By Deborah Onyofufeke
The federal government on Tuesday reiterated its commitment to continue to wage war against all forms of violence in the public and private lives of Nigerians, by providing maximum protection
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN stated this at a capacity building for judges on sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in Abuja.
Malami, in his keynote address at the workshop on the use of practice direction and guidelines on the trial of sexual and gender–based violence cases and ancillary procedures, stated that SGBV has become a disturbing phenomenon, a menace that can no longer be tolerated.
A problem occurs in every culture, community, and across social groups often manifesting in different forms.
He said, “Government can no longer tolerate a situation where we would be recording 1,342 SGBV cases, which for me is a big issue.
“Out of concern and need to curb the trend, we have on ground far-reaching policy, institutional and legislative interventions,”
He pledged the government’s determination to stem the prevalence, while he added that an effective prosecution of cases via the judiciary and other prosecutorial authorities is being put in place to bring an end to SGBV.
The Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mrs Beatrice Jedy-Agba, in her opening remarks, said the ministry has taken a number of initiatives including prosecution and capacity building to stem the emerging trend of SGBV.
Meanwhile, the Director General National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, (NAPTIP), Dr. Fatima Waziri described the SGBV menace in Nigeria as extremely disturbing, she pleaded for the support of judges in the area of access and prompt dispensation of justice.
She added that the agency has put mechanisms in place, as response protection officers are now being deployed in the six area councils in Abuja.
Dame Paulen Tallen, the Minister of Women Affairs, commended the federal government for playing a strategic role while she called for the domestication of the Child Rights Act and other violence laws against women by all the States of the federation.
Other speakers at the occasion are the UN resident and humanitarian coordinator, Nigeria, Mr Matthias Schmale and EU Ambassador to Nigeria, Ms Samuela Isopi who was represented by the Deputy Head of EU, Mission, Mr Alexandre Gomes.