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FG advocates training on evidence gathering to strengthen SGBV cases

By Ameh Ochojila, Tina Abeku and Sodiq Omolaoye, Abuja
30 November 2021   |   4:05 am
Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, yesterday, canvassed advanced training on collection of evidence, analysis and storage for prosecutors and investigators of sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) to strengthen such cases in court.

[FILES] Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN)

NAPTIP targets 10m victims, ICPC, CISLAC flay sexual harassment in tertiary institutions
Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, yesterday, canvassed advanced training on collection of evidence, analysis and storage for prosecutors and investigators of sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) to strengthen such cases in court.

He made the call in an opening remark during a mock court trial organised by the ministry in conjunction with the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC), as part of activities to mark 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.

His words: “It is imperative to train investigators and prosecutors, who handle SGBV cases on evidence collection and storage, intelligent gathering and reporting, evidence analysis and chain of custody, as they remain critical to successful prosecution and conviction.”

He also said as part activities to commemorate the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, the ministry designed a moot court trial, a scenario on defilement of a child sexual and gender-based violence to depict legal impediments to successful trial of sexual assault.

Malami explained that the absence of SARC was like traumatising survivors of rape again, which he said, the ministry was currently working to resolve.

BESIDES, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), has said that it has concluded plans to reach out to 10 million victims of Sexual and Gender Based Violence, (SGBV), as part of activities marking the United Nations 16 days of activism against gender based violence.

Director General NAPTIP, Dr. Fatima Waziri–Azi, disclosed that the Office of the Vice President, National Human Rights Commission, (NHRC), the Nigeria Police Force and the social development secretariat among others, would reach out to the target group during the activism to create awareness on trauma counseling, how to seek help and rescue, among others.

She advocated global effort to end all forms of gender violence, rape and discriminatory policies against the girl child, adding: “Specifically a crisis-free learning environment, deliberate assisted funding and adequate mentoring for career advancement for girls are essential.”

MEANWHILE, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has blamed the increasing cases of sexual offences in higher institutions to ignorance on the part of victims of such crime.

Chairman of ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, noted that the culture of silence, as well as feeling of helplessness and hopelessness, would give perpetrators the confidence to continue committing the crime.

He stated this at a stakeholders’ consultative forum on sexual exploitation in tertiary institutions organised by the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) in Abuja, stressing that the agency was committed to fighting the menace.