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Public complaint commission and fundamental human right protection. A study of Anambra State PCC, Awka.

Abstract

 This study was on public complaint commission and fundamental human right protection. Three objectives were raised which included: To find out the effect of public complaint commission on human right protection, to find out how quick public complaint commission do intervene on human right abuse and to find out the effect on public complaint commission on mal administration in public offices. The study adopted a survey research design and conveniently enrolled 80 participants in the study. A total of 77 responses were received and validated from the enrolled participants where all respondents were drawn from staffs of public complaint commission in Anambra state. Hypothesis was tested using Chi-Square statistical tool (SPSS).

 

Chapter one

Introduction

1.1Background of the study

The idea of human rights is that there are certain rights attached to the individual which should not be taken away from him except in circumstances considered reasonable and allowed by law. Human rights are those rights which the international community recognizes as belonging to all individuals by the very fact of their humanity. These rights combined with traditional legal system seek to protect the essential rights of its subject (Nnamani,1995)

The most banal statement on the concept of human rights is that it is the modern name for what have been traditionally known as natural rights. These rights may be defined as moral rights which every human being everywhere at all times ought to have simply because of the fact that, in contradistinction with other being, he is rational and moral. The fountainhead of natural rights is the concept of natural law. (Ezejiofor, 1999). Human rights are inherent in all human beings all over the world and are not gifts to be withdrawn, withheld or granted at someone’s whim or will. In this sense, they are said to be inalienable or imprescriptible. If you remove them from any human being, he will become less than human. They are part of the very nature of human beings and attach to all human beings everywhere in all societies, just as much as do his arms and legs. Constitutions and other codes do not create human rights but declare and preserve existing rights. Perhaps, this is why statutory provisions for the first generation human rights are couched in negative terms. For example, to say that no person shall be deprived of his personal liberty presupposes that personal liberty is an existing right (Ogbu, 1999)

Human rights represent the legal expression of life. It therefore impresses that without human life; there can be no human rights. Moreso, since life means free and dignified existence in the framework of legal order that ensures the harmonous coexistence of rights and duties, the purpose of recognizing and safeguarding human rights is to ensure the possibility of living fully and completely in dignified freedom. Human rights are the result of an age-long struggle against oppression and exploitation. It was out of that struggle that the first set of ethical, moral and religious rules emerged, which systematically metamorphosed into legal rules first at municipal level, then at international level. The aim is to promote fundamental freedoms and protection of human rights (Gasiokwu, 2003)

The Public Complaints Commission is better known all over the world as Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is known and performed by various agencies all over the world. In United Kingdom they are known as “Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration (PCA). The Ombudsman in U.K is attached to the Parliament while there are also various other Ombudsman services in the United Kingdom which are specific for each industry or areas of influence (Przwouski, 1999). In Nigeria, pursuant to the report of the Public Survive Review Road which was set up by the federal military government to walk into the conditions of service of public workers in the federation. There are recommendations for the institution of a public Ombudsman in Nigeria. Upon the assumption of office as military head of state General Mohammed in 1975 constituted a team to study the institution of Ombudsman in other countries with a view to setting up a peculiar Ombudsman system in Nigeria. The team’s report led to the promulgation of the Public Complaints Commission Decree (now Act) (Oluyede, 1983)

The Commission has power to initiate investigation on its own or upon complaint on administrative action by federal or state agencies, statutory corporations, local government authorities and public institutions and companies whether in the public or private sector and officials therefore. The law was amended in 1979, by virtue of Public Complaints Commission (Amendment) Decree 21, it made some amendments to the Public Complaints Commission Decree 31 of 1975, and it inter alia conferred immunity from legal process on the Public Complaints Commissions in the performance of their official duties (Peterson, 2010)

Generally, the Ombudsman is a state official appointed to provide a check on government activity in the interests of the citizens and to oversee the investigation of complaints of improper government activity in the interests of the citizen. There is an acknowledgement that Nigerian citizens were once generally oppressed and victimized by the administrative powers of the government. There is a need for intervention by a supposedly neutral voice or “history ears” for the benefit of the citizens who may have a complaint against the government (Norton, 1993)

Statement of the problem

A very important reason for the establishment of the public complaint Commission is the cost of access to the courts. The common man may not be so endowed to finance court process and payment of legal fee. The Commission therefore is a formidable window to complaints against human rights abuses and other administration, maladministration and oppression. Apart from the cost of litigation, it is quite obvious that not all oppressive acts or abuse of office may be actionable. A lot of malfunctions are quite trivial in nature, and yet an irritation of a great dimension that the citizens concerned only need a higher authority to intervene and direct the anomaly and the issue is rectified. Some need an immediate and quick intervention than resort to the waste of time, energy and resources involved in litigation. Lastly, the Ombudsman is a very important institution for government to receive feedback from the public on the activities of its officers and general polices and mode of administration of the government. The easy access to the Commission will also encourage the citizen to approach the office whenever there is a special need to do so. Based on this the researcher wants to investigate public complaint commission and fundamental human right protection

Objective of the study

The objectives of the study are;

  1. To find out the effect of public complaint commission on human right protection
  2. To find out how quick public complaint commission do intervene on human right abuse
  3. To find out the effect on public complaint commission on mal administration in public offices

Research hypotheses

For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;

H0:   there is no effect of public complaint commission on human right protection.

H1: there is effect of public complaint commission on human right protection.

H02: public complaint commission do not quickly intervene on human right abuse

H2: public complaint commission do quickly intervene on human right abuse

Significance of the study

The study will be very significant to students, lecturers and the general public. the study will give a clear insight on the public complaint commission and fundamental human right protection. The study will also serve as a reference to other researcher that will embark on the related topic

Scope and limitation of the study

the scope of the study covers public complaint commission and fundamental human right protection.

The study will be limited the following

Financial Constraints: The researcher was with limited funds, she cannot visit all the areas to get responses from respondents but she was able to get good information concerning the research topic.

Time Constraints: The researcher was involved in other departmental activities like seminars, attendance of lectures et.c which limited her time for the research but the researcher was able to meet up with the time assigned for the completion of the research work

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