Nollywood actress and rape survivor, Dorothy Njemanze, has said that the ECOWAS Court ruled in her favour and three other rape victims and awarded N6million damages each against the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) of the FCT in October.
Njemanze disclosed this in Abuja during a movie screening titled “Silent Tears”, an event organised by Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) that aside the monetary award, there was a pronouncement that a woman outside her house at night is not a prostitute.
She said, “Ecowas Court has ruled in favour of me against the FCT. Aside awarding me and three other rape victims N6million each, there was a pronouncement that a woman outside her house at night is not a prostitute. It is unfair to say you are addressing prostitution when it affects women alone, we are sensitizing people on that judgment to give them impetus to rely on the precedent that has been set to get justice”.
Njemanze, who is also a radio presenter and a human rights activist, stated that violation of women by FCT authority has scaled down in Abuja.
She said, “There was a need to tell the stories of random abduction and gross violation of women in Abuja by the Abuja Environmental Protection Board and the so called Task Force and expose the atrocities that were been done to the people. Those atrocities are being scaled down but they are still been done and there is need to engage the authorities so that they can stop it completely.
“The Abuja Environmental Protection Board is very much on violation patrol and they need to be checked”.
Osai Ojigho, director, Amnesty International Nigeria said it has been decided at Ecowas Court that African women no longer have to suffer shame and stigma of violence.
Ojigbo said, “I was invited here to talk about Dorothy Njemanze’s versus Nigeria case which was held and decided at the Ecowas Court in October.
The decision came out and it stated that African women particularly those in West Africa no longer have to suffer the shame and stigma of violence and so, this event is an opportunity to talk a bit more about the bigger frameworks for protecting women’s right in Nigeria and how the women movement can use the Dorothy Njemanze’s case to push and demand for their right”
Speaking on measures in place to encourage victims to speak out, Ojigho said, “Silent Tears” produced by Dorothy Njemanze Foundation (DNF) is a documentary dedicated to help foster an informed dialogue and action on gender based violence and in particular sexual violence. It encourages women to speak out when they see victims that won the case and were compensated”
Joy Onyesoh, national coordinator, Women Situation Room Nigeria, said “We don’t personalize experience but the truth is if we reflect, we will find out that we have all been violated one time or the other but the difference is the courage to speak out”