NHRC investigates SGBV cases in Sokoto State

The  National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Monday
commenced special investigation into cases bordering on Sexual and Gender Violence
(SGBV) in Sokoto State, urging survivors to open up.The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the investigation panel, headed by the Executive
Secretary of NHRC, Mr Tony Ojukwu, begun the two-day exercise in Sokoto, with more than

10 complaints so far submitted to it.The investigation was being conducted by NHRC, in collaboration with the EU-UN Spotlight
Initiative Project, aimed elimination Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG).Ojukwu said that the panel would entertain testimonies on abuse cases in the last 10 years, identify
individuals responsible for violation of human rights especially women and girls, and make

appropriate recommendations to competent authorities for remedies.He added that the investigation would provide opportunity for human rights stakeholders to
contribute to the development of appropriate strategies to prevent occurrenceand implement guidelines for holding perpetrators accountable.He explained that the investigation was aimed raising public awareness on the need to
speak out and to report cases of SGBV, put an end to impunity and for appropriate redress.Justice Muhammad Muhammad of Sokoto State High Court who represented the Chief Judge

of Sokoto State, Justice Sa’idu Sifawa, commended NHRC for to safeguard peoples’ rights.Muhammad said women needed to be protected in the society as their values and sanctity must be
guarded and cherished.He stressed that citizens ensure no molestation of women and girls in all forms in the society, and

must accord them all the required respect.The judge urged the panel to consider all relevant laws available in the state in their investigation.Malam Ibrahim Tudun Doki, who spoke on behalf of Civil Society Organisations, described the effort

as timely, noting that many cases occurred unreported and urged stakeholders to live up to expectations.NAN reports that the programme was attended by some survivors and their families, perpetrators,
representatives of NAPTIP, security agencies, civil society organisations, journalists and others. (NAN)