HomeNewsKogi Courts Active in Curbing Menace of Gender-Based Violence — CJ

Kogi Courts Active in Curbing Menace of Gender-Based Violence — CJ

Date:

The Chief Judge of Kogi State, Hon. Justice Josiah Majebi, has said that the menace of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the state is receiving serious attention just as all categories of courts, with jurisdiction over the matter, have been asked to be diligent in handling them.

The CJ made the disclosure when he received in audience, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) that are jointly combating the threat posed by GBV in Kogi State.

The Challenged Parenthood Initiative (CPI) and Kogi Women Constituency paid the advocacy visit alongside Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC) and the Kogi State branch of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) while the African Women Development Fund (AWDF) provides funding.

The coalition had, through its leader, Ms. Eunice Abimbola Agbogun, the Executive Director of CPI, advocated the establishment of a designated court for GBV cases but was told through the relevant heads of the respective directorates in the High Court of Justice that all courts saddled with the responsibilities of discharging such cases are at their best in line with the philosophy of the Council of Judges of the state.

It was particularly noted that the establishment and existence of the Family Court in the state was meant to address such related matters as a core mandate, while the offences were already been handled by the High Court and Magistrate’s Courts that also have jurisdictions over the matter.

Aside these, it was as well observed that the establishment of courts, particularly specialised courts, undergoes processes and attracts enormous funding which must equally pass through budgeting processes. Since it involves huge amount of finance to establish the court, the advocates were advised to direct all actions to the Family Court in the meantime.

The Chief Judge consequently directed that all registrars at the magisterial level must be submitting monthly returns on such matters and all other cases that are related to gender-based violence in the state in order to enable proper documentation and assessment of their nature and volume before courts in the state.

Earlier, Agbogun presented the CJ what the CSOs termed the Kogi State Multi-Sectorial Costed Action Plans for effective implementation of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law of Kogi State signed into law on 22nd June 2022, with which the group said that requested designated court would have served.

The law is for the elimination of violence in private and public life, prohibition of all forms of violence against persons, protection of victims and punishment of offenders and other matters connected thereto in Kogi State.

According to her, the next step for the effective implementation of the law was for Kogi State to have a Multi-Sectorial Costed Action Plan for MDAs and CSOs and the designated court.

A Costed Action Plan (CAP) is a multi-year road map designed to help the state to achieve its goal of eliminating violence against persons.

“It’s a critical tool in transforming the state’s broad goal of zero tolerance for violence against persons into concrete activities and policies. CAP determines the human, financial, material and technical resources needed for policy implementation” she added.

One of the many rationales for costing action plan is that it “is a practical application of gender responsive budgeting framework to ensure equity in resource allocation.

While about four other states, including Lagos State, have model costed action plans, she said “many donors are prepared to fund activities on the implementation of the Kogi State VAPP Law but the challenge is that Kogi State do not have costed action plan” against gender based violence.

The CJ who praised Nigerian women for their steadfastness in trying to engender discipline and morality in Nigerian societies encouraged the group to also take time to periodically evaluate performances of courts on GBV so as to be well informed on how the courts are performing.

Tribune

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