The Nigerian Government says plans are underway to establish specialised courts and judicial divisions that will focus on sexual and gender-based violence (GBV) with some Boko Haram suspects already having sexual violence-related charges against them.
The country’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami stated this on Monday during a virtual session on ‘Special Event on Gender Dimensions of Criminal Justice Responses to Terrorism’.
Malami, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) noted that in 2020 he had inaugurated the Inter-Ministerial Management Committee on Eradication of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence with the hope that it will be an important tool in helping Nigeria to address gender-based crimes.
The minister said the Complex Case Group under his office in collaboration with relevant and concerned parties are leading in efforts to bring suspected terrorists to justice.
The UN organised event was part of ceremonies commemorating the 2021 International Women’s Day holding in Kyoto, Japan.
“We, also in collaboration with the military, police and other security service investigators from the multiagency Joint Investigation Centre, in (the) North-East, worked to include sexual violence-related charges against Boko Haram suspects.
“Preventing these crimes and bringing those who commit these acts to justice remains a priority of the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Another emerging area of grave concern is the abduction and kidnapping of teenagers in boarding houses for ransom.
“The perpetrators target this group of people, possibly to scare them from schooling and this is indeed a sad situation.
“We must work to prevent both male and female perpetrators from carrying out these acts and support those who have been victims,” he noted.
The Nigerian Minister of Justice assured that the Nigerian armed forces and law enforcement agencies are working day and night to combat insecurity, terrorism, kidnapping and abduction of people in the country.
He added that in partnership with the United Nation’s Office on Drug and Crime as well as the European Union, the federal government launched the “Nigeria Training Module on Gender Dimensions in the Criminal Justice: Response to Terrorism”.
According to him, the module is aimed at supporting Nigerian officials in addressing the issues of gender in the counter-terrorism context.
By Abel Ejikeme