JUDICIARY NEWS 21/06/2022
CJN Expresses Concern over Rise in Sexual Violence
The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad has expressed concern over the rising cases of sexual violence against vulnerable members of the society, especially women and children.
To this end, Justice Muhammad challenged judges including all stakeholders in the administration of criminal justice to play the roles individually and collectively to checkmate the menace.
The CJN, who noted that sexual offences and violence against person have been in a steady increase, said strict application of the law by relevant stakeholders could help reduce the social menace in the country.
Muhammad stated this while declaring open a two-day capacity building workshop for female judges.
The workshop organised by the National Association of Women Judges of Nigeria (NAWJN) in Collaboration with the National Judicial Institute (NJI) had as its theme: “Inclusive and Access to Justice: Sustaining Public Confidence in the Judiciary.”
According to the CJN, there are many laws, “which include the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) (VAPP) Act, 2015 provide legislative and legal framework for prevention of all forms of violence against vulnerable persons, especially women and children,” which he said judges should strictly enforce in the course of their adjudicatory duties.
“This would help curtail violence at the home front and indeed the larger society, which is fast becoming a trend in the recent day Nigeria,” he added.
While commending the organisers for the workshop, he noted that the theme could not have come at a better time than now in view of the prevalence of sexual offences and other related crimes against women and children in the country.
Outside the judges, Justice Muhammad similarly called on investigators and prosecutors to always ensure that due diligence was done in prosecuting cases involving sexual violence and other related offences.
He therefore enjoined participants to take full advantage of the workshop to improve access to justice and sustain public confidence in the judiciary.
Earlier, the Administrator of the National Judicial Institute, Justice Salisu Abdullahi (Rtd), the NJI’s administrator, decried the rise in the number of cases of violence against women in Nigeria that are reported daily.
Justice Abdullahi, remarked that the inhumane offence of sexual violence against women often undermines the victim’s sense of self-worth and self-esteem.
He therefore charged all stakeholders in administration of criminal Justice to be alive to their responsibilities in securing conviction against offenders.
On her part, the National Association of Women Judges (NAWJN), Justice Jummai Sankey, noted that for effective adjudication on sexual based violence all stakeholders must be involved.
The NAWJN’ s president however, described the police, who for instance appears to be at the bottom of the adjudication pyramid, as very essentially element for the success of the trial in cases of sexual assault.