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Govt agents highest offenders as NHRC records 19,470 complaints of rights abuse

The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, recorded 19,470 complaints of rights abuse in April 2024, with most of the reports brought against government agents.

The April 2024 NHRC Human Rights Assessment Dashboard, released on Friday in Abuja, showed that 5,259 complaints of rights abuse were filed against state actors – government agents – including the police, the military and other security agencies.

The figure is the highest number of complaints recorded against a particular group in the April dashboard.

The dashboard equally revealed that the NHRC recorded 4,317 complaints of domestic violence in April, as well as 1,457 complaints relating to violation of children’s rights.

In the same vein, a total of 2,877 complaints were received against non-state actors, while 1,063 reports were brought against private sector actors.

Also, there were 110 complaints of violation of the right to life, and 136 complaints made by persons with disabilities.

A further breakdown of the human rights abuse complaints received by the NHRC in April shows that the highest number of cases of abuse were recorded in the North-Central, with the North-East and North-West recording the second highest and third highest cases.

They were followed by the South-West and the South-East.

The South-South recorded the least number of rights abuse complaints in April 2024.

The top 10 states with rights abuse complaints in April 2024 are Borno, Kano, Plateau, Taraba, Lagos, Kaduna, Bauchi, Osun, Abia and Rivers.

According to the dashboard, the main violators of human rights in April 2024 – going by complaints received by the NHRC – are the Nigerian Police, parents, military, private sector actors and bandits/militia groups.

The NHRC observed a disturbing rise in violation of children’s rights, with 491 complaints of child abandonment and 21 reports of child marriage recorded in April 2024.

The April Human Rights Assessment Dashboard highlighted cult killings in Anambra, ethnic killings in Plateau, killings by suspected herdsmen in Nimbo community of Enugu, and double attacks with mass casualties in Kogi.

In April 2024, according to the NHRC dashboard, mass killings were recorded in Benue, Kogi, Kaduna, Bayelsa, Plateau and Anambra.

The dashboard highlighted the impact of cultism on human rights, noting that “Over 20 deaths were recorded in April relating to the activities of cultists in three states”.

As a result of the development, the NHRC urged the government and security agencies to protect lives and properties, especially in educational institutions.

The NHRC equally expressed concern over attacks on journalists and press freedom in the country.

“Over the last 3 months, 5 journalists have been arrested and detained beyond constitutional limits,” the NHRC said, while condemning the “indiscriminate arrests and prolonged detention of Nigerians”.

The April 2024 Human Rights Assessment Dashboard highlighted an “upsurge in human rights complaints” with mass killings continuing to rise across states.

The NHRC equally observed that media freedom is under attack, a rise in cases of violence against children and minors, as well as killings of law enforcement agents and members of the Armed Forces.

The NHRC, in the same vein, noted that economic reforms introduced by the government are impacting on the enjoyment of human rights.

In an address at the presentation of the April human rights assessment dashboard, Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Tony Ojukwu, SAN, noted that “The monthly dashboard on the state of human rights is borne out of the necessity by the Commission to monitor, investigate and report on human rights in real time on a national scale in line with its mandate.”

He added: “These facts, statistics and analysis of human rights violations across broad and specific thematic areas provide policy makers, international partners, law enforcement agencies, civil society actors and the media with the opportunity of gaining insights into the evolving human rights landscape in Nigeria and exploring collaborative avenues for addressing emerging challenges.

“Beyond providing a graphical presentation of the human rights situation, the April dashboard also serves as a guide and a measurement of our progress in realizing the human rights of every Nigerian.

“It provides information that will trigger a chain of multi-faceted actions from every arm of government in tackling insecurity, poverty and inequalities in our country.”

Ojukwu expressed hopes that the dashboard would assist the Nigerian government in keeping track of its obligations to national, regional and international human rights instruments and mechanisms.

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