Group Calls on FG, States to Set Up Special Court for Sexual Offenders

George Okoh in Makurdi

The Sexual and Gender Based Violence Justice Network (SGBVNJ), has called on the federal and state governments to create special courts for SGBV cases.

The Senior Legal Officer at Lawyers Alert, Ms. Solumtochukwu Ozobulu, made the call during her opening remarks at a dialogue organised by SGBVJN cluster with support from USAID-Scale Project on Sunday in Makurdi.

Ozobulu said that if the courts were established it would go a long way to protect the vulnerable in the state, saying that their absence had been causing the delay in SGBV cases.

She also said that the Sexual and Assault Referral Centre (SARC) should be established for victims as well as survivors of SGBV in the state, SARC should be included in the VAAPL and a trust fund to aid implementation should also be put in place.

“The government should establish a monitoring committee domiciled in the Ministry of Women Affairs and a GBV Coordinator to be appointed as required by the VAPPL.

“Private sectors to support the work towards increasing access to justice for survivors of violence especially as it relates to operationalising the established SARC in the state.

The State Chairperson of Nigeria League of Women Voters (NILOWV), Mrs. Irene Awunah-Ikyegh, lamented that the VAAPL had a lot of gaps, stressing that there was no provision for SARC in the law.

The Director-General, Radio Benue, Dr. Charles Iornumbe, appealed to men to have selfcontrol especially when it comes to sex in order to reduce the rate of sexual assaults in the state.

The Secretary, Nigerian Bar Association, Makurdi Branch, Mr. Joseph Gbaigyo, appealed to people of conscience to rise and protect the female gender against SGBV.

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