Nigerian Govt. plans special courts to try rape cases

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The Federal Government has said it will set up special courts for speedy trial of rape and gender-based offences in the country.

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, (SAN), revealed this at a joint press briefing with the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Mr Tony Ojukwu, in Abuja on Thursday.

He said the special courts, when established, would ensure the timely trial of all pending and incoming rape and other related gender-based cases and facilitate their conclusion in record time.

“To tackle this hydra-headed menace headlong, my office is currently engaging with respective heads of courts,” Malami stated.

The AGF who was represented by the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr Dayo Apata, (SAN), said, “This, in essence, will enable a holistic review aimed at proposing relevant legislative changes required to bridge the gap between policy guidelines and implementation mechanisms required for effective prevention and investigative counter-measures.”

The AGF explained that efforts were ongoing to develop a framework for effective introduction of Sexual Offenders’ Registers in police formations, including all the security agencies.

He added, “This will further invoice the collation and publication of the data of all sex offenders in Nigeria, aimed at facilitating public humiliation and deterrence to such conduct.”

Meanwhile, the Federal Government on Thursday said it would launch a national campaign against rape and gender-based violence in the country.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, spoke in Abuja when he received a delegation of the National Human Rights Commission led by its Executive Secretary, Tony Ojukwu, on an advocacy visit.

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Mohammed quoted the Inspector-General of Police as saying that between January and May 2020, a total of 717 rape cases were reported, representing an average of 143 cases per month and around five cases per day.

Mohammed said, “And we are talking of reported cases. I can assure you that the Federal Government will do everything possible to stem the growing tide of rape and gender-based violence in the country.”

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