The National Human Rights Commission has identified corruption among some security agents as an impediment to pursuing justice by rape victims in Nigeria.
The Ebonyi State Coordinator of the Commission, Christopher Okorie, made the observation on Monday in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, during a road walk commencing the NHRC’s seven-day activism against gender violence.
The commission, which expressed worry over the rising spate of child abuse and rape in the State, said it will not sit and watch the girl-child in particular and children in general constantly violated.
According to Okorie, the Commission has vowed to employ all legal provisions and instruments in the state to ensure that all cases regarding rape and other forms of Gender-Based Violence against girls in the state were eliminated.
Addressing newsmen further during the event, Okorie identified other challenges confronting the fight against rape and defilement of minors to include ignorance and harmful cultural practices, which tended to objectify the woman.
He added that lack of cooperation on the part of the victims or victims relatives, custodians as well as survivors of rape and all forms of Gender-Based Violence has further worsened the fight.
Okorie said: “Sometimes rape and gender-based violence continue because victims lack the knowledge of where to seek help and immediate intervention from and if anybody or agency intervenes, it becomes a free ride for the violator and his/her partners in crime, while the victim suffers in silence.
“Corruption among few unscrupulous elements, among the law enforcement agents who through high profile or subtle financial extortion, discourage victims of rape from pursuing their cases to logical conclusion.
“NHRC requests all law enforcement agencies to continue to educate their officers to the fact that services to the public are free and should be seen as such.”
Members of the Commission during the event marched round major roads and streets in Abakaliki campaigning against the ugly trend.