2015 General Elections: NHRC Receives 153 Complaints On Hate-Speech, Electoral Violence

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The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has received a total of 153 complaints on hate speech and election related violence during the 2015 general elections and other subsequent elections.

Acting Executive Secretary of the Commission, Mrs. Oti Anukpe Ovrawah made this revelation during a courtesy call on the Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), a statement made available to The Dream Daily Newspapers in Abuja by Head Media Unit, NHRC, Fatimah Agwai Mohammed, has disclosed.

Mrs. Ovrawah said the purpose of the courtesy call was to intimate the party chieftain about the Commission’s project on investigations of complaints on hate speech and election related violence it had received, and to seek the support of the party leadership in the investigation of these complaints.

She stated further that “those found culpable would be subjected to a public hearing where alleged violators, complainants and victims would be given fair hearing to state their facts and substantiate their claims. Those indicted will be recommended to the Hon. Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice or his counterpart in the state as the case may be for prosecution” she added, pointing out that a register of indicted persons will also be kept at the Commission as a reference point for accountability purposes.”

In his response, the Deputy National Chairman of the All Progressive Congress, Sen. Lawal Shuaibu who received the NHRC delegation on behalf of the National Chairman, expressed delight at the initiative. He assured the Commission of the willingness of the party leadership to provide all the necessary support that is required to drive the process.

Shuaibu, who stated unequivocally that the APC suffered a lot of attacks through hate speeches, urged the Commission to ensure that adequate data on hate speech is collated from media houses and other relevant agencies.

On his part, the National Legal Adviser of the Party, Dr. Muiz Banire (SAN) has called on the Commission to be pragmatic about the prosecution of perpetrators of such act so as to serve as deterrent to others ahead of the 2019 general elections.

The Commission’s Director of Monitoring, Tony Ojukwu Esq said the project was aimed at checking the use of hate speech and election related violence ahead of the 2019 general election. “Similar visits will be made to other political parties and stake holders to ensure a conducive climate for political campaigns during the forthcoming 2019 general election,” he added.

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