The African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (CentreLSD) has announced the commencement of the Strengthen Citizens Voices for Security Sector Accountability (SPaCVOSSA) project in Nigeria.
The SPaCVOSSA project, supported by Trust Africa, is a response to complaints bordering on violation of citizen’s fundamental rights in Africa’s most populous nation.
According to the non-governmental organisation (NGO), 105 complaints bordering on illegal arrest and detention were received from 24 out of the 36 states of Nigeria and the country’s capital, Abuja.
The Project Lead and CentreLSD Director of Strategy, Itia Otabor, said in a statement that the need to strengthen the voices of citizens to demand accountability from the Nigerian security forces can not be overemphasised.
‘A forum to bring together a cross section of victims and other impacted persons of security services violation during the Covid-19 lockdown, subject experts, representatives of the security services has been created to interrogate the excesses of security agencies in the country during the pandemic, especially during the first phase of the lockdown in Nigeria’, the statement read.
Security forces used excessive force when enforcing stay at home orders, killing at least 18 people between 30 March and 13 April, according to the National Human Rights Commission.
The forum, according to CentreLSD, will provide opportunity for citizens to chart a way forward, including engaging to get a legislative backing, to institutionalise the outcome of the forum.
The project, which has a research component, will be implemented in Lagos State and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
CentreLSD called on well-meaning Nigerians and organisations, including civil society organisations working on police reforms, to attend in person or connect via #SPaCVOSSA #CitizensVoices #TrustAfrica #CentreLSD.
Photo source: j-No