5 July 2018

Nigeria: Senate to Investigate Alleged Sexual Abuse, Violence At IDP Camps

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Amnesty International had accused soldiers and members of the civilian joint task force of abusing people, especially women, in internally displaced persons camps in the north-east.

Abuja — The Senate will investigate reports of alleged sexual abuse of women at Internally Displaced Persons Camps in the North East and other parts of the country.

Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, made this disclosure while receiving the Amnesty International (AI) 2017/18 Report on 'The State of the World's Human Rights' and the organisation's report on women who survived Boko Haram but were later maltreated, from its Country Director, Mrs. Osai Ojigho.

He said the upper chamber of the National Assembly will do all within its power to ensure that alleged sexual abuse and violence against Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in camps in the North East and across the country were not covered up.

According to him, Nigeria being an integral part of the comity of nations, must continue to lead by example by doing the right things.

"By getting it right, we must be able to accept where these issues exist and work with partners like yourselves to be able to establish the facts," Saraki said.

"We have already set up a panel on your IDP report. By doing this, we can establish where sanctions need to be meted out."

Saraki further assured that nothing will be covered up in the IDP investigation adding that not just for the purpose of sanctioning people, "but for the purpose of preventing reccurrence and by doing this, we can help to ensure that people will change in their approach."

"Our people are already going through a lot of hardship in the IDP camps, they do not need this. We must stand and be there for them. In this regard, I am very keen to see the committee work very closely with you to resolve this -- so that the administration of justice is achieved and people will get a fair hearing."

Earlier, the Country Director of AI, Mrs. Ojigho, said her visit was meant to commend the Senate for setting up a panel to investigate the allegations contained in the report.

"We think it is a good sign of progress and a willingness to find out the truth regarding the incidents that have been happening and we hope that it will bring recourse to the women victims and their families in their quest to seek justice.

"We also want to commend the work of the National Assembly in passing and reforming our laws, particularly the Anti-Torture Law that was signed by the President in December. We believe that this would go a long way in addressing the issue of torture, particularly by our security forces in Nigeria," the Country Director said.

Nigeria

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