Spousal abuse tops 1, 965 reported cases violence in FCT
*As NAPTIP partners judiciary on speedy justice dispensation
*Hails recent breakthrough convictions
National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Person, (NAPTIP), has noted with dismay the rising cases of spousal abuse in the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT) making close to half of 8, 342 reported cases of abuse and other related cases of violence.
Director General of the Agency, Professor Fatima Waziri-Azi, made this known at a One-Day Retreat for Judges and Prosecutors on Strengthening Government Approach in Prosecuting Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, (SGBV), yesterday in Abuja.
She said “In 2022, we receive 1, 342 reported cases of violence and abuse through our 24-hour call center and others, and from January to June we have already received 623 reported cases and the highest number of reported cases.
“In 2022, the highest number of reported cases received were on spousal abuse, fast forward to 2023 in six months, the highest number of reports received is still spousal abuse so that tells us that it is a very big problem within the family.
“For the FCT, there is heightened awareness regarding these issues of violence, people are better informed and they know what is acceptable and what is not within the ambit of the law and the general effect of all of this is the increased reportage of cases of violence.
“This generally does not mean an increase in crime but it signifies an increase in public trust in NAPTIP as an institution and that bad behaviour is no longer tolerated.
According to her, “The retreat is to create a platform for prosecutors and judges to share unique experiences in the trying and prosecution of sexual and gender-based violence. I hope all the prosecuting counsels here will take advantage of this privileged opportunity to listen and learn from my Lords on how to carry on in the courtroom.
“In 2022 we secured four convictions in the FCT and a landmark conviction, one in Sokoto of rape and the other in Sokoto where the perpetrator bagged 21 years imprisonment without the option of fine ”
Speaking on the central role of the judiciary in speedy dispensation of justice in trafficking and SGBV cases through collaboration with NAPTIP, honorable Justice Salisu Garba, (Rtd),, said the collaboration is a reflection of the continuous effort of NAPTIP in carrying out it’s mandate.
He said SGBV victims “suffer a range of issues that severely impacts their lives and may often pay the ultimate price.
“It is therefore commendable that NAPTIP continues to put a lot of effort into curving the instances and effects of SGBV and other related crimes in Nigeria.
He notes that “It is important that prosecution of these cases are done in accordance to the rule of law that ensures the human rights of all parties are respected and proper procedures followed.
“The scourge of SGBV and other related crimes must be caught on all fronts with all relevant parties playing their respective roles with utmost sense of justice and integrity.”
Photo Caption: Participants at the training, Thursday in Abuja
Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox every day of the week. Stay informed with the Guardian’s leading coverage of Nigerian and world news, business, technology and sports.