Bayelsa establishes family court on child, women rights abuses
The Bayelsa State government has established a family court to ensure accelerated hearing on cases of child rape, violence against women and children, child trafficking and kidnapping and child custody dispute.
The court, which has resumed sitting, has an appointed High Court judge and magistrate by the state judiciary.
Confirming the development at the weekend, chairperson of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Sheila Ogbise-Erhisere, said the establishment of the court will accelerate prosecution of perpetrators of violence against children and women in the state.
Ogbise-Erhisere, who commended the state government and the judiciary, said it has been discovered that the police and many citizens are not aware of the court’s existence.
She said FIDA will support the state to ensure that issues of child trafficking, kidnapping, theft and sexual violation are headed for quick dispensation of justice.
“The advantage of the family court is that privacy is guaranteed, issue of publicity is not there and the child will be protected from the media.”
Ogbise-Erhisere, who said her leadership of the state chapter of FIDA has witnessed over 30 per cent conviction of perpetrators of violence against women and children, however expressed concern over the non-existence of child-care homes and juvenile homes in the state.