Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
Women lawyers operating under the aegis of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) yesterday in Abuja said it would investigate alleged rape cases of women in internally displaced persons (IDPs) Camps by security operatives assigned to protect them.
The National President, African Regional Vice President of FIDA, Mrs. Laraba Shuaibu, disclosed this while addressing journalists on the heels of the African Regional Congress of the federation scheduled to hold in Abuja between November 26 to 29.
Human Rights Watch had in a report provided details of rape cases perpetuated by security men against women in IDP camps in the North-east.
President Muhammadu Buhari had, in his reaction to the report, directed the Inspector General of Police (IG) to investigate the allegation vowing that the federal government under his watch would not tolerate such crimes against innocent victims.
The women lawyers said they were willing to provide free legal services to victims of rapes in IDP camps.
In this wise, Shuaibu said FIDA would visit the IDP camp in Gishiri near Abuja and would work with members of the group in the North-east to provide help to the vulnerable women in the camps.
She condemned the action of the suspected rapists adding that it was unfair and unfortunate for the criminally minded people to take advantage of the vulnerable women at the camps.
She said: “It is disheartening that women and children are being raped in IDP camps. We are visiting IDP camps in Abuja to see the level of this serious crime. We are championing the campaign against rape. The victims are vulnerable and to be so abused is so unfortunate.
“What we are going on is a fact finding mission in the IDP camps. When we get the fact in the Abuja IDP camps, we will be able to work in collaboration with our members in the northeast and that will guide us in the next step to take.”
She said FIDA would work with relevant government agencies in order to bring identified culprits to book to serve as deterrent to other criminally minded people.
On the Regional Congress scheduled to begins this weekend, Shuaibu said women lawyers in the African continent were expected in Abuja to participate.
She further said eminent Nigerians including the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Miriam Aloma Mukthar would also attend.
She appealed to security agents to give adequate security for delegates that will attend the congress.