Federal Government is working towards establishment of specialised courts and judicial divisions that will focus on sexual and gender-based violence (GBV).
Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, made this known while speaking at a virtual session on ‘Special Event on Gender Dimensions of Criminal Justice Responses to Terrorism’.
The event was organised by the UN Office on Drug and Crime as part of events commemorating the 2021 International Women Day holding at Kyoto, Japan.
It focused significant attention on the issue of sexual and gender-based violence.
Malami recalled in 2020, he inaugurated the Inter-Ministerial Management Committee on Eradication of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence with the hope that it would be an important tool in helping Nigeria address gender based crimes.
He said the Complex Case Group under his office in collaboration with relevant and concerned parties, lead, in the efforts to bring suspected terrorists to justice.
“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.’’
He said that the current administration knows well that giving a voice to women is an important aspect of development as women are important agents of positive change.
He noted with dismay that terrorists’ groups continue to kidnap and commit sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls.
“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 said.
Malami 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 UNODC 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 provides practical guidance based on Nigeria’s legal framework as well as international and African regional laws and good practices to support Nigerian officials in addressing the issues of gender in the counter-terrorism context.
He said the Nigerian National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism” notes the important role women play not only as policy-makers and law enforcement officers, but also wives and mothers in preventing violent extremism and in de-radicalisation, rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders.
Malami said Nigeria also has developed a National Action Plan on the Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 on the Women, Peace and Security agenda which he said was relevant to respond to the needs and promote the role of women in efforts to address terrorism.