Abuja nightclub raids: NHRC hears FCTA, 72 Rights groups over alleged harassment of women

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), has Wednesday, commenced hearing on the alleged harassment of vulnerable women during a recent raid of nightclubs operating within undesignated places in Abuja.

Both FCT administration officials and representatives of over seventy-two Rights groups and individuals were present at the commencement of hearing presided over by the Executive Secretary of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Mr. Tony Ojukwu.

  Executive Secretary disclosed that the Commission received several complaints over alleged unlawful arrests and maltreatment, which seemed to be targeted at women in FCT and Nigeria.

Mr. Ojukwu informed the stakeholders that civil rights groups last Friday, stormed the NHRC building, to protest alleged abuse of women in FCT and other parts of the country, brought to limelight by recent nightclub raids , resulting in detention of women by FCTA officials.

He however, commended the FCTA officials for showing seriousness about that its consideration of the issue of contention.

He stressed the need to mainstream human rights into the operations of the FCTA in pursuit of overriding public interest,

He further urge the FCTA through its Agencies to ensure its officials act within the law especially while handling issues pertaining to the women, he disclosed that there is arrangement for training of relevant FCTA officials on human rights while carrying out their duties.

Speaking earlier, The Country Director, Amnesty International, Osai Ojigho, who made a presentation on  behalf over 72 civil society organizations across Nigeria and private citizens, clarified that the petition specifically raised the issue of the disturbing report of the unlawful arrest, assaults, sexual violence as verbal abuse against women, in Abuja.

The complaints alleged that over a period of two weeks, about hundred women were arrested by representatives of agents of FCTA Taskforce Team.

They further alleged that the allegation was that the women were arrested on suspicion of being sex workers as a result of their presence in the streets.

On his part, the Coordinator AMMC Umar Shaibu, who led other officials of relevant departments and Secretariat for the hearing, assured the Commission of the Council’s respect for its existence and functions.

Umar stressed that official of the Council, as the nation’s capital city managers are not after the trampling of the Rights of any body living in the city.

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