UN apologizes to Nigeria over false allegation


Zeid Al-Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is in the news again. This time, to apologize to the Federal Government of Nigeria over his statement listing Nigeria as one of UN’s defaulting members on Human rights issues. According to the statement, he described Nigeria alongside Venezuela, Egypt and the Philippines, as an “uncooperative” member, alleging them for blocking multiple UN expert visits to human rights hot spots.

The apology from the High Commissioner came following the concerned raised on Wednesday, 14th of June, by the Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Sola Enikanolaiye, at the 35th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The Permanent Secretary registered the country’s displeasure over the statement, charging the High Commissioner of committing a gross misrepresentation slander. He further noted that such utterance can earn the Zeid Al – Hussein to lose credibility in the eyes of Nigerians.

“Nigeria has has always cooperated with international experts and committed to discharge its human rights obligations.” Adding that, “This (False Allegation) amounts to gross misrepresentation capable of eroding the confidence and credibility of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in the eyes of Nigerians.”

It is in this light that Zeid Al-Hussein withdrew his claims, accepting and apologizing to have stated in plain error. This apology is contained in a letter forwarded to Nigeria’s Ambassador to the UN Office and Other International Organisations, Amb. Audu Kadiri. Al-Hueesin expressed his regret and prayed the Government of Nigeria to pardon the gross mistake.

“In my oral update to the 35th Session of the UN Human Rights Council on June 6, I had stated in error that Nigeria had only accepted one visit of special procedures in 2016 and the last previous visit was in 2017.

“Nigeria has received several special procedure mandate holders in past years.

“I deeply regret this unfortunate mistake and I trust that you will accept and convey to your government my sincere apology.”

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.