Abdulwaheed Sofiullahi reports
As the world celebrates this year’s International Women’s Day, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, has expressed the commitment of the federal government towards ensuring an end to gender-based violence in the country.
Malami disclosed this at a virtual session titled “Special Event on Gender Dimensions of Criminal Justice Responses to Terrorism” organised by the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime, UNODC.
The AGF recalled that he had, at last year, inaugurated the Inter-Ministerial Management Committee on Eradication of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence with the hope that it would serve as an important tool in helping Nigeria to address the crime.
“The Federal Government has focused significant attention on the issue of sexual and gender-based violence and was working towards the establishment of specialised courts and judicial divisions focused on sexual and gender-based violence.
“In collaboration with relevant stakeholders, the Complex Case Group, under the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, leads in the effort to bring suspected terrorists to justice and also work to include sexual violence related charges against Boko Haram suspects, in collaboration with the military, police and other security service investigators from the multi-agency Joint Investigation Centre, in North-East Nigeria.
“The current administration was fully aware that giving a voice to women was an important aspect of development, even as he described women as important agents of positive change,” he said.
He, however, noted with dismay that terrorist groups continue to kidnap and commit sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls, stressing that preventing these crimes and bringing the perpetrators to justice remain a priority of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.
“Another emerging area of grave concern is the abduction and kidnapping of teenagers in boarding houses for ransom. The perpetrators targeted this group of people possibly to scare them from schooling. This is indeed a sad situation. The Nigerian armed forces and law enforcement agencies are working day and night to combat insecurity, terrorism, kidnapping and abduction of people in the country.
“We must work to prevent both male and female perpetrators from carrying out these acts and support those who have been victims. In partnership with UNODC as well as the European Union, the Federal Government launched the “Nigeria Training Module on Gender Dimensions in the Criminal Justice: Response to Terrorism,” he said.