16 January 2013

Nigeria: FIDA Seeks Investigation of Alleged Rape By Soldiers

The International Federation of Women Lawyers, FIDA, Nigeria, has condemned series of reported cases of rape and violence against innocent women in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, allegedly perpetrated by men of the Nigerian Army.

National President, FIDA Nigeria, Hauwa Evelyn Shekarau, who described the impunity with which women and girls are daily raped, defiled and violated in the country, as unacceptable, urged the leadership of the Nigerian Army to investigate and ensure that the perpetrators of the dastardly act are fished out and made to face the wrath of the Law.

"FIDA Nigeria is worried at the seeming silence, nonchalance and outright complicity of law enforcement agents in addressing the high rate of violence against women, especially rape, assault, sexual harassment as well as defilement of young girls even as these acts are crimes already codified in our law books such as the Penal and Criminal Codes.

"It is quite sad and ironic to see people who are paid from state coffers and charged with the responsibility of protecting citizens and maintaining law and order being the same people that are perpetrating crimes against the same citizens. A situation where the bodies of women and girls are seen as objects to be acquired willy-nilly by men without their consent leaves much to be desired," Shekarau noted in a statement.

She lamented that the increasing rate of sexual violence in society further reiterate the need for the National Assembly to speedily pass the Violence against Persons Prohibition Bill that is currently before the National Assembly.

"No stone should be left unturned until the perpetrators are brought to book and the course of justice is served. We wish to emphasize that Justice must not only be done, but must be seen to have been done. This should serve as deterrence to others," she remarked.

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