By Tony Adibe
The CLEEN Foundation, (CF), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) has organised a 2-day seminar/workshop, on a capacity building for police oversight agencies on Human Rights Documentation and Management for security agencies as well as Civil Society organisations drawn from the South East and the South South zones.
Declaring open the workshop , the Executive Director, CLEEN Foundation, Mr. Gad Peter, represented by the Programme Manager, Okoro Chigozirim, said the workshop was organised, among other reasons to “critically interrogate human rights violations by formal and informal security groups in Nigeria; improve the capacity of oversight agencies in collection,verification, reportage, documentation and follow-up actions on human rights related complaints in Nigeria as well as mentor key personnel of oversight agencies- National Human Rights Commission, Police Service Commission, the Complaint Response Unit of the Nigeria Police Force, Public Complaint Commission and Civil Society Organizations on the Human Rights Management Information System developed on the project.”
Also, Chigozirim stated that the workshop which was organised in conjunction with the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), held in Enugu on Wednesday, was also aimed at setting agenda in response to insecurity and rights violations in Nigeria; populate human rights complaints received by oversight agencies on the Human Rights Management Information System and to establish best practices for the escalation of HR complaints and advocacy for human rights violations.
According to Chigozirim, the workshop was designed to engage the participants on how best to curb insecurity in the country especially, the South East which has become so endangered that some people hardly go to their rural communities. The Programme Manager further explained that the workshop would afford the participants the skills in data collation, clarification and presentation as well as how to do a good report.
She noted that before the #EndSarsNow erupted, there had been security challenges that were not well taken care of hence the youths took to the streets to register their discontent over human right abuses and inability to handle citizens complaints well by security personnel.
She said: “Before the EndSars, there had been security challenges in the country. There were lots of complaints against human right violations, but they were under reported. It was human right violations that sparked the EndSars.”
She bemoaned the fact that even since the EndSars saga, there had been many killings in the South East especially carried out by the so-called unknown gunmen which has made the South East seem a theatre of violence. Apart from the many killings believed to have been carried out by unknown gunmen, about over 1,400 cases of violent abuse by security agencies was recorded in 2020 alone.
The participants came from the National Human Rights Commission,Police Service Commission, Ministries of Police Affairs and Interior, the IGP Monitoring and Complaint Response Units of the Nigeria PoliceForce, Public Complaint Commission, SERVICOM and Civil Society Organizations.