Ekiti State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Olawale Fapohunda has reassured the People of Ekiti State of the Government’s commitment to ensuring that the State is not conducive for Sex Offenders.
He made this assurance while addressing participants at a roundtable discussion that was held at the Ekiti State Ministry of Justice Academy on Thursday, 4th April 2019.
The roundtable discussion which was aimed at strengthening the legal and institutional framework for the elimination of Gender Based Violence in the State had in attendance, the Wife of the State Governor, Erelu Bisi-Adeleye Fayemi, the Lagos Mirabel Centre Team and various stakeholders in the State.
Fapohunda who said the government was ready to go against all odds to prevent the State from being tagged a thriving land for violence against Women and the girl-child, stated that the state has zero-tolerance for all forms of Gender and Sexual violence.
According to him, “reported cases of rape, violence, and child defilement have now reached a frequency that we firmly must believe there is an urgent need for joint action between government and other stakeholders to reverse the scourge.
“Apart from legal interventions, we will also make sure photographs of convicted offenders are placed on the State’s website and announced on the State Broadcasting Service.
“Also in cases of defilement, we insist on compulsory psychiatric tests for all persons designated as having cases to answer in form of violence against women.” he said.
The Wife of the Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi while speaking at the meeting commended the Attorney-General for sharing in her vision in ensuring that the incidence of sexual and domestic violence in the State is vigorously dealt with.
She said government is disheartened that in spite of the existing legal framework prohibiting gender-based violence, Ekiti State continues to witness issues of rape, child defilement and human trafficking.
The First Lady further stressed that the three key areas that needed to be examined by stakeholders include: the causes of gender-based violence, how to use legal framework to resolve some of the issues revolving around this scourge and how to break the culture of silence among victims. Also, to be taking into consideration are ways to enhance inter-agency collaboration.
A Court of Appeal judge, Justice Uzor Ndukwe- Anyanwu who was also present at the meeting expressed worries over the rate of violence against women in Ekiti. She added that this menace had been an issue of interest to the Nigerian All Female Judges Association, particularly how to resolve the problem and make Women safe in the society.
Justice Uzor however urged mothers to be observant and create time for their female children as many of these children are in pain and needed someone to confide in.
Founder of the Mirabel Centre Lagos, Mrs. Itoro Ezegwu who was the lead speaker on the issue of establishing a referral centre for victims of Sexual Violence in the State, shared some of the experiences at the Mirabel centre and how they were able to sustain the project.