The Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission, Prof. Bem Angwe, has said that the commission would investigate reported case of abandoned corpses of babies in a hospital in Enugu.
Angwe, who stated this on Wednesday in Abuja while speaking with leaders of the National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) who visited him in his office, said that mothers involved in the abandonment of the corpses would be prosecuted.
“ We received information that about 70 corpses of babies were abandoned in a hospital in Enugu.
“At the moment, we are investigating; when we get to know the identities of these parents who abandoned their dead babies, we will prosecute them.
“The commission will definitely identify these mothers who have denied their children a decent burial and ensure that they are punished to serve as a deterrent to others,’’ he said. He pointed out that the act of the mothers offended the ‘’very core and dictates of human rights’’ and must not be allowed to continue.
Angwe appealed to members of the society to partner the commission to identify the women and bring them to justice for violating the rights of their children. He announced that in the coming weeks, the commission would embark on a nationwide enlightenment to sensitise Nigerian women and other Nigerians to their fundamental human rights.
During the visit, the women were conferred with honorary title of Advocate for Human Rights of Nigeria and were issued a certificate to this effect. The NHRC boss said that the conferment empowered the women to be true advocates of human rights for every Nigerian, ‘’not just for women and children’’.
In an interview, National President of NCWS, Mrs Nkechi Mba, described the abandonment of the remains of the dead babies by their mothers as shameful. Mba assured that the council would collaborate with the commission to locate for the mothers.
“It is a shame that women like us would give birth and abandon their children in the hospital.
“I am assuring you that we will call the Enugu state branch and ensure that we fish these women out and talk to them.
“ Since we have been conferred with the honorary ‘Advocates for Human Rights’, we will use this to ensure that we advocate for the rights of women,’’ she said.
She disclosed that the council was working with relevant agencies to stop street hawking by children of school age as well as empower commercial sex workers. According to Mba, this will enable them to have meaningful employment and leave the streets.