- The federal government has presented the 2020 implementation report of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act
- The report was presented in Abuja at a public event organised by the British Council, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons among others
- Details from the report show that Nigeria is on the right path to ending sexual and gender-based violence across the country
Seventy-eight persons have been convicted for various sexual and gender-based violence cases across Nigeria, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has said.
Speaking at the public presentation of the 2020 report on the Violence Against Person Prohibition (VAPP) Act, the director-general of NAPTIP, Fatima Waziri-Azi, said that the fight against human trafficking and SGBV in Nigeria is already yielding results.
The presentation of the report was organised by the British Council's Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) programme in collaboration with NAPTIP and the ministry of women and affairs and social development.
Waziri-Azi said while more breakthroughs are expected in the fight against SGBV, the weak law and enforcement of existing ones have been a great challenge.
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She said there is a need to ensure that states meant up with the expectation of closing the gaps created by non-enforcement of laws that could help fight SGBV.
Further speaking, Waziri-Azi noted that there are currently 320 pending court cases of SGBV while 173 others are under investigation.
The NAPTIP boss said this feat and data was achieved through the introduction and use of the National Sex Offenders Database (NSOD) across Nigeria.
“As of today (Friday), 573 cases have been uploaded onto the database. We have 78 convictions, 320 cases pending in court, 173 cases under investigation."
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“However, only 80 service providers have been profiled and registered on the National Sexual Offenders Database (NSOD). Kano and Edo State are synchronized to the database, while Adamawa, Delta and Edo State have indicated interest.”
Twenty-four states in Nigeria have adopted the VAPP Act
Continuing, Waziri-Azi said that with the advocacy efforts by the minister of women affairs and social development, Pauline Tellen, through her ministry, 24 states have adopted the VAPP Act.
“As of today, 24 states have adopted the VAPP Act; six State Houses of Assembly have passed the Act into law and awaiting governors’ assent, and six other states are yet to pass the law."
Also speaking at the event, the component manager for RoLAC, Toyosi Giwa, said as the pioneer report, the VAPP annual implementation report, 2020, would provide an opportunity to begin for the country to engage in various dialogues.
"I believe this will not only present an opportunity to dialogue not only on how to improve future annual reports and coordinate the data collection that feeds into the report but also dialogues around the implementation of the Act both at the federal level and across Nigeria."
In her address, Tallen said SGBV cases against women and girls have also been extended to boys across Nigeria.
Tellen also called for increased support of stakeholders to achieve a society devoid of violence against women and girls while promising various law enforcement agencies in their drive to bring offenders to face justice.
Minister suggests name-shaming for offenders of SGBV
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that Tallen had earlier suggested that all offenders of SGBV should be name-shamed by the relevant agencies.
Tallen said it is important that perpetrators of sexual and gender-based violence are made to face the full wrath of the law in Nigeria.
She also commended the Kaduna state government for amending the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPPA) to include medical castration for the criminals.
British Council, FG announce new strategies to end SGBV
Also, the British Council in collaboration with the ministry of justice and NAPTIP are working to ensure the protection of survivors of SGBV.
The British Council said it has also lined up a series of activities to commemorate the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence 2021.
Some of the activities include Counselling and Legal Clinics, SGBV mock court trials, Public Presentation of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act in Nigeria (VAPPA) Annual Report among many others.