ActionAid Nigeria is calling on the Inspector General of Police to stand against the gross violation of the rights of Nigerian citizens, particularly those of Women and Girls by unscrupulous officers who claim to be officers of the law and members of the Nigerian Police.
Speaking in Abuja, the Country Director, ActionAid Nigeria, Ene Obi said “ActionAid Nigeria is dismayed by the recent news of Police Harassment, Battery, Vandalism, and Unlawful Arrests perpetrated by four uniformed men who claimed to be members of the Enugu Police Area Command in the office premises of Women Aid Collective’s (WACOL) in Enugu state in a bid to pervert justice on a Rape Case. This is especially appalling because the Survivor of this attack, Barrister Goodness Ibangah, who almost died in the process, and the Organization she works for, WACOL, have been in the forefront of assisting the Nigerian Police to curb crimes in the Country. Such Brutality by the police, who should be the custodians and upholders of the law, is nothing but an outright and total disregard for Human Life, Human Dignity, and the Law they claim to uphold. We do not consider this as an attack on One Woman, rather, it is an attack on all Nigerian Women; it is an attack on Survivors of Physical and Sexual Violence; it is an attack on Women working to protect Women; it is an attack on Women’s Rights; it is an attack on the Law Profession; it is an attack on Justice, and there must be consequences.”
While it is commendable that the Enugu State Commissioner of Police has set up an investigation panel to look into the matter as at today, ActionAid Nigeria will like to emphasize that justice will be best served if the Rape Case is transferred out of Enugu state to eliminate the bias and further threats as the Survivor, Witness and the Women’s Right Organisation in question, WACOL have complained of intimidation and threat to life and property.
ActionAid Nigeria, calls on the Inspector-General of Police to ensure justice is served to the latter and that:
1. The perpetrators of the assault on Barrister Goodness are identified and prosecuted in accordance with the law.
2. The alleged Rape Case be fully investigated, and the perpetrator prosecuted in accordance with the law.
3. The life and full protection of the survivors and other persons involved in the case, including the properties of the organisation involved are guaranteed.
As a women’s rights organisation, we are watching and monitoring this case closely, for the opportunity to protect the Nigerian woman is too important to miss.
Editors' notes ActionAid Nigeria is a national non-governmental, non-partisan, non-religious, civil society organization and an affiliate member of the ActionAid International Federation with presence in 45 countries. ActionAid Nigeria Women’s Voice and Leadership Project focuses on Nigerian Women with the aim of upholding, protecting, and promoting their rights across issues of Violence Against Women and Girls, Political Participation, and Economic Justice.