Enugu State has recorded the highest number of human rights violations against sexual minorities in Nigeria, based on compilations from eighteen states where violations were reported.
This statistics was disclosed in a report compiled by a Lagos-based human rights organisations, The Initiative for Equal Rights (TIERs). According to the report, out of the 172 violations recorded in Nigeria in 2015, 47 of these occurred in Enugu State.
Up to 282 Nigerians were directly affected by the recorded human rights violations. The most common kinds of abuse were blackmail and extortion, battery and assault and arbitrary arrest. Both state and non-state actors carried out these actions although non-state actors were the biggest perpetrators of the abuses.
Hence, the Executive Director of TIERs, Mr. Olumide Makanjuola, emphasised that Nigerians continue to carry out these human rights violations because hate has been normalised in the Nigerian society.
Meanwhile, speaking at a symposium where the report was launched, immediate past Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Prof. Chidi Odinkalu stated that all Nigerian citizens were entitled to protection and promotion of their human rights, not only in spite of their differences, but because of them.
Among the recorded violations were several cases of individuals forced by policemen to give up their phone and social media passwords. Just recently, the Inspector General of Police banned police officers from illegally accessing the mobile phones of Nigerians.
However, writer and social critic, Ayo Sogunro – also a Legal Advisor at TIERs – said this order was not sufficient. “A ban by the current IGP is not enough considering that a successor can re-order it. Such a systemic invasion of privacy by the police has to be investigated and handled by the legislature with resultant legal stipulations,” he added.
Other states where violations were recorded, include Abia, Abuja, Adamawa, Anambra, Borno, Delta, Rivers and Lagos respectively. (Thisady)