Chief Registrar, Bauchi State High Court, Barrister Emmanuel Sublim
By Akanji Alowolodu, Bauchi
Gender-based violence cases, particularly rape is on the increase in Bauchi State as not less than 30 cases are reported monthly while on a daily basis, five of such cases are arraigned in Magistrate Courts for prosecution .
The revelation was made by the Chief Registrar, High Court, Bauchi, Barrister Emmanuel Sublim, at the opening of a one-day programme on Women, Peace and Security in Nigeria, organized by United Nations Women in conjunction with Norwegian Government which held at the Command Guest House, lamented that most of the cases don’t end up in convictions.
He said that apart from cultural problems, parents of victims always refused to make statements to corroborate some of the cases that come up in Court thereby making it difficult for prosecution of the accused persons .
Emmanuel Sublim further said that : “Gender based violence cases are on the rise in Bauchi state and they seem to be alarming because from the reports that are usually sent to the Magistrate Courts in Bauchi, I discovered that on a daily basis, we have not less than five cases coming to the courts”.
The Chief Registrar added that, “The unfortunate thing is that the cases don’t end up in conviction. This is either that there are problems in the course of investigation or problems in the course of prosecution or problems when case files are sent to the Ministry of Justice for legal advice”.
“Unfortunately, we don’t have anybody to put an eye on some of these things that are happening from the time arrests are made up to the time the accused persons are taken to Court”, he lamented.
Emmanuel Sublim also said that, “We are really worried and I think this programme is a forum where we begin to sensitize ourselves and those we live with to see that gender based violence are not just things we can sweep away, we should try as much as possible to see that women are given due protection by our laws.”
The Chief Registrar said that a Gender Based Desk has been established in the High Court which is to facilitate the prosecution of such cases just as he said that his office is collaborating with the State Police Command on the issue of prosecution.
He also said that the synergy between the Bar and the Bench will ensure speedy prosecution of the cases assuring that as soon as the VAPP law becomes operational in the state, it will take care of the cases.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Programme Coordinator, UN Women, Peter Mancha, said that already 15 states including Bauchi have keyed in to the implementation of the UN Women Programme and have gone ahead to launch the implementation plans.
He added that, the UN Women has been working with various partners including, Partners West Africa Nigeria (PWAN) and International Alert in the implementation process of the programme under the support of the Federal Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning.
Peter Mancha also said that the various States of Assembly across the country have collaborated in the passing of the Child Rights Act and the VAPP laws which he said will reduce the challenges facing women and children particularly the girl child, if implemented.