“Section 7 of the enabling law of the NNHRI provides that the Parliaments Presidency may dismiss the Director if he or she is guilty of a gross dereliction of duty or other breach of the employment contract that is incompatible with the trust required to serve as Director of the NNHRI. The SCA is of the view that the current dismissal process does not guarantee sufficient security of tenure and a stable mandate as it could be subject to the discretion of the appointment authority.
The SCA notes information from the NNHRI that, as the Parliament is the appointing authority, Board members can be dismissed on a majority decision by Parliament. The SCA notes that the law is silent on the grounds and procedure for dismissal of Board members. However, the SCA acknowledges efforts made by the NNHRI to advocate for amendments to its enabling law to explicitly provide for a dismissal process of Board members.
The SCA reiterates its view that, in order to address the Paris Principles requirement for a stable mandate, which is important in reinforcing independence, the enabling legislation of an NHRI must contain an independent and objective dismissal process. The dismissal must be made in conformity with all the substantive and procedural requirements prescribed by law. The grounds for dismissal must be clearly defined and appropriately confined to those actions that impact adversely on the capacity of the member to fulfil his or her mandate. Where appropriate, the legislation should specify that the application of a particular ground must be supported by a decision of an independent body with appropriate jurisdiction. The dismissal should not be allowed solely on the discretion of the appointing authorities. It must be made in strict conformity with all the substantive and procedural requirements as prescribed by law. Such requirements ensure the security of tenure of the members of the governing body and are essential to ensure the independence of, and public confidence in, thesenior leadership of an NHRI.
The SCA reiterates its previous recommendation that the NNHRI continue its efforts to advocate for appropriate amendments to its law to provide for an independent and objective dismissal process for the Director and Board members, where appropriate supported by the decision of an independent body with appropriate jurisdiction.”