NHRC Condemns Degrading Treatment Of Cross-dresser

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The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has advised the security and law enforcement agencies in Nigeria to desist from subjecting citizens or foreigners living in the country to any form of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment in the course of their investigations.
The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Dr. Tony Ojukwu, SAN, in a press statement signed by the NHRC Director, Corporate Affairs and External Linkages, Obinna Nwakonye, on Thursday, gave the advice while reacting to a widely circulated video of a middle-aged man, who was commanded to strip himself naked in the full glare of some security operatives over his mode of dressing.
The Chief Human Rights Officer said that while the law enforcement personnel are mandated to carry out their duties including investigations, they must conform to the extant laws and regulations which of course do not confer on them any form of authority to administer unethical treatment on any suspect.
According to the Ojukwu, what played out in the video was a demonstration of the fact that some security personnel are either ignorant of the laws governing their operations or are deliberately indulging in abuse of office. He said none of these can suffice as an excuse or justification for any law enforcement agents to use torture, inhuman and degrading treatment and or punishment as a tool for investigation.
The NHRC boss cited Section 34(1) of the Nigeria Constitution which provides that, “every Nigerian individual is entitled to respect for the dignity of his person and accordingly (a) No person shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment.”
He similarly brought to mind Article 10 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which states that all persons shall be treated with humanity and respect for the inherent dignity of human person.
The Senior Advocate, therefore, calledd on the various authorities in the security sector to set up internal monitoring mechanisms to fish out the bad eggs among them and forestall any excesses from the law enforcement agents under their jurisdictions, adding that the perpetrators amongst the law enforcement officers in the viral video should be prosecuted by the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) as an institution for the promotion and protection of human rights of the people of Nigeria.
Against the foregoing, he stated that the victim in the viral video deserved an apology and that any other measures necessary to ensure that he recovers from the psychological trauma he was made to go through in the course of the unprofessional investigation he was subjected to in the hands of those who are supposed to protect his rights and others.


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