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Police Speak On Alleged Rape Of Women Arrested In Abuja

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The National Human Rights Commission, on Friday, summoned the Director of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) over recent allegation of the rape of women arrested following a raid in some parts of the FCT.

Executive Secretary of the commission, Mr Tony Ojukwu said the director is to appear before the commission to brief it on the role of its officers in the raid on innocent citizens in the FCT and attending allegations of rape of those arrested.

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Source reports that the invitation followed a protest by a coalition of civil society groups to the commission over what they described as continuous violation and molestation on women by officials of government.

Leader of the delegation, Kemi Okenyodo of the Partners West Africa Nigeria, said that they were worried over the recent raids and gender-based violence against women by the Nigeria Police and agents of FCTA Joint Task Team.

Okenyodo noted that it was an aberration for officers of the law to molest citizens in the guise of protecting the law.

According to her, these state agents appear to be specifically targeting women, while no males were arrested.

She called on the commission to set up an independent panel of inquiry into the events with a view to fishing out the culprits and punishing them appropriately.

She urged the office of the Vice President to issue a directive calling on all government agencies to cease the raids, unlawful arrests and gender-based violence against women on suspicion of engaging in sex work.

Okenyodo further called on the Ministry of Women Affairs to ensure effective enforcement of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act, (VAPP).

Responding, Mrs Fatima Waziri-Adzer from the office of the Vice President, said that the current administration would not tolerate any act of abuse of office.

She gave the assurance that those found culpable would be brought to justice to serve as a deterrent to others.

Speaking on behalf of the police, DCP Usman Umar, said the recent happenings were unfortunate as it was sad to see law enforcement agents molesting citizens.

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He said the police had opened investigations into the matter and that the findings would be made public just as those found culpable would face the full wrath of the law.

The coalition re-presented a formal demand for action to the commission where it stated that over 100 women in Abuja had been recently molested by the police and agents of the FCTA joint task team.

The joint task team comprises the Department of Development Control, AEPB and the Social Development Secretariat.

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