By Stanley Nwanosike
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) says it will treat 119 cases in the second round of Public Sitting of the Special Investigation Panel on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV).
Its Executive Secretary, Mr Tony Ojukwu, disclosed this in Enugu during the launch of the 2nd round of Public Sitting of the Special Investigation Panel on SGBV.
Ojukwu, who is also the Chairman, Special Investigation Panel on SGBV, said that the petition of the reported cases
came from seven states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The executive secretary noted that the states included Enugu (30), Lagos (15), Ebonyi (12), Cross River (9), Rivers (16), Sokoto (7) and Adamawa (4).
He recalled that the commission received a total of 113 complaints across the six geo-political zones and treated during the first round; with South-East accounting for the highest number of 35.
He said “may I use this opportunity to commend the complainants and the public for the courage to lodge and follow up their complaints and submit memoranda to this panel in spite of some reported cases of intimidation.
“I want to reiterate the assurance of this panel and the commission’s commitment to the principles of fair hearing in discharging its functions.”
Ojukwu, however, said that the panel would adhere to all the COVID-19 protocols, in line with the NCDC directives and the recently signed Presidential Guidelines on COVID-19.
The Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice Priscilla Emehelu, said that the state was working toward reviewing the criminal code to involve new developments and issues, especially on SGBV.
Emehelu, who was represented by Justice Angela Amichi, commended the commission for the commitment to end SGBV.
Prof. Epiphany Azinge (SAN), former Director General, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, also lauded NHRC for the commitment and being steadfast in the fight against SGBV.
Azinge also commended the commission “for the massive awareness created in South-East, especially in Enugu State, leading to more people coming to lay complaints in spite of stigmatisation.
“This also shows the confidence the people have in the commission, and its capacity to resolve issues being complained about.” (NAN)