ABUBAKAR Malami, minister of justice and attorney-general of the federation, has said that the federal government is working towards establishing specialised courts and judicial divisions that will focus on sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).
Malami disclosed this while speaking at a virtual session on ‘Special Event on Gender Dimensions of Criminal Justice Responses to Terrorism’ organised by the UN Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) as part of events commemorating the 2021 International Women Day holding at Kyoto, Japan, on Monday.
The minister said he had, in 2020, inaugurated the Inter-Ministerial Management Committee on Eradication of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence with the hope that it would be an important tool to address gender-based crimes in Nigeria.
He noted that the Complex Case Group under his office, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, led in the efforts to bring suspected terrorists to justice.
“We also, in collaboration with the military, police and other security service investigators from the multi-agency Joint Investigation Centre in North-East, worked to include sexual violence-related charges against Boko Haram suspects,’’ Malami said.
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“Preventing these crimes and bringing those who commit these acts to justice remain a priority of the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Another emerging area of grave concern is the abduction and kidnapping of teenagers in boarding houses for ransom.
“The perpetrators target this group of people possible to scare them from schooling and this is indeed a sad situation.
“We must work to prevent both male and female perpetrators from carrying out these acts and support those who have been victims,” Malami stated.
According to the AGF, the Nigerian armed forces and law enforcement agencies were working day and night to combat insecurity, terrorism, kidnapping and abduction of people in the country.
He further stated that in partnership with UNODC and the European Union, the federal government had launched the ‘Nigeria Training Module on Gender Dimensions in the Criminal Justice: Response to Terrorism.’
About eight months ago, Julie Okah-Donli, director-general of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), had disclosed that plans were on to establish a special court to try rapists.
Okah-Donli said this while speaking at a press briefing in Abuja, on July 11, 2020, stating that the agency would meet with the Federal Ministry of Justice on the proposed special rapist court.
The ICIR had reported that some states had established special courts for sexual-related offences in Nigeria. Some of the states include Lagos and Ogun.