September 19, 2021

NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA

Africa's Media Giant

Lack of GBV knowledge hinders successful prosecution — Expert

 Mrs Tochi Odele, a Child Rights Expert, has identified reasons that  hinder implementation of laws that regulate the prosecution of GBV cases.

By Aderogba George

Mrs Tochi Odele, a Child Rights Expert, has identified reasons that  hinder the implementation of laws that regulate the prosecution of Gender Based Violence (GBV) cases.

She identified some of the reasons on Monday in Abuja at the opening session of a four-day media dialogue with media practitioners on ethical reporting and advocacy to eliminate GBV in the FCT.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the training was organised by the EU/UN Spotlight Initiative project, supported by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

According to the child rights expert, most GBV survivors were not even aware of laws like the Child Rights Act and the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Acts 2015.

Odele, a UNICEF officer, added that perpetrators of such crime and some judges were not even properly informed about the laws.

She explained that the road to justice was windy, based on the expensive nature of legal services to GBV survivors, which she said slowed down prosecution in the court.

The expert also identified the culture of silence on the part of survivors as another reason that affect prosecution.

She further said that the structure of Nigeria’s political system made it difficult for proper prosecution of GBV cases as laws could be enacted at the federal level without it affecting the states.

She added that dual multiplicity of legal system such as customary against formal law and Sharia against formal legal system was not making way for good result.

Odele also identified the lack of economic means to pursue justice and other equipment as another challenge to getting justice for GBV survivors.

She, therefore, called for change in the narrative, adding that copies of the Child Rights and VAPP Act should be made available to courts as guide. (NAN)

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