By Sunny A. Ijomah
Anambra State Attorney General, Prof. Sylvia Chika Ifemeje, has guaranteed ‘Ndi Anambra’ that the current administration will not leave any stone unturned in its quest to allow victims of sexual gender-based violence access justice.
Prof. Ifemeje gave the assurance in her office when a combined-team of Violence against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Implementation Coordinating Committee, Anambra State Child’s Rights Implementation Committee (ASCRIC), Legal Aid Committee and Anambra State Child Protection Network (CPN) recently paid her a courtesy call.
Our correspondent reports that the group was established by the Anambra State Government with support of UNICEF and Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC), to intervene and protects all persons especially children, women, People Living with Disabilities (PLWD) and all vulnerable persons from all forms of abuses, sexual and gender-based violence.
The Attorney General stressed the need to have a support budget for prosecution, while promising to always support the group with transportation logistics for intervening in cases, even as she urged the group to inform the Ministry in time.
Prof. Ifemeje, who disclosed that the State was concluding plans to begin virtual hearing, noted that such a gesture would help the speedy dispensation of justice especially for SGBV victims, while canvassing for special courts to handle such cases.
The Commissioner of Justice said the Ministry would provide sexual offenders’ register for perpetrators, adding that she would liase with staff of the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) to hasten the processes of SGBV matters.
Earlier, the team leader and VAPP Coordinator, Hope Nkiruka Okoye, identified priority issues and challenges militating against the quality response of child protection and gender-based violence in the State in the discharge of the committee’s work, which, according to her, deprive children, women, People Living with Disabilities (PLWD) and other vulnerable persons access to required justice.
She identified delay in justice process/justice delivery for SGBV cases, financial challenges for logistics, lack of logistic supports for bringing police witnesses, unwillingness of some prosecutors to get justice for the victims of SGBV, frustration by Police, poverty and pressure, lack of correctional home for children in conflict with the law (child offenders), lack of data for SGBV culprits, among others, as challenges facing the committee. She urged the Attorney General to use her good office to quickly intervene in any way possible.