By Mosunmola Ayobami, Kwara
As cases of rape increase on daily basis across the country, the Chief Executive Officer of Theios Caregiver, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Barrister Antonia Oshiniwe has enjoined the security agents saddle with the responsibilities of handling rape cases to display more professionalism while handling the devastating incident.
She also called for the re-orientation of rape culprits while they face the full wrath of law.
Oshiniwe stated this at a peaceful protest and meeting with some stakeholders held on Friday in Ilorin.
“It’s always disgusting when a victim report at a police station about a rape incident and the police officer asked if the victim does not enjoy the act, after which she would be persuaded to settle out of court as she might not get justice at law court,” she said.
In her address at a meeting with Kwara state Commissioner of police, Kayode Egbetokun, the Chief Executive Officer of Olive Community Development Initiative (OCDI), Mrs. Oluwatoni Adeleke lamented the brutal rape and murder of Vera Uwaila Omozuwa who was raped and murdered in a church building in Edo state and Barakat Bello who was also raped and murdered in Oyo state within a week.
Adeleke who was represented by the Project Manager Olive Community Development Initiative,Mrs Mojoyin Adwuyi said the brutal violence and killings have once again brought to the fore the failure of the Nigerian police to successfully investigate and prosecute cases of sexual violence, which she noted has allowed an atmosphere of impunity to fester and contributed to the continued abuse and violence women face regularly in Nigeria.
According to her, “So far, the Nigerian police force is yet to properly investigate, arrest suspects and prosecute the rape and violent murder of Uwa Omozua, Barakat Bello, Obiamaka Orakuwe and other Nigerian women and girls who have been brutally violated and murdered recently”
“This failure on the part of the Nigerian police force is disturbing, concerning and repugnant to the principles of due diligence of the state to respond where there has been a breach of fundamental human rights.”
Adeleke noted that in the highlighted cases, the Victim’s right to life has been deprived, this she said constitutes a crime under the laws of Nigeria and it must be treated as such.
She, therefore, urged the Inspector General of police to deploy good offices to promptly investigate and prosecute these highlighted cases and all other pending cases across Nigeria.
“We ask that a thorough investigation be carried out with a view to unravel the perpetrators of these dastardly acts and the citizens of this nation be duly informed of the progress made on these cases by the police, “she added.
“We are a group of lawyers, human rights advocates and non-governmental organisations gravely concerned by the state of the Nation in regard to the abuse, violence, rape and murder of Nigerian women”
“We have received information on the brutal rape and murder of one Vera Uwaila Omozuwa who was brutally raped and murdered in a church building in Benin city, Edo state on the 27th of May 2020. The brutal rape and murder of one Barakat Bello, a 19-year-old girl and student in Ibadan, Oyo State and the fatal killing of one Tina Ezekwe by two men of the Nigerian Police at Iyana Oworo, Lagos state”
“We note that Rape is not only a criminal offence per S. 357 and 358 of the Criminal code Act, S. 258 of the Penal code Act and S. 1 of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act VAPP (2015), it constitutes the breach of fundamental rights to dignity, freedom from inhumane treatment and in many cases as demonstrated above, the violation of the right to life enshrined in chapter 4 of the Nigerian constitution, “she explained.
Similarly, the Chief Executive Officer,Global Hope for Women and Children Foundation, Mrs Christiana Oluwole said the Civil society has deemed it fit to come out to pour out their minds on rampant rape cases.
She said necessary punishment must be melted out to rapists as lack of judgment for perpetrators led to increase in the recorded cases.
She lamented that the environment has become inconducive for girls, ladies and women as a result of increase rape cases.
Responding, the Commissioner of police in the state Kayode Egbetokun promised to always support the course of the NGOs on any Gender Base Violence.
He said the command under his watch has never taken with levity rape or any violence-related cases.
Egbetokun disclosed that, the Command was at the verge of inaugurating community Policing committee but for the ravaging Coronavirus pandemic.
He said sooner the committee would be inaugurated which would work together with some members of the NGOs in the state for more effectiveness.
In her response, the Director Child Development, Kwara state Ministry Social Development, Hajia Mariam Yusuf said government alone cannot do the sanitization thereby commended and called for more support from various NGOs to ensure the domestications and implementation of Child Right Acts throughout the sixteen local government areas in the state.