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COVID-19: NAPTIP, Falana, lament rising rape cases, seek quick trial

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The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Person (NAPTIP) has lamented the rising cases of rape during the COVID-19 lockdown, seeking quick trial of cases in court.

The agency’s Director General, Dr. Julie Okah-Donli, yesterday, noted that the agency had reported 58 cases of sexual abuse and rescued 54 victims, while 29 suspects were facing charges in court.
 
She spoke during a webinar by The Probono National Clearing house with the theme, “Access to Justice: Rights, Legal Safeguards and Reparation for Survivors of Sexual and Gender Based Violence in Nigeria.”

The moderator of the webinar and National Director of Women Empowerment and Legal Aid, Mrs. Funmi Falana, tasked states to domesticate the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act, 2015, enacted by the Federal Capital Territory.  

She noted that only Lagos, Anambra, Oyo and Ebonyi had domesticated the Act, while other states were lagging behind.  

“Rape is a case between the states and the offenders. We want to implore other states to domesticate the law and to provide for reparation, compensation and restitution for survivors,” she said.

Falana also warned against employing under-aged as house helps, saying offenders were liable to three-year imprisonment.

At the event, the Desk Officer for the FCT Response Team, Mrs. Jacinta Ike, said 105 cases bordering on rape, defilement and domestic violence were reported between March 23 and May 29 during the Coronavirus lockdown.  

She lamented that only one conviction had been secured since 2017, due to slow trial and frustration of the prosecution.  


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