© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Sex work is no crime, Abuja court rules
By seun DUROJAIYE
A FEDERAL high court judge in the FCT, Binta Nyako, has ruled that sex work is not a crime. Nyako also condemned the arrest of women alleged to be sex workers in Abuja by law enforcement agents.
While passing judgement against the Nigeria police, the army, ministry of the federal capital territory (FCT), and the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) on Wednesday, December 18, Nyako stated that the security agents violated the rights of women arrested as enshrined in section 37 of the constitution.
“I find and hold that the breaking in and arrest of the applicants by the respondents is an infringement of the applicants’ right to privacy as guaranteed by the constitution.”
“The law has laid down process and procedure for effective arrest. Law enforcement agents and agencies should ensure at all times to follow the laid down guidelines by the law,” Nyako said.
She ordered the respondents to pay N1.6 million as damage cost to the affected women, TheCable reports.
Recall that The ICIR previously carried out an investigative report on the menace of women harassment and abduction by security agents of the government in the FCT.
One of the victims, Pamela Ibe who spoke to The ICIR revealed that she was picked up by task force agents in April as she attended a friend’s birthday party at Delta Apartments in Abuja. Upon arrest, Ibe was made to spend several days in the cell alongside tens of other young ladies, who were all arrested from different locations in the FCT for being outside their homes at wee hours.
Several accounts of the Abuja Raid Against Women show varying levels of human rights violations perpetrated by security agents against women.
A 2017 ECOWAS landmark judgement given in favour of another victim, Dorothy Njemanze and two others, was presumed to be the breakthrough order set to nip it in the bud. The court awarded them N18 million damages.
But the Nigerian government has not yet complied with the court order, Njemanze told The ICIR.