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Police Brutality: Anambra Youths Trained on Rights Defence, Access to Justice

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By Lawrence Nwimo, Awka.

Following public complaints on brutality experienced by Nigerians in the hands of security operatives, an anchor team consisting of twenty-one youths has received training on methods for seeking justice as well as defending incidences of human rights violations and abuse in Anambra State.

The training was held in Awka, the Anambra State capital on Saturday.

It was organized by the Centre for Social Awareness, Advocacy and
Ethics (CSAAE) in consortium with the Youth Empowerment Solutions Project Initiative (YES-P), and the Centre for Health Education &
Vulnerable Support (CHEVS) and powered by VOICE.

The 21 youth anchors were drawn from the twenty-one local government areas of the state and exposed to better ways of obtaining justice, where their fundamental human rights or rights of people are trampled upon by law enforcement agents.

Speaking at the event, the CSAAE Founder/ CEO, Rev. Dr. Godswill Agbagwa said “the project was inspired by the sequence of the EndSARS protest when people went to the street to demand good governance, accountability in governance and resistance to inhumane treatment by police department.

“It is to build the capacity of 21 young people in Anambra State representing the 21 local government areas of the state. We trained them on what they need to understand about human rights and how to defend rights before the law. We are trying to harness the positive part of them as young people to work with the security agencies whose job is to ensure that our society is safe.”

Rev. Agbagwa, represented by the Programme Manager, Davidson Nwaonu said “CSAAE fights for good governance, rule of law, human rights and anti-corruption; advances quality education, entrepreneurship and job placement; promotes effective leadership and trains effective leaders.

He urged the young people to take what they have learnt in the training to their respective communities for onward propagation to the people in different localities on their rights to justice.

Speaking at the event, Anambra State Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Chika Ifemeje urged the selected Youth to, first, ensure the safety of their life in the process of protecting rights and privileges as provided by law.

Prof. Ifemeje was represented by Solicitor General Anambra State Permanent Secretary Ministry of Justice, Barr. Ngozi Anuli Iwouno urged them to disregard the force’s excesses but view them as agents put in place to secure lives and properties.

Also Speaking, the Anambra State Commissioner for Youth, Mr Patrick Aghambah, represented by the Special Adviser to the governor on youth development, Dr. Nelson Omenuha charged the youths to play their parts in ensuring peace and eschew acts that could lead to a breach of law and other in the state.

Earlier, the Anambra State Commissioner of Police CP Echeng Echeng, represented by the Force PPRO, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, admonished youths not to look down on officers but to embrace a friendly approach in dealing with men of the Police force.

Other speakers who addressed the youths at the event include the Director of National Orientation Agency, Anambra State, Charles Nwoji; and representatives of the Citizens Rights Directorate Representative, Judith C. Mokwe among other human rights lawyers and activists.

They taught the youths their rights as enshrined in the constitution, ways to collaborate with the police and what to do especially to avoid fracas when accosted by policemen.

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