The coordinator of Bauchi State office of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Barrister Dala Yachit, has said that the commission has received 814 complaints in the last 11 months.
Yachit stated this on Monday at a one-day public lecture for the North-East, with the theme, “ICT As An Instrument for Enhancing National Security and Economic Recovery”, organised by Youth and Civil Society Coalition for Development in collaboration with the National Information Technology Agency, held at the Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi.
She said from January this year to date, the commission received 814 complaints about human right abuses in Bauchi and out of this figure, over 400 were on Sexual and Gender Based Violence.
Barrister Dala while responding to the remarks made by the representative of the Bauchi State Police command, said: “In fighting crime, you must do that within the law. The Human Rights Commission is not stopping the Police from carrying out her lawful activities but you must do it in line with the law, what the Police Act says you can do and what you can’t do and what the Administration of Criminal Justice Act says.
“Even arrests, how do you arrest? You must tell a person why you are arresting him, you don’t handcuff, you don’t subject the person to inhuman treatment. Arrest someone in line with the law and treat him with dignity.
“And that information you want, if the law says don’t forcefully check someone’s phone and you do that, I can assure you, when you go to court, that evidence will be thrown out of the court because you did not access that document through the legal means.”
Dala added that the National Human Rights Commission in the state has been having a good cordial working relationship with the Police in the state, saying there had been a reduction of complaints against Police officers and it was because of the working relationship and awareness and sensitisation undertaken.
“For example, when we came in 2019, because most people did not know much about human rights in Bauchi, we started in February and by the end of that year, we had just 72 complaints and out of those 72 complaints, over 50 were against Police officers,” she recalled.
Yachit, who said that every aspect of human life has to do with human rights, noted that: “ICT opens doors and creates avenues for a lot of information. It is through ICT that we get to know what is going on regarding human rights.
“You can beam the searchlight on human rights abuses, you can get in touch with victims of human rights abuses. So, you can’t remove ICT from human rights.”
For his part, the national president of the Youth and Civil Society Coalition for Development, Aminu Aminu, said that the idea for the formation of the YCSCD was to seek for ways for youths to contribute to the development of the country.
“With the recent issues of insecurity happening across the country and its economic fallout, we decided to go round the country to sensitise the youths on the need for them to be proactive and contribute to national development,” Aminu stated.