Following reported cases of human rights violations by security operatives enforcing government directives on COVID-19, the National Human Rights Commission has directed its staff to monitor and document all cases of human rights violations across the country for necessary action.
A statement by the Executive Secretary of the Commission Tony Ojukwu Esq directed members of the public to report by telephone calls or text messages or video to relevant staff of the Commission and ensure that such reports include the location of the violation, date, time of such violations including a clear description of alleged violators and their victims, their gender and vulnerability (if possible, name, Sex, rank and security outfit of security personnel(s) or official(s)).
The Commission listed the two states of Lagos and Ogun as well as the FCT where the Federal Government on 29th March gave directives for a 2 weeks lockdown over the COVID-19 for close monitoring.
Any complaints of human rights violations according to the Commission should be reported to the commission for documentation and directed for redress to the Commissioners of police of the three areas which include:
i) CP FCT: 08033438900
ii) CP Lagos: 08033438179 and
iii) CP OGUN: 08033438900
iv) Similarly, any complaints of violations involving the Military should be reported to the Commission for documentation and directed for redress to the Director Army,Civil Military Affairs: 08057750691.
The statement also called on members of the public to report all cases of human rights violations to the Commissioners of police of the various states and the offices of the Commission across the country.
It will be recalled that the NHRC had on the 30th of March, 2020 following FG directives on COVID-19 called on law enforcement agencies to refrain from all forms of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment of Nigerians in the implementation of the directives of the Government in line with the Anti Torture Act of 2017 and Convention Against Torture, to which Nigeria is a party.
Reports indicate that some security operatives were openly torturing and violating the rights of citizens in flagrant disregard to rules of their engagements, the laws of Nigeria and its international Obligations. The Numbers designated by the NHRC for reporting and documenting human rights violations during the implementation of Covid-19 Regulations are:
Members of the public and bystanders and eyewitnesses who can get video coverage of any violations are encouraged to forward same to the said numbers by WhatsApp giving as much detail as possible to help locate and hold accountable violating law enforcement officials. The Commission enjoins all citizens in the affected states to
comply with the Covid-19 directives to protect their rights to health and that of others.
Director Corporate Affairs
31st March 2020.