Protesters storm Police Headquarters, demand justice for rape victims

A GROUP of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) Friday morning led protesters to the Nigerian Police headquarters, Abuja demanding justice for rape and sexual violence victims.

The protesters who displayed banners with various inscriptions calling for justice for sexual violence also asked the government to declare a state of emergency on Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV) issues in the country.

Among the CSOs that attended the protest were TechHerNG, Girl Child Africa, Connected Development, Enough is Enough Nigeria, Stand To End Rape, SilverChipFox, Yiaga Africa, Dorothy Njemanze Foundation, and Education as a Vaccine.

During the protest at the Louis Edet House headquarters of the Nigeria Police , the protesters raised hands in solidarity in order to force a systemic action against SGBV in Nigeria.

Part of their demands was that the leadership of the Nigeria Police should ensure prompt investigation and conclusion of rape and all SGBV cases across the country.

Chioma Agwuegbo, founder TechHerNG, read out 100 cases of SGBV that have occurred between January – June 2020, lamenting that sexual violence has become a scourge.

She added that several other cases have gone unreported for fear of stigmatisation.

“When a child is raped, it is a crime against the state and not their family. Even when parents are pressured to withdraw cases, the state must say no,” Agwuegbo said.

“The state must always take up such cases, this is why we are here,” she added.

The protest followed a recent rape and murder of a 22-year-old Uwa Omozuwa, an undergraduate student of University of Benin, by unknown persons.

She was raped and murdered in building of a Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) parish in, Benin City, Edo State.




    Many Nigerians have since been calling for justice for Omozuwa whose assailants are yet to be apprehended.

    Among those calling for justice were some female members of the ninth Senate who have also demanded stiffer penalty for abusers.

    During plenary on TuesdaySandy Onor, senator representing Cross River Central Senatorial District asked that the Senate should condemn the spike in rape cases across the country

    However, Muhammed Adamu, the Inspector General of Police,  in a statement released on Monday, said he has deployed forensic support to the Edo State Police Command to complement and quicken actions in the ongoing investigation into the crime.

     

    Seun Durojaiye is a journalist with International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).

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