FG Planning Special Courts For Gender Based Violence – Malami

L…mourns late Supreme Court jurist, Ngwuta

The Federal Government is planning the establishment of specialized courts and judicial divisions to handle cases of sexual and gender-based violence, Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami has said.

Malami said the measure is part of the Federal Government’s renewed effort to address issues bordering sexual and gender-based violence.

He disclosed this while contributing to a virtual conference on “Special event on gender dimensions of criminal justice responses to terrorism,” organised by the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) as part of events commemorating the International Women Day (IWD).

Malami was quoted, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, as lamenting the incessant cases of kidnapping and abduction of school children, which he noted, was targeted at discouraging them from accessing education.

Malami recalled that last year he inaugurated the Inter-Ministerial Management Committee on Eradication of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence with the hope that these will be important tools in helping Nigeria to address the crime.

He said in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, the Complex Case Group under the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice lead in the efforts to bring suspected terrorists to justice and also work to include sexual violence-related charges against Boko Haram suspects in collaboration with the military, police and other security service investigators from the multiagency Joint Investigation Centre, in North-East Nigeria.

He said the current administration also knows well that giving a voice to women is an important aspect of development as women are important agents of positive change.

He noted with dismay that terrorist groups continue to kidnap and commit sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls noting that preventing these crimes and bringing those who commit these acts to justice remains a priority of the Government of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR.

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“Another emerging area of grave concern is the abduction and kidnapping of teenagers in boarding houses for ransom. The perpetrators targeted this group of people possible to scare them from schooling. This is indeed a sad situation.

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The Nigerian armed forces and law enforcement agencies are working day and night to combat insecurity, terrorism, kidnapping and abduction of people in the country.”

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“We must work to prevent both male and female perpetrators from carrying out these acts and support those who have been victims,” he said.

He said in partnership with UNODC as well as the European Union, the Federal Government launch the “Nigeria Training Module on Gender Dimensions in the Criminal Justice: Response to Terrorism”.

According to him, the module provides practical guidance based on Nigeria’s legal framework as well as international and African regional laws and good practices to support Nigerian officials in addressing the issues of gender in the counter-terrorism context.

He said, “The Nigerian National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism” notes the important role women play not only as policy-makers and law enforcement officers but also wives and mothers in preventing violent extremism and in de-radicalisation, rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders.

“Nigeria also has developed a National Action Plan on the Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 on the Women, Peace and Security agenda which he said was relevant to efforts to respond to the needs and promote the role of women in efforts to address terrorism,” Malami said.

Malami, also on Monday, condoled with the family of the late Justice of the Supreme Court; Sylvester Nwali Ngwuta, who died early on Sunday.

Malami said the death of the eminent jurist created a huge vacuum to the Judiciary, particularly at the Supreme Court.

He described the deceased as a great man who rendered selfless service that contributed immensely to nation-building, with particular reference to the judiciary and Justice Sector.

Malami noted that Justice Ngwuta contributed to the development of the legal profession and that he would always be remembered.

The AGF prayed for the repose of the departed soul, and for God to grant the family of the deceased the fortitude to bear the loss.

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