The Vice Chancellor, Confluence University of Science and Technology (CUSTECH), Osara, Prof. Salawu Sadiku, has declared to partner the Kogi State Public Defender and Citizens’ Rights Commission (PDCRC) in sensitizing the university community on activities of the Commission in the area of promotion and protection of human rights.
The vice chancellor gave the assurance when the Director General of the Commission, led a team of lawyers from the Commission on an advocacy visit to the institution on Thursday in Osara, Adavi Local Government Area of Kogi State.
The VC thanked the DG for the elaborate explanation on the mandates and responsibilities of the commission, saying the university stand to benefits immensely from the proposed partnership as the need to prevent abuses and violation of human rights in tertiary institutions is more now than any other time.
According to him , the first thing is to organise sensitisation programme in partnership with the Commission for the university community on human rights of staff and students as well as the corresponding duties.
”We plan to open for session sometimes late March and we can organise the sensitisation programme in May when the generality of the students and lecturers will be on ground”, he said.
Sadiku further assured that the university management would collaborate with the commission to jointly work out the modalities of establishing the proposed PDCRC Human Rights Club as requested by the commission.
”We are happy that something like this is happening in the state; we have heard your message. Awareness will begin with the management team of the university.
”We appreciate your coming and we promise to always open our mind and doors to you and to whatever you want to say.
The VC commended the Governor of the state , Alhaji Yahaya Bello for his proactiveness in the establishment of the Commission to ensure that all Kogi residents have access to justice.
Earlier, the Director General, Kogi PDCRC, Barrister Abdullahi Zakari, said the visit was to seek partnership with the institution for the promotion, protection and enforcement of fundamental human rights of persons within the University community.
Zakari noted that the Governor, signed into law, the bill establishing Kogi PDCRC Law, 2018, on June 3, 2019, giving meaning to access to justice as a key instrument in the enforcement of human rights in the state.
He stressed that the Commission provides free legal aid and representations in civil and criminal matters in all Courts, and other related services to indigent and vulnerable residents of Kogi, who could not afford the service of legal practitioners.
”We have done that successfully for two years and we have successfully handled about 29 cases since the establishment of the commission” he said
He congratulated the VC for starting the university from the scratch and building it to be one of the fastest growing universities in the North Central, Nigeria.
He, therefore sought for the partnership of the VC in achieving its goals and objectives through the establishment of PDCRC’s Human Rights Club within the university environment.
He also urged the university to be the platform through which the commission could reach out to the public by in the area of human rights education of residents and the knowledge of available channels for the members of the public to ventilate issues relating to abuses and violations of their rights, stressing that the services of the Commission are free.
”The tendency to have human rights suppressed is very high in university environments. We have come to show you that we have a lot to do with you as far as access to justice is concerned,” Zakari said.
He stressed that Kogi was one of the few States in Nigeria that has the commission put in place, with a Governing Council’s that involve representatives of all the security agencies, FIDA, NBA, Ministry of Justice, Women Affairs, among others.