According to the Rights Commission, it received 1,701,519 complaints regarding rights violations in 2021 from a variety of sources, including the state offices and protection departments at its headquarters.
The total, according to the commission, was the largest so far since its founding in 1995 and greater than the 1,287,280 complaints it received in 2020.
This information was provided in its statutory report, which was recently distributed at the Nigerian Bar Association’s Annual General Conference in Lagos. Anthony Ojukwu, the NHRC Executive Secretary, provided The PUNCH with the information on Wednesday.
The NHRC attributed the rise in complaints to the coronavirus pandemic’s lower new infection rate, which resulted in the relaxation of the lockdown and movement restrictions and made it easier for more people to file complaints with the Commission.
The NHRC added that factors including increased social media use, national instability, and growing knowledge of human rights and the channels for asserting those rights all contributed to the rise.
In 2021, SGBV (rape and domestic violence), women’s and gender rights (child custody, denial of access to children), children’s rights (right to survival and development, child abandonment), the judiciary, the rule of law, access to justice, quality of life, and freedom from discrimination were the issues that commanded the Commission’s attention and focus across the nation.
The article stated, “Child rights issues topped the list with 367,440 complaints, while women and gender issues followed with 287,240 complaints. These high figures may be attributable to rising poverty and unemployment occasioned by COVID-19 economic fallouts, which have taken a heavy toll on family life and the erosion of family values. The lowest figures were recorded for rights of the aged (1,880) followed at a far distance by Niger Delta and Environment cases (14,360).”
The study states that the Commission received 341,997 complaints in the first quarter of the year, while 464,800 complaints were filed during the second quarter, which set a record for complaints per quarter. The third quarter saw a decrease to 440,800 complaints, although the second-highest number of complaints each quarter—453,760—rose somewhat.
Rivers (202,040), Kaduna (177,920), Delta (163,360), Imo (136,120), Niger (109,560), Ebonyi (100,400), Lagos (88,720), Sokoto (77,280), Bauchi (69,600), and Kwara are the states with the most complaints (52,680).
Osun (5,320), Abuja (6,600), Ogun (7,480), Borno (7,960), Yobe (8,760), Ekiti (8,840), Benue (9,000), Nasarawa (9,000), Anambra (10,480), and Kebbi are the states with the fewest complaints (10,920).
Rivers (18,678), Imo (12,584), Delta (15,102), Niger (10,128), Ebonyi (9,282), Lagos (8,202), Sokoto (7,144), Bauchi (6,434), Abuja (5,846), and Abia are the states with the most SGBV complaints (4,911).
Osun (492), Abuja (610), Ogun (692), Borno (736), Yobe (810), Ekiti (817), Benue (832), Nasarawa (832), Anambra (969), and Kebbi are the states with the fewest SGBV complaints (1,010).
Rivers topped the list of states with the most complaints regarding child rights, followed by Kaduna (38,456), Delta (35,309), Imo (29,421), Niger (23,680), Lagos (19,176), Sokoto (16,703), Bauchi (15,043), Abia (11,481), and Kwara (11,481). (11,386).
Osun (1,150), Abuja (1,427), Ogun (1,617), Borno (1,720), Yobe (1,893), Ekiti (1,911), Benue (1,945, Nasarawa (1,945), Anambra (2,265), and Kebbi are the states listed below (2,360).
The Commission stated that the filed complaints were subject to the STORP’s Rule 72, which establishes a procedure for establishing a complaint’s admission or eligibility, as well as the rules of admissibility.
“Consequently, out of the 1,701,519 complaints received in 2021, a total of 1,697,777 were found admissible, while 3,742 were inadmissible,” the Commission said.
340,844 people were admitted during the first quarter of 2021, while 1,153 people were refused entry. Entrance the second quarter, 463,385 people were allowed in while 1,415 people were not. In the third quarter, 440,320 people were admitted while 642 people were not. There were 453,228 admissible and 532 invalid complaints in the fourth quarter.
1,187,079 of the 1,701,357 complaints received in all 36 states of the Federation and Abuja (Headquarters and the AMO) have been investigated and resolved in accordance with the STORP of the Commission at the conclusion of the review period, or 69.8% of the total.
“The remaining 514,440 (30.2 per cent) complaints, although not concluded, were ongoing and at various stages of investigation and mediation as of 31st December 2021,” NHRC said.
The Commission claimed that when it first opened for business in 1996, it only got 41 complaints, but that number has since increased continuously, albeit with some volatility.
The total number of complaints the Commission had received from 1996 to December 31, 2021, was 8,122,674.
7,841,561 of the 8,122,674 complaints were admissible, 122,649 were not, 4,696,573 were resolved, and 3,148,732 were still outstanding.
Regarding court-pending allegations, the Commission stated, “The Legal Services and Enforcement Department of the Commission in complementing the activities of the Commission within the year under review had either appeared in court in defence of the Commission or formed out some cases on probono basis. Due to fund constraints, the Commission can only collaborate with friends of the Commission like the Nigerian Bar Association to firm out cases on probono, whereby only filing fees and other administrative costs are given to lawyers to defend cases for the Commission in court.”