‘Southeast has highest rate of abuse’

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National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has said Southeast accounts for the highest incidences of sexual and gender-based violence in the country.

Executive Secretary of NHRC Tony Ojukwu spoke yesterday at a public sitting of the special investigative panel on sexual and gender-based violence for Southeast in Owerri, Imo State capital.

Ojukwu said Southeast accounted for 36 per cent of cases received across the country.

He said: “The panel has received 114 complaints across the six geo-political zones, with Southeast accounting for the highest number of 41 cases, representing 36 per cent.

“The Northcentral has 19 cases, Northwest 12; Southsouth 26; Southwest 15, and Northeast four.”

Ojukwu noted the panel was set up following repeated allegations of sexual and gender violence (SGBV), especially the raid by FCT Joint Task Force on night clubs and streets in Abuja, where 71 women were arrested and allegedly abused by operatives in April.

He said the public sitting was to proffer measures to ‘check the scourge of sexual and gender violence in Nigeria’.

The public sitting, Ojukwu added, was also to increase access to the services of NHRC to seek redress when anyone, including officials, were involved in such acts.

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