NHRC receives 83 complaints in 3 months in Gombe – Official

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), in Gombe State, said it received no fewer than 83 complaints of alleged human rights violations between January and March.

Mr Ali Alola-Alfinti, the state’s Public Relations Officer, NHRC, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gombe on Tuesday.

Alola-Alfinti said the complaints received in the first quarter of the year, represented 42.2 per cent increase compared with the 48 cases received within the same period in 2023.

He explained that out of the 83 cases received, 23 were on fathers abandoning their children, 18 on inhuman and degrading treatment, 11 on domestic violence, six on threat to life, while two were on rape.

He said others included three denial of custody of a child, five denial of right to economic empowerment, one forced marriage and two cases of denial of right to inheritance, amongst others.

He said 10 ca

ses were referred to relevant authorities for proper handling as they didn’t fall within the mandate of the commission.

The spokesperson also said 56 out of the 73 complaints received had been effectively resolved through alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.

He said the other complaints were still undergoing treatment as those that needed prosecution had been taken to court.

Alola-Alfinti said although the abandonment of children by fathers had reduced, it was still a cause for worry.

He added that the reduction in the number of cases of fathers abandoning their children was due to several economic interventions by both the Federal and Gombe State governments, which helped in mitigating hardship among citizens.

He called on parents, especially fathers, not to run away and leave their children without food, shelter, and drugs, noting that such amounted to violation of the rights of those children, and was punishable by law.

“Parents should device means to cater for their children as long as we brought them to the world, we have the responsibility of caring for them.

“Sometimes you see fathers abandoning their children to the care of their mothers, who are then forced to take to begging and exposing the children to more risks since their mothers are always away,” he said.

Alola-Alfinti further said violations of human rights were still underreported in spite of the commission’s intensified campaign to communities and other stakeholders in the state.

According to him, people are now coming out to report, but the number of reported cases is still low, hence we urge residents whose rights have been violated to speak up.

He said one of the dangers of keeping quiet when rights are violated was the tendency for such violations to spread to other innocent persons who ended up as victims because the first victim failed to report.

“We receive complaints on zero-kobo meaning we don’t receive any money to take complaints.

“Lodging complaints is as easy as locating our office and you will be registered free for your complaints to be heard and documented for treatment,” he said.

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