Saturday, May 18, 2024

NHRC receives 113 cases as South-East tops sexual violence complaints

The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, says its special investigative panel on sexual and gender-based violence has received 113 complaints and memoranda from the six geopolitical zones of the country.

The Executive Secretary, Mr Tony Ojukwu, said on Monday that 35 of the complaints were received from the South-East, 19 from the North-Central and 17 from the North-West.

Mr Ojukwu added that the  South-South came third with 26 complaints followed by the  South-West with 12 complaints in the fourth place, and the lowest number of 4 complaints came from the North-East.

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He also said at the South-South zonal public sitting of the panel in Benin on Monday that the panel had completed sittings in Abuja, Lagos, Owerri and Kano.

“This panel and the commission will adhere to the principles of a fair hearing in discharging their functions and will not stand idle and watch while the fundamental human rights of citizens are being trampled upon and violated by the law enforcement agencies, entities or individuals,”  the NHRC boss said.

Meanwhile, stakeholders at the sitting lamented  that, in spite of the painful experiences, getting the victims to speak out had been the biggest hindrance to the fight against   sexual violence.

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Chairperson, International Federation of Women Lawyers, Edo  State chapter, Mrs Irene Omorogiuwa, described sexual violence as a “terrible scourge,” saying victims needed to be encouraged to speak out.

Edo Commander,  National Agency for Prohibition and Trafficking in Persons,  Mrs Ijeoma Udual, said many of the victims got more abuses because of their refusal to speak out.

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