Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
The National Human Rights Commission, Bauchi State office, has disclosed that it has so far received no fewer than 814 human rights complaints from January to date.
This was disclosed by the Coordinator of the commission in Bauchi State, Dala Yachit, at a one-day public lecture organised by Youth and Civil Society Coalition for Development in collaboration with the National Information Technology Agency, which was held at the Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi yesterday.
The public lecture, which was for the Northeast, had the theme: ‘ICT as an instrument for enhancing national security and economic recovery’.
Yachit, the chairperson of the event, who was responding to a comment made by the representative of the Bauchi State Commissioner of Police, said: “In fighting crime, you must do that within the law. The Human Rights Commission is not stopping the police from carrying out their lawful activities, but you must do it in line with the law; what the Police act says and what the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.
“Even arrests, how do you arrest? You must tell a person why you are arresting him; you don’t handcuff and subject the person to inhuman treatment. Arrest someone in line with the law and treatment him with dignity.
“And that information you want, if the law says don’t forcefully check someone’s phone and you do that, I can assure you that when you go to court, that evidence will be thrown out of the court because you did not access that document through the legal means.”
She, however, said the National Human Rights Commission in the state has been having a good cordial working relationship with the police in the state.
“For example, when we came in 2019, because most people did not know much about human rights in the state, we started in February and by the end of that year, we had just 72 complaints and out of those 72 complaints, over 50 were against police officers.
“Last year, it was the same thing, but because of the sensitisation and awareness to the people, as of last Thursday, we had 814 human rights complaints just in Bauchi, and out of this, over 400 were on Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV). So, you can see the reduction of complaints against police officers, and because of our working relationship and the awareness and sensitisation,” she said.
The National President of the group, Aminu Aminu, said the idea for the
formation of the YCSCD was to seek ways for youths to contribute to the development of the country.
“With the recent issues of insecurity happening across the country and the economic fallout, we decided to go round the country to sensitise the youths on the need for them to be proactive and contribute to national development,” he said.