During the intersession, I was engaged in a number of activities as Commissioner.
1. Joint meeting of ACHPR & ACtHPR to harmonize their respective Rules of Procedure on complementarity, held in Arusha , Tanzania from the 14th to the 17th of July, 2009
I attended this important meeting together with my colleagues and members of the Court.
At the end of the meeting some success was achieved in harmonizing some of the relevant rules. However, a lot of work remained to be done. Accordingly, the meeting was adjourned for continuation in Dakar, Senegal to the 12th to 17th of October, 2009.
As the Ag. Chairman of the Commission's Committee on Budget and Staff matters, I convened a meeting on the side of the joint meeting of the ACHPR and the ACtHPR.
The meeting discussed and agreed on the activities for the 2010 budget of the Commission and recommended that the Bureau of the Commission meet the Vice Chairperson of African Union Commission to sensitize him on the financial and budget constraints of the Commission.
2. ACHPR Preparatory meeting to the meeting with the ACtHPR and for Consideration of comments by various stakeholders on the ACHPR interim rules ,held in Dakar, Senegal from the 5th to the 11th of October, 2009.
I participated at this meeting during which the Commission discussed and came up with proposals on the remaining rules of complementarity to be put before the Court.
I could not attend the meeting with the Court which was held in Dakar, Senegal from the 12th to the 16th October, 2009 immediately after the preparatory meeting. I was delegated by the Ag. Chairperson of the Commission to attend the Mid-Term Review Meeting of the budgets of all AU organs, convened by the PRC in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at the same time that the meeting with the Court was taking place in Dakar, Senegal.
3. Mid-term Review of the PRC
The Mid – Term Review meeting was scheduled to take place from the 14th to the 19th of October, 2009. I arrived in Addis Ababa on the 13th October, 2009 and was informed that it had been postponed to the 28th of October, 2009. I used the opportunity of the postponement to meet as many members of the PRC and AU Officials as time would allow, sensitizing them on the challenges facing the Commission.
On the 27th of October, 2009 the Secretary, the Finance and Administration Officer of the Commission, as members of my delegation, attended the reconvened meeting at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa. It was again postponed to the 2nd November, 2009. My delegation used the opportunity of our presence at the AU Headquarters to follow up on outstanding matters relating to the Commission's affairs, including meetings and courtesy calls on some members of the PRC, the Commissioner of the Department Political Affairs and the Director of Administration and Human Resources Development of the AUC.
The report of the meeting held with H.E. the Commissioner of Political affairs will be circulated to members of the Commission.
4. Invitation by the Republic of Zimbabwe for a joint promotional mission scheduled to take place from the 19th to the 23rd of August, 2009.
The joint mission was to be undertaken by the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information, the Special Rapporteur on Prisons and Places of Detention, together with myself as the Commissioner Rapporteur of the state party. The state party also invited the mission to present papers in a stakeholders’ seminar scheduled to take place from the 20th to the 22nd of August, 2009, within the mission period of 19th to 23rd August, 2009. Unfortunately, the proposed dates were found inconvenient by the members of the proposed mission. It is hoped that the state party of Zimbabwe will kindly renew the invitation for a joint mission, base on the standard practice of promotional missions, within the context of the standard terms of reference of the mission.
5. Promotional mission to the Federal Republic of Nigeria
The mission took place from the 14th to the 18th of September, 2009 with Dr. Feyi Ogunade, Senor Legal Officer, and myself heading the mission. The mission's terms of reference included the following:
- To promote the African Charter, exchange views and information on the import and implementation of the African Charter;
- Encouraging dialogue between the African Commission and the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the legislative and other measures taken towards the implementation of the African Charter;
- Exchange views with all human rights stakeholders, including the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the ways and means of enhancing the enjoyment of human rights in the country;
- To raise awareness and the visibility of the African Commission and its functions, especially among the relevant government departments / institutions, and within civil society;
- To seek clarification and follow up on reports and information received by the African Commission about the human rights situation in the Country; and
- To follow up on the recommendations in the concluding observations to the 3rd Periodic Report presented to the African Commission by the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria during the 44th Ordinary Session of the Commission
The mission was well received and held discussions with various stakeholders, including Ministers, legislators, the National Human Rights Commission, other national institutions and Commissions, members of civil society, the press, and gave a prime time interview on national television.