Federal Government to set up Special Court for Rape Cases

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The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), said on Thursday that his office had commenced talks over plan to establish special courts for rape and other sexual and gender-based violence cases.

He also said the Federal Ministry of Justice had started a review of relevant laws aimed at proposing relevant legislative changes to enhance preventive, investigative and counter-measures.

Malami, represented by the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr Dayo Apata (SAN), said this at a press conference jointly held with the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Mr. Tony Ojukwu.

The press conference focused on modalities for the eradication of rape and other sexual and gender-based violence in the country.

Malami said the talks over the establishment of the special courts to hear cases relating to the offences were being held with heads of various courts.

He said the proposed court would help to ensure expeditious trial of all pending and future rape and gender-based violence cases.

He said, “To tackle this hydra-headed menace headlong, my office (the Federal Ministry of Justice) is currently engaging with the respective Heads of Courts, for the establishment of specialised courts for the speedy and seamless trial of rape/gender-based violence offences in Nigeria.

“The aforestated specialised court when established will necessarily create a timely/speedy trial of all pending and incoming rape and other related gender-based cases and facilitate their conclusion within record time.

“Further to above, my office has commenced the review of all existing laws and policy instruments relating to offences of rape, child defilement and gender-based violence in Nigeria.

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“This, in essence, will enable holistic review aimed at proposing relevant legislative changes required to bridge the gaps between policy, guidelines and implementation mechanisms required for effective prevention and investigative counter-measures.”

He also said there was an ongoing plan to develop Sexual Offenders Register at various police formations as part of measures to ensure deterrence.

He said, “For purposes of deterrence, efforts are being put in place in developing a framework for effective introduction of Sexual Offenders Registrar in our various police formations, including in all the security Agencies.

“This will further involve the collation and publication of the data of all sexual offenders in Nigeria aimed at facilitating public humiliation and deterrence to such conducts.”

Source: The Punch

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