• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Report ranks Enugu highest in Human Rights violations

Initiative for Equal Rights (TIERs)

Initiative for Equal Rights (TIERs)A recent report compiled by The Initiative for Equal Rights (TIERs), a Lagos-based human rights organisation, has revealed that Enugu State ranked highest in recorded number of human rights violations against sexual minorities in Nigeria in 2015.

The report, based on compilations from 18 states where violations were reported, indicates that out of the 172 violations recorded in Nigeria in 2015, 47 occurred in Enugu State.

Up to 282 Nigerians were directly affected by the recorded human rights violations. The most common kinds of abuse were blackmail and extortion, battery and assault and arbitrary arrest. Both state and non-state actors carried out these actions, although non-state actors were the biggest perpetrators of the abuses.

Olumide Makanjuola, executive director of TIERs, observes that Nigerians continue to carry out these human rights violations because hate has been normalised in the Nigerian society.

Chidi Odinkalu, immediate past chairman, National Human Rights Commission, while speaking at the symposium where the report was launched, states that all Nigerians are entitled to protection and promotion of their human rights, not only in spite of their differences, but also because of them.

Among the recorded violations, there were several cases of individuals who were forced by policemen to give up their phone and social media passwords. Just recently, the Inspector General of Police banned police officers from illegally accessing the mobile phones of Nigerians.

However, Ayo Sogunro, a writer and social critic, who is also a legal advisor at TIERs, notes that this order is not sufficient: “A ban by the current IGP is not enough, considering that a successor can re-order it. Such a systemic invasion of privacy by the police has to be investigated and handled by the legislature with resultant legal stipulations.”

Other states where violations were recorded include Abia, Abuja, Adamawa, Anambra, Borno, Delta, Rivers, and Lagos.