The Covid-19 pandemic has left many nations in despair as they struggle to contain the health, economic, and social impacts of the crisis. Nigeria, during this crisis, has seen a significant increase in the cases of gender-based violence (GBV) against women.
In this light, the Ebonyi State chapter of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), has called on key stakeholders such as the Chief Judge of Ebonyi, Justice Anselm Nwaigwe, the Nigerian Police, and the Attorney-General of the state, Cletus Ofoke, to review enacted laws in tackling GBV.
The chairperson of FIDA Ebonyi, Grace Chima, stressed on the full implementation of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law, Child Rights Law, and other related laws during a campaign to stop the rise of rape cases in the state, urging stakeholders to address the abuse and sexual crimes against women and children.
She stated, ‘The rape cases are alarming and annoying. We are campaigning to curb the trend, sensitising the public and perpetrators about the enacted laws. Ignorance is not an excuse because it is now our collective agreement to expose any rapists’.
In his response, Justice Anselm Nwaigwe, promised that rape cases will be directed to the family magistrate and high courts to ensure they are addressed appropriately.
Nwaigwe said, ‘We will ensure that such cases are assigned to those courts to be handled properly and on our part as [judges], we will do the needful as well’.
He further encouraged the group to continue its campaign, presenting cases properly when representing their clients.
The State Commissioner of Police, Philip Maku, during a visit from FIDA at the state Police command, assured the group of the full implementation of the law to secure convictions that will serve as a deterrent to the increase in rape cases.
Photo source: EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid