Human right abuse can be said to be the violation of others’ rights. This violation includes the abuse of civil and political rights, economic, social, and cultural rights, and sexual rights abuse. In Nigeria there has been a sad rise of cases of gender-based violence, rape, and child abuse. This report captures human right violations especially as it relates to sexual violence and child abuse recorded in Nigeria in the month of May, 2021.
Perhaps the loudest cry against rape in Nigeria in the month of May was attracted by the news of Iniobong Umoren, a 20-year-old job seeker who was lured with fake job interview, raped, and killed by Uduak frank Akpan. The violation of Iniobong was even more lethal because after raping her, the suspect mutilated her body and harvested her organs. This case led to an outburst especially across social media platforms and twitter.
Another case of rape that was recorded in May, 2021 is the gang rape of 14-year-old girl who was allegedly gang-raped by seven suspected cultists at Ogboli village in Issele-Uku, Aniocha North Local Government Area, Delta State. The unfortunate incidence was triggered by one of the culprits mother who vowed to report the teenage victim to her cultist son because she had a misunderstanding with the girl.
Sadly, these rape cases are further encouraged by the culture of silence majority of Nigerians and the inadequate effort of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute such vices in the Nigerian society. One of such cases that expresses such culture of silence is the case of a couple, Juliet and Boniface Nwobodo who aided their son Ebuka Nwobodo in defiling a minor. The couple who was charged with the case of conspiracy because when the victim informed Mr and Mrs Nwobodo about what their son was doing to her, they shut her up and threatened to kill her if she ever mentioned it to anyone, adding that they also refused to rein in their son.
Another growing thread of human right violation are the cases of child abuse that threatens the future of children in Nigeria. Remarkable was the case of a small girl whose aunt tied her hands and legs, doused her hair with kerosine and set fire on it. This case sparked a lot of reaction with the involvement of Ahmed Isah, popularly called Ordianry President. Ahmed Isah who saved the girl from possible death when he covered her hospital bills when the poor girl was abandoned to fate with her lynched head decomposing and producing maggot, however faced the brunt of the law when he allowed his emotions get the best of him and he slapped the perpetrator of such gruesome act. The simultaneous attraction and repulsion to his action and the sanctioning he faced however brought the problem of politicizing crime to the fore front. This is evident in the fact that the graver offence of lynching a child was not prosecuted while the prosecutor became the prosecuted.
The month of May 2021 also witnessed the case of Goodnews, a young boy who physically and emotionally abused by his stepfather. This case however ended commendably because the perpetrator was immediately arrested and prosecuted by NAPTIP.
These cases are perhaps just a minute percentage of the original abuses perpetuated in Nigeria. This is due to the earlier stated fact that a majority of the populace have poor culture of reportage and there is no concrete data base/portal where such abuses are recorded in Nigeria. Few organizations like Devatop center for African development are conscious in their attempt to build/avail a platform and keep record of such abuses for the sake of research and to foster the fight against such vices through the Talkam App and website www.talkam.org. However, such efforts are still limited to the willingness of the victims/populace to report such abuses.