Statement Condemning the Serial Killing of Young girls in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Nigeria is distressed by the reports circulating about serial killers in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. As an organisation with a mandate to promote, protect and preserve the rights of women and children, we loudly call for the arrest and conviction of the killers as well as for the better protection and enforcement of the rights of the citizenry.
Since July 2019, reports of at least ten women killed using the same distinctive style have been noted. The killers lure young women to nondescript hotels, drugs and sexually assaults them before strangling them to death and then tying them up with a white cloth as a form of ritual. The patterns are obvious, yet, the Nigerian Police Force has failed to apprehend any suspect.
Even more disturbingly, Chuks Enwonwu, the Deputy Commissioner of Police Administration for Rivers state released a statement in which he blamed prostitution as the cause of the killings. FIDA Nigeria seeks to challenge this logic, because there are many reasons for women to go to hotels other than to prostitute. This mind set explains the lax attitude of the Police and it needs to change.
The right to life is a fundamental right of the Nigeria citizenry as outlined in Section 33 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Murder is also a clear contravention of our criminal laws and aside from the defences provided by the law, there is no justification for taking another life. Whether the said victim was immoral or not. We condemn in totality the acts of these serial killers, as well as the response from the Nigerian Police force.
As an organisation that provides free legal representation for indigent women and children, we will do our part to ensure that justice is served for the lost souls, their families and loved ones.
We however call on the Nigerian Police Force to expedite action in their investigation and bring the perpetrator(s) of these dastardly crimes to book.
FIDA Nigeria also calls on the State government to rise up to the occasion and protect the lives of the citizens of the state as enshrined in Section 14(2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) which clearly provides that “…the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government”. The State Government must therefore promptly rise up to its responsibilities and deploy all necessary machinery to check mate this crime; while instilling confidence in the system and the government. All hotels where these horrible incidents occurred must be sanctioned, steps must be taken to insist on proper security measures in all hotels and recreational facilities in the State.
We insist that more proactive steps must be taken by all concerned to protect the lives of citizens.
Rhoda Prevail Tyoden
Country Vice President/National President
National Publicity Secretary