JDPC decries delay in passage of VAPP Bill
Justice Development and Peace Centre (JDPC), Ondo State chapter, has decried the delay in the passage of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) bill by the state House of Assembly.
JDPC Legal Officer and the Programme Officer, Mrs. Oluwatoba Olaifa and Austine Ogunleye, yesterday at a press briefing in Akure, reiterated the importance of the bill to fundamental human rights.
According to them, Ondo State remains the only state that has not passed the bill into law in the South West geopolitical region. They said 26 states of the federation have domesticated it.
They, however, disclosed that the bill was first to read on the floor of the House on December 17, 2020, and an ad-hoc committee was equally set up to review it and for public hearing without passing it into law.
Olaifa explained that “the bill provides for a law to eliminate violence in private and public life, prohibit all forms of violence against persons and provide for maximum and effective remedies for victims and punishment of offenders and other related matters in the state.
“The bill aims to protect citizens from all forms of violence and harmful practices that endanger the lives and properties of citizens. It also upholds the dignity and rights of men and women equally.”
She added that the VAPP bill is a mirror of the VAPP Act at the National Assembly level, which defines evil as evil and evildoers as evildoers, saying “It prescribes necessary punishment for violators of human rights and safety without bias.”
The Legal Officer noted that the bill would have a positive impact on the people of the state by reducing the rising trend of gender-based violence, urging the state Assembly to expedite action to pass it into law.
While urging other NGOs, CSOs, and stakeholders to support the campaign against violence, the group congratulated Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for his second term inauguration and lauded him for appointing the first female Secretary to the State Government.
It, however, tasked the governor to take more affirmative action by appointing more women in his cabinet, saying at least one-third of the cabinet should be women with reputable leadership qualities.
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