COVID-19: Yes, message calling for reports on human rights abuse by security officials from NHRC

VERDICT: TRUE

CLAIM: The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) Fact-checkers are in possession of an e-banner containing phone numbers for the public to report human right violations by security operatives during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown across Nigeria. The banner, which was designed by Visual Data for the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), has however caused controversy between the Commission and some security agencies. On Thursday, April 2, 2020, the Nigerian Army through its twitter handle, @HQNigerianArmy, warned the public against the use of information on the banner. In its tweet, the Nigerian Army posted a collage of two e-banners purportedly from the NHRC, marking them as fake.

FACT: Checks by the CDD fact-checkers show that the message on the banner is an authentic content from the NHRC. Also, further verifications revealed that the NHRC has widely circulated the content of the banner produced by Visual Data. A check on the NHRC official twitter handle shows that on April 1, 2020, the commission tweeted similar contacts which are also on the e-banner.

The tweet by NHRC read: ‘’COVID19: NHRC directs staff and members of the public to report all cases of human rights violations by law enforcement agencies to the police and NHRC designated nos.08037875427, 08179371339, 08034354537,07033398657. FCT CP 08033027731, Lagos CP 08033438179, Ogun CP 08033438900 ‘’ To further verify the claim, CDD reached out to officials of the NHRC who confirmed that the message on the banner is genuine. However, the NHRC officials said the only snag is that there is a duplication of contact numbers of commissioners of Police for Lagos and Ogun states. The NHRC further encouraged citizens not relent in reporting issues of human violations security operatives.

CONCLUSION: The claim that the NHRC released a message asking members of the public to report violations of their human rights by government security officials is true. Members of the public are therefore encouraged not to relent in sending reports to the numbers and disregard other contrary information. #StaySafe #StayAtHome #StopTheSpread #StopFakeNews