Outdated Laws, Lack of Accountability Responsible for Human Rights Abuses – Report
By Rose Audu
The Deputy Director of Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA), Ogechi Ogu, at a workshop on validation of baseline study of private security regulation in the ECOWAS region, championed by PRAWA in Abuja decried the rising wave of crime and the inability of security actors to provide adequate protection of lives and property.
Delivering her welcome remarks, Ogu said “the major negative indications of the development are increased cases of human rights abuse, high numbers of illegal and unlicensed private security companies, and poor security service delivery.”
She added that, PRAWA with the support of the African Security Sector Network and the support of Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF), and German Cooperation conducted a Baseline Study of Private Security Regulation in the ECOWAS Region to strengthen private security governance through the enhancement of knowledge on the challenges and opportunities facing private companies, and promotion of effective oversight and accountability mechanism through the implementation of regional policy frameworks.
According to Ogechi, the research which was conducted in five countries within the ECOWAS region (Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia, Togo, and Sierra Leone) found that private security companies play critical roles in the security architecture of member states.
She said that the research also shows that weak accountability and oversight mechanism, ineffective regulations and outdated legislations have made it difficult to address issues of human rights abuses, illegal and unlicensed private security companies, and poor security service delivery in the region.
On his part, General UA Yusuf who frowned at the current high level of insecurity ravaging the Sahel said there is need for all to take a critical look at the issues of security and proffer positive solutions that will aid in curtailing insecurity in the region.
In the same vein, the Deputy Ambassador of Switzerland, Lukas Schifferle believed the baseline study will help in forming policy that will help check the activities of private security networks operating in the region and provide data and valuable information for organisations interested in carrying out researches on issues of security in the region with the view of finding lasting solution to terrorism and restore lasting peace in the ECOWAS region.