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Rights Groups commend court judgment on Abuja nightclub raid

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National Human Rights Commission

A coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) have hailed the recent judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja, which granted N4m damages to six women, whose rights were violated in the infamous Abuja nightclub raid.

The judgment delivered by Justice Evelyn Maha on August 5, 2021, ruled in favour of the six women, whose rights were trampled upon by the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), the Nigerian police, and other law enforcement agents, during April 26, 2019, Abuja nightclub raid.

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Speaking in Abuja, at a joint press conference organised by NHRC in collaboration with CSOs, the coalition’s representative, Kemi Okenyodo, said it was a step in the right direction.

She said: “After over two years of trial, Justice Evelyn Maha of the Federal High Court, in her judgment on August 5, 2021, held that the arrest of the applicants without cause, beating, molestation and dehumanising treatment, detention, and barring them from accessing legal representation constituted a violation of the applicants’ rights, as guaranteed under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

She said the judgment was timely and a victory for women and human rights, especially at a period when there was a call for an end to brutality from security agents.

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Human Rights Council (HRC) Executive Secretary, Tony Ojukwu, urged Nigerians, particularly victims of human rights violations to always seek redress in the Commission or the judiciary, as it pays to speak.

Ojukwu said: “History has, once more, been made in the landmark court judgment on the notorious raid of women and girls on the street of Abuja by Abuja Environmental Protection Board and other enforcement agents”.

He said the judgment has vindicated the commission’s position and that of other human rights groups.

It would be recalled that on April 26, 2019, a mob of over 100 male state actors invaded clubs, hotels, supermarkets, and other centres of business in Abuja to round up women under the guise of arresting sex workers.

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