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… Victims of police brutality, human rights abuses, yet to get justice

Juliana Francis

The Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC) has urged the Nigerian authorities to uphold respect for the human rights of Nigerians.

This was stated while the non-profit organisation was commemorating Human Rights Day, which was marked on December 10, 2022.

The Executive Director of RULAAC, Okechukwu Nwanguma, said: “Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December — the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The UDHR is a milestone document, which proclaims the inalienable rights that everyone is entitled to as a human being – regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinions, national or social origin, property, birth, or another status. The theme for 2022 is ‘Dignity, Freedom, and Justice for All’. On this 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, RULAAC calls on Nigeria authorities to uphold respect for the human rights of Nigerians, to enforce the rights of numerous victims of human rights violations, and take effective steps to prevent human rights violations and impunity in Nigeria.”

According to Nwanguma, thousands of citizens who appeared before Panels set up by various state governments and the federal government to investigate complaints of police brutality and human rights abuses in the aftermath of the October 2020 #EndSARS protests and to deliver justice to victims are yet denied justice.

He added: “Thousands of Nigerians continue to suffer victimization and abuse by law enforcement agencies two years after EndSARS. RULAAC calls on the Federal Government to demonstrate commitment to ending impunity for human rights violations by acting on the reports of the various state Panels on police brutality, as well as Panels set up at the Federal level with a view to implementing remedies including compensations for victims as well as bringing perpetrators to account. This is one necessary step to end impunity for human rights violations by state and nonstate actors in Nigeria. RULAAC commends police officers who continue to respond to reforms and act professionally in accordance with the law and professional standards.”

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