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Reps resolve to get justice for missing persons after ICIR’s report

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FOLLOWING The ICIR’s report on the travail of missing persons in the northeastern Nigeria and the struggle of their families to get justice, the Federal House of Representatives has resolved to declare the status of missing persons and initiate a missing persons’ register in order to create a reliable data, and get social justice for the victims.

The House has also resolved to urge the Federal Government to investigate the alleged involvement of security officers in forced disappearances, secret and unlawful detentions, inhuman torture, sexual assault of female detainees, forced marriages, and other vices.

The resolution arose from the motions moved on Wednesday by Dr. Zainab Gimba, a lawmaker representing Bama/Ngala/Kalabalge federal constituency in the House of Representatives.

The lawmaker who was a guest at the Roundtable Meeting on Justice for Missing Persons organised by The International Centre for Investigative Reporting, Abuja noted in her motions, among others, that many cases of missing persons are often unreported.

She also noted the alleged complicity of security personnel in the violation of the human rights of persons, especially in northeastern Nigeria.

She expressed concern that the unresolved cases of missing persons have left their families in anguish and the nightmare of not knowing if they will ever be found.

I am deeply worried that Nigeria is now rated as the country with the highest number of missing persons in the whole world,” she said.

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Since the start of the Boko Haram insurgency in 2009, nearly 22,000 Nigerians have been reported as missing, and the majority of these are minors

This is the highest number of missing persons registered with the ICRC in any country, according to the International Committee of Red Cross.

Ali Ndume the Senator representing the Borno South senatorial district, also has vowed to sponsor a bill at the National Assembly that would lead to the creation of a missing persons’ register in Nigeria, with help from the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, and other stakeholders.

He made this pledge during the panel discussion at The ICIR Roundtable Meeting held in November.

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