The National Council of Women’s Societies (NCWS) has called for respect for womanhood by law enforcement authorities.
Mrs Gloria Shoda, President of the council, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday that it was wrong to arrest women and molest them without been tried.
She said the call became necessary in the light of the recent raid and arrest of some women in nightclubs in Abuja.
According to her, if there are allegations made against women or women have breached the law, the police should conduct their investigations in a proper and professional manner.
”The women should be treated with dignity and respect.
“While we do not condone prostitution, at the same time, we do not want women to be subjected to inhumane treatment or sexual violence, while in the custody of the police.
“We also do not believe that broad allegations of prostitution should be made against anyone without any concrete evidence.
“The law says one is innocent until proven guilty’, therefore, we expect that when citizens are arrested, they should not be humiliated.
“They should not be maltreated just because they were found in night clubs during raid,’’ she said.
Shoda appealed to the Nigeria Police to respect the rights of all human beings and treat arrested citizens according to laid-down procedures.
Shoda called on the acting Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, to initiate an independent inquiry on allegations of rape and sexual assault of women by policemen during the raids.
“Incarceration of women after an arrest is no justification for verbal abuse, physical and sexual violence.
“We are calling for an independent investigation to unravel the truth about these allegations.
“We want the named officers to step aside and allow an independent body do its work free of bias and influence.
“Those found to be involved in any illegal acts should be made to face the full wrath of the law. Girls and women should not be afraid of the police.
“Indeed no one should be fearful of engaging with our law enforcement agencies.
“The security officers must do all within their power to maintain trust and confidence in their mandate towards Nigerians,’’ Shoda said.