The main problem is impunity. And therefore, the main fight that we must focus on is the fight against impunity and that fight against impunity requires multiple approaches.

“We must start dedicated anti-corruption agencies such as you have in Nigeria, like the EFCC, the ICPC and others. But we must start to have bodies that have complementary mandate to fight impunity such as the PCC. It is only if you have multiple efforts and if all these bodies work to complement one another that impunity and corruption will be reduced.”

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