By Edith Nwapi
Abuja – The Executive Secretary (ES) National Human Rights Commission Mr Tony Ojukwu on Wednesday called for urgent action to end Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV) in the country.
Ojukwu made this call in Abuja while reacting to the alleged case of a lecturer at the University of Lagos, Akoka, Boniface Igbeneghu, who was caught on tape making amorous advances at a ‘student’ seeking admission into the school.
Ojukwu said until stringent measures are taken and perpetrators of these heinous acts adequately prosecuted, the menace may continue to linger.
He said the commission has condemned in its strongest term the prevalence of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in the country, especially the several allegations of sex for marks being perpetrated by lecturers in institutions of higher learning.
The ES stated that the Commission has recorded several complaints of sexual and gender-based violence in recent times which he described as endemic and must be dealt with as a matter of urgent national concern.
He added that as part of measures to curb this crime against humanity, the Commission is set to hold a public hearing on the matter.
“We will also seriously pursue the prosecution of the case against Boniface Igbeneghu to the later”.
” This particular case must not be swept under the carpet, we will direct our Lagos office to follow this case and ensure the perpetrator is brought to book, so as to serve as deterrent to others, he said .
Ojukwu said further that due to the nature of complaints on the prevalence of SGBV in institutions of higher learning, “the Commission is planning on establishing a human right desk to deal with general issues of human rights violations especially as it relates to that of SGBV in our Tertiary Institutions”.
He urged members of the public especially family members of victims to desist from interfering with the process of prosecuting SGBV cases by way of withdrawing the matter during investigation.
He also called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and other relevant authorities to ensure a speedy prosecution of various cases of sexual assaults that have been reported in the past.