Table Turned! Sex Workers Raped In Custody: Nigeria Police Summoned, This May Be The End Of Their Raid

On the 2nd of May 2019, Sahara reporters reports that sixty-five women were arrested in several parts of the capital city, Abuja for “Hanging around Nights Club”, Gajere Danjuma Tanimu, spokeaman of the Police reveals.

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However, an Activist, Dorothy Njemanze speaking during a media briefing, alleged that the ladies accused the Police of sexual molestation.

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The ladies gave their account of the rape, saying most of the rapist were the police officer who arrested them. Here’s the account of one of the casualty;  “They picked us from Banex; when they picked us from Banex, they took us to Utako,” one of the girls said.

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“But the police station was empty; there was no policeman inside, so they told us to pull off. When we pulled off, they started… some of us they used condoms, some of us they didn’t use.”

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Rising up  to the occasion, the National Human Rights Commission says it has summon the Chairman of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board to reports before it on Monday as regards the arrest of the alleged sex workers in a night club at the capital city, Abuja.

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A statement by a senior official of the commission, Mr. Lambert Oparah, stated on Saturday that the summons followed a petition received by the commission.

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The statement added, “The summons followed a protest visit to the Commission on Friday by a coalition of Civil Society Organisations working in the field of human rights in Nigeria which brought a petition of gender-based rights violations against the authorities of the FCTA and the Nigerian Police.

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“The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Tony Ojukwu, issued the summons upon receiving a statement of demand by the CSOs led by the Executive Director Partner West Africa, Kemi Okenyodo.” The statement indicated that the NHRC boss vowed that said no human rights violations would be swept under the carpet.

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Ojukwu was said to have vowed that the commission would ensure that justice was done on the case of the alleged raids and gender-based violence against women in Abuja “by agents of the Federal Capital Territory Administration and the Nigerian Police.”

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He said if there any situation warranting the relevant authorities to carry out raids, such must be carried out within the confines of the law, devoid of gender-based violence, including rape as alleged by victims of the said raids.

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Earlier, the Executive-Director of Partner West Africa, Okenyodo, who led a coalition of Non-Governmental Organisations in Nigeria, called on the Federal Government to prioritise the promotion and protection of the human rights obligations which it voluntarily acceded in the interest of justice and human rights.

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She also called on the Office of the Vice President to immediately issue a directive to all government agencies involved to cease the raids against women on suspicion of sex work as well as rein in the Abuja Environment Protection Board to discharge its mandate in line with the Act establishing it.

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In his remarks, the representative of the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Umar, said it was the duty of the police to maintain law and order while protecting the rights of citizens. He said that the police were looking into the allegations of human rights violations with a view to ensuring that justice was done.

PUNCH News

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