NHRC condemns widows’ maltreatment, calls for stringent measures on perpetrators


The Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Tony Ojukwu (SAN) has described the increasing rate of maltreatment of widows and women in various communities across the country as alien to human nature.

Ojukwu who was reacting to recent developments of untold inhuman and degrading treatment meted on widows over matters relating to property and inheritance, noted that such act grossly violates the fundamental human rights and dignity of the victims and as such, must be condemned in all ramifications.

He said perpetrators of the dastardly act who are mostly family members, in-laws or close associates must be brought to book to serve as a deterrent to any person nursing the idea of dealing unjustly with women after the death of their husbands.

A statement by the Director of Corporate Affairs and External Linkages of the NHRC, Obinna Nwakonye on Saturday said that Ojukwu made reference to a video which showed a young man at Umuwada Mbaise, Imo State meting out untold inhuman and degrading treatment to his late uncle’s widow over issues involving properties of the late uncle.

According to the Executive Secretary, the Nigeria Police Force has made an intervention on the matter and has ensured that the perpetrators are brought to book and added that, the case is presently before the court while the culprits are remanded in custodial centre while undergoing trial.

He further said, the Commission’s lawyer will continue to follow the proceedings until justice is served.

The NHRC boss called on stakeholders, particularly traditional rulers who are heads of communities where some of these violations against widows and women abound, and tasked the village heads to ensure that their subjects do not indulge in practices that may lead to torture, inhuman and degrading treatment of widows and women or the deprivation of their late husband’s properties.

Ojukwu further affirmed the Commission’s tireless efforts in the fight against all forms of human rights violations and assured Nigerian women and widows that the Commission will continue to come up with rights-based policies geared towards eradicating or reducing to the barest minimum all forms of discrimination and violations against them, including orthodox widowhood practices meant to denigrate their dignity.

”With our presence in all the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, we shall continue to improve our access in the entire country and communities to the best of our ability, we shall also do all that is within our powers to ensure that we stem the tide of all kinds of human rights violation as they are inimical to modern civilization. We use this medium to call on all stakeholders to join us in this fight,” Ojukwu stated.



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