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Nigeria: Police opens investigation into alleged IDPs’ abuse

Nigeria: Police opens investigation into alleged IDPs’ abuse

Nigeria

Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police (IGP),Ibrahim Idris has set up a special investigation team to commence a thorough inquiry into all cases of alleged sexual abuses on Internally Displaced persons (IDPs).

Other issues to be investigated by the team, include exploitation, harassment, gender based violence and professional misconduct on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in some of North-eastern states contained in a report published by the Human Right Watch against Camp officials, vigilante groups, Soldiers and Policemen among others.

The IGP expressed deep concern over the submissions in the report and has directed the Special Investigation Panel to carry out a discreet and unbiased investigation into all cases of abuse and misconduct alleged in the report.

The IGP has also directed Commissioners of Police in locations where IDP Camps are situated to beef up security and ensure adequate safety of all IDPs.

In a statement by Force Public Relations Officer, Abuja, DCP Don Awunah said, the IGP has called on Human Right Watch officials to avail more facts that will assist the Police investigation team conclude the inquiry into the alleged 43 cases mentioned in the Human Rights Watch (HRW) report.

“The IGP has also directed Commissioners of Police in locations where IDP Camps are situated to beef up security and ensure adequate safety of all IDPs and ensure that all perpetrators of any criminal act are decisively dealt with in accordance to the law”. he said.

The force urged all police officers and other personnel deployed to the IDP camps to strictly adhere to the rules of engagement.

It would be recalled that a 17-year-old girl had told Human Rights Watch (HRW) researchers in late July that she was raped by a policeman in one of the seven internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in Maiduguri after fleeing from Boko Haram attacks in Borno state.

The accounts among others were captured in a report released by HRW stating that the Nigerian government is not doing enough to protect displaced women and girls who have been raped and sexually exploited by abusers including camp leaders, vigilante groups, policemen, and soldiers.

Four of the victims told Human Rights Watch that they were drugged and raped, while 37 were coerced into sex through false marriage promises and material and financial assistance. Many of those coerced into sex said they were abandoned if they became pregnant.

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