Abuja authorities agree to suspend raid of nightclubs – Official

women and men dancing in a club
women and men dancing in a club

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) said raids of nightclubs and other leisure places in Abuja will be suspended until further notice.

The commission stated this in a statement signed by the Director-Corporate Affairs and External Linkages (NHRC), Lambert Oparah.

It said the resolution to suspend the raids was reached with representatives of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), Federal Capital Territory Administration and civil society organisations.

Mr Oparah recalled that the NHRC had on May 10 summoned the Director of the AEPB, following complaints by some civil society organisations “over allegations of raids on nightclubs, arrests, molestations and sexual assaults of some women by agents of the FCT led by the AEPB.”

He said in obedience to the summons, the Coordinator of Abuja Municipal Metropolitan Council, Baba Lawal, alongside the directors, Security Services, Social Welfare, Development Control and AEPB, appeared before the NHRC on May 16.

He said the representatives of the various civil society groups led by the head of the Amnesty International, Osai Ojigho, were also in attendance.

Premium Times had earlier reported how officials of the FCTA raided and arrested about 100 women from different nightclubs in Abuja.

Some of the women arrested for alleged prostitution accused some of the officials of rape and assault.

The police, however, promised to investigate the allegations.

The statement gave a summary of the resolutions reached at the meeting.

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“That further raids by the FCT Task Force should be put on hold pending the mainstreaming of human rights into their operations.

“That issues concerning the distortion of master plan of the FCT should be targeted at business owners and the FCT officials themselves who approve such alterations and not the innocent citizens of the FCT using the facilities provided.

“An investigation to be carried out to fish out and bring to book those officials and security agents who perpetrated the various acts of violation and impunity in the course of the raids.

“A meeting between the clubs, similar business owners, and the FCT be facilitated by the NHRC to reduce noise pollution in Abuja, ensure respect for the right of others, the rule of law and compliance to official regulations,” the statement read

The Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Tony Ojukwu, had observed at the meeting that the allegations over the molestation of women in FCT had raised a lot of public concern.

Mr Ojukwu said the NHRC intervened in the matter to correct the wrongs and forestall future occurrences.

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