South-East Nigeria Ranks Highest as NHRC Receives 113 Sexual Violence Complaints

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The Special Investigating Panel on Sexual and Gender Based Violence set up by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has received 113 complaints and memorandums  from  the six geopolitical zones.

The Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission, Mr Tony Ojukwu said on Monday that many of the  complaints  were received from the South-East (35).

He said North-Central came second with 19 complaints, followed by the North-West (17).

The  South-South (26) came third followed by the  South-West (12) in the fourth place while the North-East has the lowest number (four).

The human rights boss who  spoke at the South-South zone public sitting of the panel  in Benin on Monday in Benin said the panel had completed sittings in Abuja, Lagos, Owerri and Kano.

“This panel and the commission will adhere to the principles of 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,” Ojukwu said.

At the sitting, stakeholders 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.

Chairperson, International Federation of Women Lawyers, Edo  State chapter, Mrs Iryn Omorogiuwa, described  sexual violence  as a “terrible scourge.”

She said victims needed to be encouraged to speak out.

The Edo State of the  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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