What we are saying is this kind of raid where you go to night clubs and innocent people on the streets is not raiding criminal hideouts.This kind of raid where you go to molest innocent citizens who have freedom of movement, who are in a social environment like night clubs must stop and if you must do so it has to be in accordance with human rights".
As part of investigation to unravel the allegations of rape and molestation made by the victims of raid on Abuja night club against the police and members of the task force of Abuja Environmental Protection Board ( AEPB ) the National Human Rights Commission ( NHRC ) has asked the Director of the board to appear before the commission on Monday.
Tony Ojukwu, Executive Secretary of the commission gave the directive on Friday in Abuja during a meeting with the human rights and civil society organizations and other stakeholders who have shown interest the matter.
The human rights group besieged the head office of the commission and formally presented their demands to the Executive Secretary.
He asked the Director to appear before the commission unfailingly by 11: 00 am at the corporate headquarters which is located at Maitama on Monday 13th May 2019.
He explained that the reason for the invitation is to find out the reason for the raid and if such raid must continue it must be carried out in line with human rights protection and promotion.
His words " When police said that raid will continue, there are several kinds of raids. What we are saying is this kind of raid where you go to night clubs and innocent people on the streets is not raiding criminal hideouts.This kind of raid where you go to molest innocent citizens who have freedom of movement, who are in a social environment like night clubs must stop and if you must do so it has to be in accordance with human rights "
He said that government agency must carry out their assignments with the utmost respect for human rights adding that anything short of that is an illegitimate duty.
" And that is what the constitution says and all of us are bound by that constitution " He noted.
He stressed that there are other issues that have cropped up as a result of the raid which includes the motive behind the raid. He wondered how law enforcement agents will carry out raid and at the same time sexually abuse same people.
" You carry out raids and in the process, you are now sexually abusing, molesting and exploiting people. So it raises issues at what is the reason behind the raid in the first place "
Ojukwu vowed that the commission will get to the root of the matter adding that those found culpable would be brought to justice. He, therefore, solicited for the cooperation of all stakeholders who are directly or indirectly involved in the matter with the view to bringing the perpetrators to book.
While presenting the demands of the human rights groups to the commission the Executive Director Partners West Africa - Nigeria, Kemi Okeyode said that the raid was a targeted attacks on women by Federal Capital Territory Administration joint Task Team and the Nigeria police.
" These state agents appeared to be specifically targeting women while males were arrested or harrassed . The violence perpetrated against these wimen were gender-based. They suffered this treatment because they were women and state agents were confident that they would not be held accountable for these human rights violations " She stated.
She called on government to set up an impartial, effective and independent public inquiry to investigate the matter and prosecute those found built. The group also asked for adequate witness protection for the victims and ensure victims are not further traumatized.
Okeyode also called Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo to issue directive calling on government agencies involved to immediately cease the raids, unlawful arrests and gender-based violence against women on suspicion of sex work.
Those present at the meeting includes the representatives of office Vice President, office of Attorney General of Federation , Ministry of Women Affairs, Commissioner of Police FCT Command , Amnesty International and other human rights groups.