Anambra to set up Bureau of Missing Persons

THE Anambra State Government has approved the establishment of a Bureau of Missing Persons.

According to a statement by the state’s Commissioner for Information Paul Nwosu on Saturday April 22, the Bureau would be created within the Ministry of Justice as part of efforts to carry out recommendations of the Truth, Justice and Peace Commission set up by Governor Chukwuma Soludo.

“Recall that on the 23rd of June 2022, Governor Soludo, pursuant to the Commission of Inquiry Law of Anambra State, inaugurated the Truth, Justice and Peace Commission which has Professor Chidi Anselm Odinkalu as the chairman, Ambassador Bianca Odumegwu Ojukwu as the secretary and Professor Sylvia Chike Ifemeje as one of its commissioners.

“The Commission’s Inception Report also recommended a whole-of-government strategy that locates atrocity and violence within a public health framework,” Nwosu noted.

The Bureau would also be mandated to trace cases of missing persons and provide reliable data to be used by security agencies during investigations.

The Truth, Justice and Peace Commission was inaugurated by the state governor Charles Soludo in 2022 to identify remote and immediate causes of agitations, restiveness, violence and struggle in the state and other parts of the South-East since 1999.

The Commission was also mandated to document victims and circumstances of death, brutality, and incarceration in the region.

The ICIR reported that Nigeria’s Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development had announced that the country lacks reliable data on missing persons.

Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Sadiya Farouk had expressed concern over the problem, describing it as an “often-neglected and tragic humanitarian and social issue”.

However, a report by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said Nigeria accounts for the highest number of missing persons ever registered by the organisation.

According to the report, 25,000 persons are missing in Nigeria due to insecurity.

Out of this figure, 14,000 are children.

Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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