The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, has received 104 complaints and incidents of alleged human rights violation between April 27 and May 3.
Tony Ojukwu, Executive Secretary of NHRC, made this known on Monday in a report released in Abuja on the incidence of violation of human rights during the previous lockdown.
NAN reports that Mr Ojukwu had a report released on April 15, said the commission received 105 complaints and incidents of alleged human rights violation between March 30 and April 13.
“Out of 104 complaints/incidents of human rights violations received and documented within the period, 49 complaints were received/documented within the first week of the extended lock down period, i.e. from April 13 to April 20,
“33 complaints were received during the 2nd week (i.e. from April 20 to April 27. During the 3rd week (i.e from April 27 to May 4, only 23 complaints/incidents were received/documented by the Commission.
“This shows weekly reduction in complaints received” he stated.
Mr Ojukwu stated that the report also documents the various thematic areas in which the violations occurred, the nature of the violations.
“It shows a reduction in the total number of complaints on human rights violations received/documented by the Commission from 105 (as contained in the first report released by the Commission on April 14.
“This shows an improvement of the state of human rights in the enforcement of Covid-19 Regulations by law enforcement officers, Task Forces on Covid-19 and other non-state actors” he said.
According to Mr Ojukwu, this improvement is attributed to the level of awareness created by the Commission following the release of its initial report of April 14, 2020
He added also the reduction was the efforts to ensure accountability and adherence to the rules of engagement on the part of Law Enforcement Agencies.
Also, the disaggregated data on state reported violations, the agencies of Government responsible for the violations as well as the response/action taken to remedy the violations.
“The report shows that Enugu State has the highest recorded cases with 13 incidents unlike Lagos State that had the highest cases with 28 incidents in the earlier Report released on April 14 by the Commission.
“This is followed by Imo which had 12 incidents, Akwa Ibom and Nasarawa recorded 10 incidents each, while Delta and Abia recorded nine and seven incidents respectively.
“Niger, Zamfara, Osun and Rivers recorded three incidents each, Anambra, Jigawa, Bayelsa and Edo recorded two incidents each; while Ogun, Kogi, Borno, Gombe, Kaduna, Adamawa, Ebonyi, Kano, Cross River and Ekiti recorded one incident each” he said.
Mr Ojukwu said that the report shows some improvement and restraint in enforcement of the lockdown on the part of law enforcement officials.
He added that this followed the public outrage and condemnation by all levels of authorities in the government, judiciary, the legislature and the executive as well as civil society.
“Accordingly, a protocol has been established between the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 and the Commission to ensure accountability for the violations in line with the statement of the President that all alleged human rights violations will be investigated and accountability brought to bear for them.
“To date, all the alleged violations have been communicated to the oversight Ministries of the law enforcement agencies for full investigation and accountability. These are namely, Ministries of, Police Affairs, Defence and Interior
“The accountability steps taken by each of the law enforcement agencies should be communicated to the Commission within one month of the release of this report, and subsequently on monthly basis” he said.
The commission, he said, will henceforth give monthly update on the reports from the various Law Enforcement agencies, of accountability steps taken, as well as report where no action is taken.
He added that hopefully, each of the security agencies will in the very near future identify, make public and communicate same to the Commission, the name of very senior Desk officer who will facilitate early resolution of complaints escalated to such agency.
“The Commission commends all law enforcement officers who have shown restraint and professionalism in the face of provocation by members of the public during the lock down.