Nigeria

Section 6. Discrimination and Societal Abuses

Women

Rape and Domestic Violence: Federal law addresses sexual violence, physical violence, psychological violence, harmful traditional practices, and socioeconomic violence. The law cites spousal battery, forceful ejection from the home, forced financial dependence or economic abuse, harmful widowhood practices, female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), other harmful traditional practices, substance attacks (such as acid attacks), political violence, and violence by state actors (especially government security forces) as offenses. Victims and survivors of violence are entitled by law to comprehensive medical, psychological, social, and legal assistance by accredited service providers and government agencies, with their identities protected during court cases, although during the year these services were often limited. As of September, 20 of the country’s 36 states (Abia, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Jigawa, Kwara, Nasarawa, Ondo, Kaduna, Anambra, Oyo, Benue, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Osun, Cross River, Lagos, Plateau, and Bauchi) and the FCT had adopted the federal law. State-level implementation remained limited as states struggled to ensure effective implementation.

The law criminalizes rape, but it remained widespread. According to the 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey, approximately 31 percent of women between ages 15 and 49 had experienced some form of physical violence and 9 percent had experienced sexual violence. In February police announced that in 2020 it arrested more than 2,790 suspects of sexual and gender-based violence. In April the minister of women’s affairs announced that 3,491 sexual and gender-based violence cases were reported in 2020. As of April, 11 of these cases had resulted in a conviction, 188 cases were closed, and 742 cases remained open.

Sentences for persons convicted of rape and sexual assault were inconsistent and often minor. Federal law provides penalties for conviction ranging from 12 years’ to life imprisonment for offenders older than 14 and a maximum of 14 years’ imprisonment for all others. It also provides for a public register of convicted sexual offenders and appointment of protection officers at the local government level to coordinate with courts and provide for victims to receive various forms of assistance (e.g., medical, psychosocial, legal, rehabilitative, and for reintegration) provided by the law. The law also includes provisions to protect the identity of rape victims and a provision empowering courts to award appropriate compensation to survivors of rape. Because the relevant federal law had not been adopted in all states, state law continued to govern most rape and sexual assault cases and typically allowed for lesser sentences. While some, mostly southern, states enacted laws prohibiting some forms of gender-based violence or sought to safeguard certain rights, most states did not have such legislation. Survivors generally had little or no recourse to justice. In September 2020 Kaduna State enacted laws increasing the maximum penalty for rape to include sterilization and the death penalty. The Kaduna state law provides for up to three years’ imprisonment, a monetary fine, or both for conviction of spousal battery. It also authorizes courts to issue protection orders upon application by a victim and directs the appointment of a coordinator for the prevention of domestic violence to submit an annual report to the federal government.

Domestic violence remained widespread, and many considered it socially acceptable. A 2019 survey on domestic violence found that 47 percent of female respondents had suffered from domestic violence or knew someone who had; 82 percent of respondents indicated that violence against women was prevalent in the country.

Police often refused to intervene in domestic disputes or blamed the victim for provoking the abuse. In rural areas courts and police were reluctant to intervene to protect women who formally accused their husbands of abuse if the level of alleged abuse did not exceed local customary norms.

Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C): UNICEF estimated that almost 20 million girls in the country had undergone FGM/C between 2004 and 2015. The southern part of the country accounted for the majority of reported FGM/C cases, with high rates in the South West and the South South regions. Federal law criminalizes female circumcision or genital mutilation, but there were few reports that the government took legal action to curb the practice. The law penalizes persons performing female circumcision or genital mutilation or anyone aiding or abetting such a person. Enforcement of the law was rare. The federal government launched a revised national policy on the elimination of FGM/C for 2020-2024.

The 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey found that 20 percent of women ages 15 to 49 had undergone FGM/C. While 13 of 36 states banned FGM/C, once a state legislature had criminalized FGM/C, NGOs found they had to convince local authorities that state laws applied in their districts.

Other Harmful Traditional Practices: According to the law, any person convicted of subjecting another person to harmful traditional practices may be punished with up to four years’ imprisonment, a monetary fine, or both. Anyone convicted of subjecting a widow to harmful traditional practices is subject to two years’ imprisonment, a monetary fine, or both. For purposes of the law, a harmful traditional practice means all traditional behavior, attitudes, or practices that negatively affect the fundamental rights of women or girls, including denial of inheritance or succession rights, FGM/C, forced marriage, and forced isolation from family and friends.

Despite the federal law, purdah, the cultural practice of secluding women and pubescent girls from unrelated men, continued in parts of the north. “Confinement,” which occurred predominantly in the North East, remained the most common rite of deprivation for widows. Confined widows were subject to social restrictions for as long as one year and usually shaved their heads and dressed in black as part of a culturally mandated mourning period. In other areas communities viewed a widow as a part of her husband’s property to be “inherited” by his family. In some traditional southern communities, widows fell under suspicion when their husbands died. To prove their innocence, they were forced to drink the water used to clean their deceased husbands’ bodies.

Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment remained a common problem. No statutes prohibit sexual harassment, but assault statutes provide for prosecution of violent harassment. The law criminalizes stalking. The law also criminalizes emotional, verbal, and psychological abuse and acts of intimidation.

The practice of demanding sexual favors in exchange for employment or university grades remained common. Women suffered harassment for social and religious reasons in some regions.

Reproductive Rights: There were no reports of coerced abortion or involuntary sterilization on the part of government authorities.

Couples and individuals have the legal right to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing, and timing of children, to have the information and means to do so, and the ability to attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health, including the ability to make decisions concerning reproduction free from discrimination, coercion, and violence. Many couples and individuals did not have access to the information and the means to exercise this right. Traditional practices often hampered a woman’s choice on family size. Information on reproductive health and access to quality reproductive health services and emergency obstetric care were not widely available. The UN Population Fund reported that as of 2020, only 46 percent of married or in-union women were free to make their own informed decisions in all three categories of reproductive health care, contraceptive use, and sexual relations.

Cultural and religious views across regions affected access to reproductive services, especially contraceptive use. Not all primary health centers provided free family planning services. The National Health Insurance Scheme did not always cover family planning services. Health insurance covered family planning counseling but not contraceptives. Conversations regarding sex and sexuality issues were taboo in many places, posing a barrier for access for youth who might need services and information from health-care providers.

In some states health-care workers frequently required women to provide proof of spousal consent prior to accessing contraceptives. Pediatricians provided primary care for adolescents through 18 years of age. Adolescent-friendly reproductive health services and interventions were usually not provided within the health system. Pregnant girls were generally not allowed to attend school (see section 6, Children, Education).

Low literacy and low economic empowerment among couples hampered effective access to skilled health attendance during pregnancy and delivery. Government insurance policies sometimes provided for free antenatal services. The 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey reported that 67 percent of women ages 15 to 49 received antenatal care from a skilled provider during pregnancy and 39 percent of live births took place in a health care facility.

Lack of access to primary health care facilities in rural and hard-to-reach areas with poor transportation and communications infrastructure impacted access to antenatal care and skilled birth delivery. The cost of services was also a barrier. Gender roles limited access to maternal health services; women who were financially or socially dependent on men might be unable to access health care without seeking consent from their spouses.

In the northern part of the country, societal and cultural norms played a role in stopping women from leaving the house unaccompanied or accessing reproductive health services. Some women also preferred to deliver their babies using traditional birth attendants because of the belief they could prevent spiritual attacks and due to the affordability of their services.

The government received support from donors to provide access to age-appropriate sexual and reproductive health services for survivors of sexual violence in all 36 states and the FCT. Sexual violence survivors who sought and had access to care received a minimum package of care, including counseling for trauma, that met the overall physical, emotional, safety, and support needs of survivors. Other care included HIV testing services, provision of post-exposure prophylaxis (within 72 hours), pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV-negative clients, antiretroviral services for HIV-positive clients, provision of emergency contraceptives (within 120 hours), testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, legal support where required, and other services, such as referrals for longer term psycho-social support and economic-empowerment programs.

Emergency health care services were mostly executed by private hospitals. Post-abortion care was limited.

A program supported by international donors encouraged early acceptance of family planning in communities to ensure that young adults were protected and could meet their reproductive goals.

The 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey reported a maternal mortality rate of 512 deaths per 100,000 live births due to factors including lack of access to antenatal care, skilled birth attendants, emergency obstetric care, and other medical services. According to the survey, 67 percent of births in 2018 were attended by skilled health personnel.

According to the 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey, 12 percent of women used modern methods of contraception, nearly 19 percent of all surveyed women stated they had an unmet need for family planning, and 24.5 percent of women stated that they wanted no more children. The UN Population Division estimated that 17 percent of girls and women, ages 15 to 49, used a modern method of contraception. As of 2018, the Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey reported that 14 percent of women, ages 15 to 19, had given birth before the age of 18.

The law prohibits FGM/C (see the FGM/C subsection above for additional information).

Discrimination: Although the constitution provides the same legal status and rights for women as for men, and there were no known legal restrictions on women’s working hours or jobs deemed too dangerous for women, there were limitations on women’s employment in certain industries such as construction, energy, and agriculture. Women experienced considerable economic discrimination. The law does not mandate equal remuneration for work of equal value, nor does it mandate nondiscrimination based on gender in hiring.

Women generally remained marginalized. No laws prohibit women from owning land, but customary land tenure systems allowed only men to own land, with women gaining access to land only via marriage or family. Many customary practices also did not recognize a woman’s right to inherit property, and many widows became destitute when their in-laws took virtually all the deceased husband’s property. In March the Akwa Ibom High Court ruled that the Etinan council area must allow women to inherit property.

In the 12 northern states that adopted sharia, religious and social norms affected women to varying degrees. For example, in Zamfara State local governments enforced laws requiring the separation of Muslim men and women in transportation and health care.

Women could arrange but not post bail at most police detention facilities.

The country’s ethnically diverse population consisted of more than 250 groups speaking 395 different languages. Many were concentrated geographically. Three major groups – Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba – together constituted approximately one-half the population. Members of all ethnic groups reportedly practiced ethnic discrimination, particularly in private sector hiring patterns and the segregation of urban neighborhoods. A long history of tension existed among some ethnic groups. The government’s efforts to address tensions among ethnic groups typically involved heavily concentrated security actions, incorporating police, military, and other security services, often in the form of a joint task force.

The law prohibits ethnic discrimination by the government, but most ethnic groups claimed marginalization in terms of government revenue allocation, political representation, or both.

The constitution requires the government to have a “federal character,” meaning that cabinet and other high-level positions must be distributed to persons representing each of the 36 states or each of the six geopolitical regions. President Buhari’s cabinet appointments conformed to this policy. Traditional relationships were used to pressure government officials to favor particular ethnic groups in the distribution of important positions and other patronage.

All citizens have the right to live in any part of the country, but state and local governments frequently discriminated against ethnic groups not indigenous to their areas, occasionally compelling individuals to return to a region where their ethnic group originated but where they no longer had ties. State and local governments sometimes compelled nonindigenous persons to move by threats, discrimination in hiring and employment, or destruction of their homes. Those who chose to stay sometimes experienced further discrimination, including denial of scholarships and exclusion from employment in the civil service, police, and military. For example, in Plateau State the predominantly Muslim and nonindigenous Hausa and Fulani often faced discrimination from the local government in land ownership, jobs, access to education, scholarships, and government representation.

Land disputes, competition concerning dwindling resources, ethnic differences, and settler-indigene tensions contributed to clashes between herdsmen and farmers throughout the North Central geopolitical zone. Ethnic and religious affiliation also contributed to and exacerbated some local conflicts. Nevertheless, many international organizations, including the International Crisis Group, assessed these divisions were incidental to the farmer-herder conflict. Conflicts concerning land rights continued among members of the Tiv, Kwalla, Jukun, Fulani, and Azara ethnic groups living near the convergence of Nasarawa, Benue, and Taraba states.

The government engaged in efforts to quell intercommunal conflict. For example, the Kaduna Peace Commission sought out national religious leaders to convene a meeting within the state that included prominent local and national traditional and religious leaders to condemn the chronic violence there. Taraba State enlisted the help of the Taraba Interreligious Council to draw up plans to initiate a state government agency to promote reconciliation and peacebuilding between farmers and herders. Various early warning systems operating throughout the North Central and North West regions were also responsible for preventing attacks from occurring. The Plateau Peacebuilding Agency actively promoted and spread its peacebuilding and reconciliation efforts through the development of intercommunal early warning systems that were able to check simmering conflict before it erupted into violence.

The government further implemented substantial reforms in the cattle-rearing industry with input from state and local stakeholders to facilitate and incentivize ranching over herding to combat sources of rural violence. To implement the National Livestock Transformation Policy, the federal government in November began to receive applications from states to disburse funds allocated for herding-to-ranching projects.

In Kano State, the government took special steps to stem insecurity that spurred ethnic tensions. The Kano Interreligious Council, the Kano Peace Commission, and the State Commission for Religious Affairs brought persons together to discuss problems that had the potential to disrupt public cohesion. The state government further invited herders and their cattle to occupy the Rogo Forest on Kano State’s western border with Kaduna State where they would not cross paths with farmers and incentivized the move with the establishment of rural feeder roads, water service, schools, and health facilities in the area.

Birth Registration: Children derive their citizenship from their parents. The government does not require birth registration, and the majority of births were unregistered. The 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey, the most recent data source available, found that only 42 percent of births of children younger than five were registered. Lack of documents did not result in denial of education, health care, or other public services.

Education: The law requires provision of tuition-free, compulsory, and universal basic education for every child of primary and junior secondary school age. According to the constitution, women and girls are supposed to receive career and vocational guidance at all levels, as well as access to quality education, education advancement, and lifelong learning. Despite these provisions, extensive discrimination and impediments to women and girls’ participation in education persisted, particularly in the north. The lowest attendance rates were in the north. According to UNICEF, in the north, for every 10 girls in school, more than 22 boys attended.

Pregnant girls were generally not allowed to attend school, with some schools reportedly conducting pregnancy tests before admitting them.

Public schools remained substandard and limited facilities precluded access to education for many children. Increased enrollment rates created challenges in ensuring quality education. According to UNICEF, in some instances there were 100 pupils for one teacher.

The North East had the lowest primary school attendance rate. The most pronounced reason was the Boko Haram and ISIS-WA insurgencies, which prevented thousands of children from continuing their education in Borno and Yobe states (due to destruction of schools, community displacement, and mass movement of families from those crisis states to safer areas). Attacks on schools and kidnappings exacerbated the situation.

Many NGOs including Save the Children International expressed concern regarding school closures in Zamfara, Katsina, Adamawa, Kaduna, and Niger states due to concerns of schoolchildren being abducted (see section 1.b.).

Child Abuse: Child abuse remained common throughout the country, but the government took no significant measures to combat it. Findings from the Nigeria Violence Against Children Survey released in 2015 revealed that approximately six of every 10 children younger than 18 experienced some form of physical, emotional, or sexual violence during childhood. One in two children experienced physical violence, one in four girls and one in 10 boys experienced sexual violence, and one in six girls and one in five boys experienced emotional violence.

According to UNICEF, in 2019 the country had approximately 10 million Almariji children, poor children from rural homes sent to urban areas by their parents, ostensibly to study and live with Islamic teachers. The system persisted because of scarce government social safety net and welfare programs. Parents of children with behavioral, mental health, or substance abuse problems at times turned to the Almariji, who claimed to offer treatment. Instead of receiving an education, many Almariji were forced to work manual jobs or beg for alms that were given to their teacher. The religious leaders often did not provide these children with sufficient shelter or food, and many of the children effectively became homeless. Beginning in 2020 and throughout the year, northern governors condemned the abuses occurring at Islamic rehabilitation centers and Almariji schools and enacted programs to protect vulnerable children. In 2020 governors of 19 northern states agreed to ban Almariji schools, and during the COVID-19 pandemic they repatriated thousands of students across state lines. Governors Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna, Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano, and Aminu Masari of Katsina campaigned against the involuntary confinement of children and young adults in rehabilitation centers and Almariji schools throughout the north. The government raided centers in response to allegations that women, children, and men were being held captive, chained, and tortured as part of rehabilitation programs in the region.

In some states children accused of witchcraft were killed or suffered abuse such as kidnapping and torture.

So-called baby factories operated, often disguised as orphanages, religious or rehabilitation centers, hospitals, or maternity homes. They sold newborns of pregnant women – mostly unmarried girls – who were sometimes held against their will and raped. The persons running the factories sold the children for various purposes, including adoption, child labor, child trafficking, or sacrificial rituals, with boys fetching higher prices.

Child, Early, and Forced Marriage: The law sets a minimum age of 18 for marriage for both boys and girls. According to UNICEF, 43 percent of women between the ages of 20 and 24 were married before the age of 18, while 16 percent were married before age 15. The prevalence of child, early, and forced marriage varied widely among regions, with figures ranging from 76 percent in the North West to 10 percent in the South East. As of January, 26 state assemblies had adopted a law that sets the minimum marriage age, but most states, especially northern states, did not uphold the federal official minimum age for marriage. The government engaged religious leaders, emirs, and sultans on the problem, emphasizing the health hazards of early marriage. Certain states worked with NGO programs to establish school subsidies or fee waivers for children to help protect against early marriage. The government did not take significant legal steps to end sales of young girls into marriage.

In the north parents complained the quality of education was so poor that schooling could not be considered a viable alternative to marriage for their daughters. Families sometimes forced young girls into marriage as early as puberty, regardless of age, to prevent “indecency” associated with premarital sex or for other cultural and religious reasons. Boko Haram subjected abducted girls to forced marriage.

Sexual Exploitation of Children: The law prohibits child commercial sexual exploitation and sexual intercourse with a child. Two-thirds of states had adopted the relevant federal law. The minimum age for sexual consent varies according to state law. The constitution provides that “full age” means the age of 18, but it creates an exception for any married woman who “shall be deemed of full age.” In some states, children as young as 11 can be legally married under customary or religious law. The law criminalizes child sex trafficking.

The law criminalizes incest. The law criminalizes the production, procurement, distribution, and possession of child pornography.

Sexual exploitation of children remained a significant problem. Children were exploited in commercial sex, both within the country and in other countries. There were reports that girls were victims of sexual exploitation in IDP camps. The government expanded efforts to identify victims of exploitation in IDP camps. For example, the government continued a screening and sensitization campaign to identify sex trafficking victims in IDP camps in Bama and other areas near Maiduguri. The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons also collaborated with the Borno State government, international organizations, and NGOs to establish the Borno State Antitrafficking Task Force.

Infanticide or Infanticide of Children with Disabilities: Media reports indicated some communities killed infants born as twins or with birth defects or albinism.

Displaced Children: According to UNICEF, as of July 2020, children made up 60 percent of the IDP population. There were displaced children among IDP populations in other parts of the north as well. Many children were homeless.

International Child Abductions: The country is not a party to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. See the Department of State’s Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/International-Parental-Child-Abduction/for-providers/legal-reports-and-data/reported-cases.html.

Although accounting for far less than 1 percent of the population, there are three distinct Jewish communities. The smallest of these are mostly foreigners, whom Israel and the Diaspora recognize. A larger group of several thousand indigenous Nigerian Jews were not recognized internationally. There were also significant numbers of Judaic-oriented groups, including Sabbatarians, the members of which adopted many Jewish customs but were essentially Christian. There were no reports of anti-Semitic acts.

In July authorities detained for 20 days three visiting Israeli filmmakers making a documentary about Nigerian Jews in the South East region on suspicion of supporting illegal Indigenous People of Biafra separatists, the leaders of whom professed a connection to Judaism. Authorities released them without charge, and they left the country. Prior to their arrest, the documentarians had filmed for several days, the recordings of which the filmmakers retained.

See the Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report at https://www.state.gov/trafficking-in-persons-report/.

According to the law, persons with disabilities have the right to equal access to education, health services, public buildings, and transportation. Violators are subject to fines, imprisonment, or both. The government did not always enforce the law, and persons with disabilities often faced restrictions to equal access.

Children with disabilities faced significant hurdles obtaining educational services. A report from the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities stated that primary and secondary students with disabilities were confined to understaffed and underequipped schools. Inclusion programs in mainstream schools were rare.

Some national-level policies, such as the National Health Policy of 2016, provide for health-care access for persons with disabilities. By year’s end, 10 states (Kano, Jigawa, Anambra, Kogi, Ondo, Lagos, Ekiti, Plateau, Kwara, and Bauchi) had adopted the national disability law. The Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Social Development has responsibility for persons with disabilities. Some government agencies, such as the Nigerian Human Rights Commission and the Ministry of Labor and Employment, designated an employee to work on matters related to disabilities. The Oyo State government reported it employed more than 150 persons with disabilities.

In January authorities in Osun State arrested the father and brother of a 20-year-old woman with disabilities for keeping her locked in her residence. There were no available updates to the case at year’s end.

The government operated vocational training centers in Abuja and Lagos to train indigent persons with disabilities. Individual states also provided facilities to help persons with physical disabilities become self-supporting. The Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities served as the umbrella organization for a range of disability groups.

The constitution prohibits discrimination based on the “circumstances of one’s birth.” In 2019 the government passed a disability rights law for the first time, prohibiting discrimination based on disability. Persons with disabilities faced social stigma, exploitation, and discrimination, and relatives often regarded them as a source of shame. Many indigent persons with disabilities begged on the streets. Mental health-care services were almost nonexistent. Officials at a small number of prisons used private donations to provide separate mental health facilities for prisoners with mental disabilities. All prisoners with disabilities stayed with the general inmate population and received no specialized services or accommodations.

Persons with disabilities faced significant barriers to civic participation. A report by the Premium Times Investigation Center for Investigative Journalism stated there were almost no persons with disabilities who held public office. It further stated that persons with disabilities had difficulty registering to vote and encountered physical infrastructure barriers at polling stations. In November a group called Access Nigeria: Disability Votes Matter Campaign stated that more than half the routes to polling stations it surveyed in the local Anambra State elections were inaccessible to persons with disabilities.

The government enacted some programs to assist the participation of persons with disabilities in civic life. For example in 2018 Osun State launched a pilot program to allow persons with visual impairments to vote independently for the first time by using braille ballots.

In general, persons with HIV faced widespread stigma and discrimination. Persons with HIV and AIDS were often ostracized by the community, fired from their jobs, or cast away from family. During the year federal and state governments worked with international donors and NGOs to reduce stigma and change perceptions of persons living with HIV and AIDS. The government also worked to reduce hesitancy in HIV testing and treatment.

During the year LGBTQI+ persons reported harassment, threats, discrimination, and incidents of violence against them based on their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity according to the NGO The Initiative for Equal Rights. The NGO documented 520 human rights abuses based on real or perceived sexual orientation, gender expression, and sex characteristics during the year. Of these cases, more than 10 percent involved state actors. Invasion of privacy, arbitrary arrest, and unlawful detention were the most common abuses perpetrated by officers and other state actors. Blackmail, extortion, assault, and battery were the most common abuses perpetrated by nonstate actors.

According to the law, anyone convicted of entering into a same-sex marriage or civil union may be sentenced to up to 14 years’ imprisonment. The law also criminalizes the public show of same-sex “amorous affection.” In the 12 states that have adopted sharia, adults convicted of engaging in same-sex sexual conduct may be subject to execution by stoning. While sharia courts did not impose such sentences during the year, in July, five men in Kano State were arrested by the local hisbah board for allegedly engaging in homosexuality. There were no updates on their cases at year’s end.

The law effectively renders illegal all forms of activity supporting or promoting the rights of LGBTQI+ persons. Several NGOs provided legal advice and training in advocacy, media responsibility, and HIV and AIDS awareness to LGBTQI+ groups as well as safe havens for LGBTQI+ individuals.

LGBTQI+ persons persistently faced stigma, discrimination, and barriers to accessing basic health care. These included limiting physical access, challenges communicating with health-care providers, discriminatory or negative attitudes among health care workers, and high user fees.

Various reports indicated street mobs killed suspected criminals during the year. In most cases these mob actions did not result in arrests.

Ritualists who believed certain body parts confer mystical powers kidnapped and killed persons to harvest body parts for rituals and ceremonies. For example in May, Iniobong Umoren, a 20-year-old woman, was raped and killed in Akwa Ibom State by a man accused of ritual killings. He was arrested by police. The case remained pending at year’s end.

Members of both Christian and Muslim groups continued to report that some state and local government laws discriminated against them, including by limiting their rights to freedom of expression and assembly and to obtain government employment.

Persons born with albinism faced discrimination, were considered bad luck, and were sometimes abandoned at birth or killed for witchcraft purposes.

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