By Luminous Jannamike
ABUJA—The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, yesterday said it had secured only three convictions out of 34 cases of gender-based violence it brought before the courts since 2015.
The agency said while 31 cases were pending in court, it was currently investigating 18 other complaints.
Speaking at a stakeholders workshop on the effective implementation of Violence Against Persons Prohibition, VAPP, Act 2015, NAPTIP’s Director-General, Julie Okah-Donli, identified conflict in the legal definition of rape, limited acceptability of the VAPP Act, obsolete cultural practices, and duplication of laws as reasons for the low rate of convictions.
She said: “NAPTIP, as the statutory administrator of the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act, 2015, has secured three convictions and currently has 31 criminal cases pending in Court, and about 18 cases of violence being investigated. “There is need to move towards a Nigeria where victims of violence not only get justice but also where cultural and traditional lifestyles and practices will undergo such a fundamental change that violence becomes the exception, not the rule.”
Speaking also, the National President, International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA Nigeria), Inime Aguma, called on the government and its agencies to rise to their responsibilities in ensuring the effective implementation of the laws prohibiting violence against vulnerable persons.
She said that since the application of VAPP Act was largely limited to Abuja, Oyo, Lagos, Anambra, and Ekiti; there was need for other states to quickly domesticate the law as most offences were committed in jurisdiction where the law or its equivalent has not been passed.