By Henry Umoru
ABUJA—SENATE President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, yesterday said the Senate would carry out a holistic investigation into alleged sexual abuse and violence against Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, at camps in the North East and across the country.
Speaking yesterday in Abuja while receiving the Amnesty International (AI) 2017/18 Report on ‘The State of the World’s Human Rights’ and the organization’s report on women who survived Boko Haram, but were later allegedly maltreated, from AI Country Director, Mrs. Osai Ojigho, Saraki, who noted that the country being an important part of the comity of nations, must continue to lead by example by doing the right things. According to him, “ by getting it right, we must be able to accept where these issues exist and work with partners like yourselves to be able to establish the facts. We have already set up a panel on your IDP report. By doing this, we can establish where sanctions need to be meted out.
“You have our assurance that nothing will be covered up. Not just for the purpose of disciplining people, but for the purpose of preventing reoccurrence. By doing this, we can help to ensure that people will change in their approach. Our people are already going through a lot of hardship in the IDP camps, they do not need this. We must stand and be there for them. In this regard, I am very keen to see the committee work very closely with you to resolve this so that the administration of justice is achieved and people will get a fair hearing.”
Earlier, the Country Director of AI, Mrs. Ojigho, who noted that the visit was meant to commend the Senate for setting up a panel to investigate the allegations contained in the report, said, “We think it is a good sign of progress and willingness to find out the truth regarding the incidents that have been happening and we hope that it will bring recourse to the women victims and their families in their quest to seek justice.
“We also want to commend the work of the National Assembly in passing and reforming our laws, particularly the Anti-Torture Law that was signed by the President in December. We believe that this would go a long way in addressing the issue of torture, particularly by our security forces in Nigeria.”