Worried by the reported cases of wife battering and child rape in Plateau state, the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), is seeking partnership with the Attorney General (AG), and the Police to curb the menace.
Speaking at a courtesy visit to the Plateau AG office in Jos, the chairperson of FIDA in Plateau, Mrs. Mary Izam said the menace can be curbed through the domestication of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA).
She said the visit was to seek the assistance of the AG in the amendment of the ACJA to fast- track its submission as an executive bill at the Plateau State House of Assembly.
The FIDA official said when domesticated and adopted, ACJA would enforce the protection of women and children’s rights and other issues that bother on them.
“This law would ensure all accused persons in legal proceedings are assumed defendants till proven otherwise. The pregnant woman cannot be harmed or issued death sentence till she gives birth to her child and weans for six months.
“ACJA generally strives to enforce justice especially to indigent women and vulnerable children,” she said.
She said they recently visited the Commissioner of Police to plead for the prosecution of cases on child rape at the high court for appropriate judgment instead of the lower court.
“This is because it is a capital offense in the Nigerian constitution to be handled by the high courts. We are optimistic too that the gazette of the Gender Equal Opportunity (GEO), Law passed in Plateau since 2015.
“The GEO Law would prohibit all forms of violence and infringement against women rights in public and private places eradicate socio cultural harmful practices and eliminate gender stereotyping and prejudices.
In his response, the AG of Plateau, Chrysantus Ahmadu pledged commitment to domesticate the ACJA, saying progress was already made on its amendment to suit the peculiarities of Plateau.
He said the state government would consider granting ‘fiat’ to FIDA which is permission to prosecute accused persons in matters such as rape, wife battering instead of waiting for the bureaucracy of the police.