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Kaduna to open ‘naming and shaming’ register – VELOXNEWS


From Sola Ojo, Kaduna

As one of the deliberate strategies to reduce violence, especially sexual violence like rape, in the state, Kaduna State Government, through its Human Services and Social Development, in collaborating with an organisation, is establishing a sexual offences register.

Commissioner, Human Services and Social Development (HSSD), Hajiya Hafsat Mohammed-Baba, stated this yesterday, during an interview, on the sideline of a two-day knowledge enhancement (action learning) workshop on the implementation of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) 2018 and Gender Equal Opportunity (GEO) bill in the State.

She said critical stakeholders are currently developing the register, which would enable the state government to put the names and pictures of perpetrators of sexual offences on public platforms upon court judgement, to serve as a deterrent to others.

To her, creating awareness and full implementation of VAPP law will help a lot in addressing gender-based violence in the state, noting that training the implementers of the law is equally important, especially to those saddled with the dispensation of justice.

“The ministry has been working collaboratively with other stakeholders, including other MDAs, civil society organisations, the media and development partners, because it has become everybody’s business to reduce violence against all persons in Kaduna state.

“Again, we have established family courts in the state, so the cases in our regular courts could be strongest and, at the same time, get penalties for offenders and rewards for victims or survival, as the case may be. As we speak, there is an organisation working with the ministry to establish a sex offences register, where we are going to be putting the pictures and names and other details of perpetrators, once we secure judgement from the court. We are working with the security agencies and MDAs, so we can get this sex offence registered ready,” she said.

She then appealed to respective stakeholders in the administration of criminal justice to stop granting bail to sexual offences perpetrators.

“I am not a lawyer, but we have learnt that violence against a person, like rape, is not a bailable offence. But we have found out that some of these perpetrators are being granted bail.

“That is why we are asking them to look at it very well, so the people who are being violated are confident that they are going to get justice. It is sad when a child is violated and people see the perpetrator working freely because he’s on bail.

“But then, I strongly believe that with the establishment of family courts in the three geopolitical zones, we will not be seeing the perpetrators working freely in the streets any longer,” she added.

Adding a perspective to the workshop, Kaduna State High Court of Justice, Justice Edward Andrew, appreciated the organisers of the workshop, describing it as “timely.”

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