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Nigeria: Women Group Protests Against Rise in Rape Cases, Sexual Violence

 From Ignatius Okpara, Enugu

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Worried by the alarming rate of rape cases, a non-governmental and civil society organization, (NGO), Women Aid Collective, (WACOL), has urged the Inspector General of Police, Adamu Mohammed, to declare a nationwide state of emergency on sexual violence in Nigeria.

Founder of (WACOL) Professor Joy Ezeilo made the call in Enugu while submitting a petition calling for the prompt investigation and prosecution of rape, sexual violence and murder of Nigerian women and girls to the Enugu state Commissioner of police, Ahmad Abdurrahman.

In the petition, the organization boss, who is also a law Lecturer at the Enugu campus of the University of Nigeria (UNN), Usukka, had highlighted some of the recent rape cases and murder of three women in the country which included, Uwailas Omozua, an undergraduate student of University of Benin UNIBEN, Edo state, Barakat Bello, Obiamaka Orakwe and Tina Ezekwe.

She said: “we have received in formation on the brutal rape and murder of one Vera Uwaila who was brutally raped and murdered in a church building in Benin city, Edo state, on 27th of May 2020.

“The brutal rape and murder of Baraket Bello, a 19 years old girl and student in Ibadan, Oyo state and the fatal killing of one Tina Ezekwe by two men of the Nigerian police at Iyana Oworo, Lagos state”

“These brutal violence and killings have once again brought to the fore the failure of the Nigerian police to successfully investigate and prosecute cases of sexual violence, this has allowed an atmosphere of impunity to foster and contributed to the continued abuse and violence women face regularly in Nigeria” the petition read.

Professor Ezeilo, who equally led a campaign protest against the unholy acts said:  “we are group of lawyers, human rights advocates and non-governmental organization gravely concerned by the state of the Nation in regard to the abuse, violence, rape and murder of Nigerian women.”

“We note that rape is not only a criminal offence per say. 357 and 358 of the criminal code act, Section 258 of the penal code act and section one of the violence against persons prohibition act  VAPP (2015), it constitutes the breach of fundamental rights to dignity, freedom from inhumane treatment and in many cases as demonstrated above, the violation of the right to life enshrined in chapter four of the Nigerian constitution”.

Prof. Ezeilo told the Enugu police boss that “So far, the Nigerian police force is yet to properly investigate, arrest suspects and prosecute the rape and violent murder of Uwa Omozua, Barakat Bello Obiomaka Orakwe and other Nigerian women and girls who have been brutally violated and murdered recently”.

“This failure on the part of the Nigerian police force is disturbing, concerning and repugnant to the principles of due diligence of the state to respond where there has been a breach of fundamental human rights”.

She stated that “In the highlighted cases, the victims’ right to life have been deprived, this constitute a crime under the laws of Nigeria and it must be treated as such”.

“We therefore urge the inspector general of police to deploy his good office to promptly investigate and prosecute these highlighted cases and all other pending cases across Nigeria”.

“We ask that a thorough investigation be carried out with a view to unravel the perpetrators of these dastardly acts and the citizens of this nation be dully informed of the progress made on the cases by the police” she pleads.

Responding to the petition and appeal by WACOL, the Enugu state commissioner of police, Ahmad Abdurrahman commended the NGO and civil society organization for the protest and declared that the command is willing to join the protest against rape, women abuse and murder.

Abdurrahman, who joined the campaign protest against the  uncivilised conduct,  said the IGP is highly committed, proactive leader and promised to deliver the petition to the inspector General police.

Short URL: http://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=52577

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