Okon Bassey in Uyo
Seven persons have been jailed in Akwa Ibom State for the past two years over rape while 30 other cases are still pending in various courts across the state.
The state Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Dr. Glory Edet, disclosed this yesterday to journalists, lauding the efforts of the judiciary, court assessors, women lawyers and non-governmental organisations (NGO) for their supports in the prosecution of rape cases in the state.
“So far, between last year and now, seven persons have been convicted and jailed while we have 30 cases in courts,” she said, stressing the need for state governments that have not domesticated and implemented the Child Rights Law to do so now.
The commissioner maintained that the domestication of the Child Rights Law does not just end there, stressing that emphasis is on its implementation.
“It is one thing to domesticate it, but another to implement it,” she said, and commended the state Governor, Udom Emmanuel, for implementing the law in the state.
She said: “We have created a lot of awareness in schools, churches and other public places on the punishment associated with rape, child trafficking and other child abuses.
“We do not publicise rape cases so that the victim would not be stigmatised. In the Child Rights Law, you have to protect the child from trauma and psychological stress.” she said.
Edet said the efforts of her ministry have helped a lot in recent times as the reported cases especially on rape has reduced drastically for the fear of victims being sent to jail.
Speaking further, she said under her ministry, 56 women are serving as councillors and more than 57 are also serving as supervisory councillors across the 31 local government councils in the state.
According to Edet, at the state level, many women are presently serving as commissioners, permanent secretaries, state House of Assembly members with a woman as the state Head of Service.