FEMALE LAWYERS, HUMANITARIAN LEAGUE SOLICIT A’IBOM GOVERNOR’S ASSENT ON VIOLENCE AGAINST PERSONS BILL

International Federation of Women Lawyers, Akwa Ibom State and Board of Directors of Humanitarian League has solicited Akwa Ibom State Governor’s assent on Akwa Ibom State Violence against Persons (Prohibition) Bill to reduce violence on Akwa Ibom people.

In a position paper by International Federation of Women Lawyers, Akwa Ibom branch, the group cited several cases of violence against persons such as a 9 year old boy who was brutally sodomized by adult men, a husband who ejects wife one morning for no reason after the wife had invested more in the marriage or a case of 4 men who gang raped a woman to death and inserted a foot- long stick into her vagina.

Other cases cited in the paper include a 3-month old baby who was violated by a 45-year old man by inserting his three finger into her vagina tearing it apart. Or recent news of five women who raped a man to death.

The group applauded the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly for passing Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) bill which they say “will eliminate violence in public and private life, will prohibit all forms of violence against persons and to provide maximum protection and effective remedies for victims and punishment for offenders”

A trustee with Board of Directors of Humanitarian League, Eno-Obong Akpan Esq, in a letter addressed to Akwa Ibom State Speaker, titled “A case for the passing into law of the Akwa Ibom State Violence Against Persons (Prohibited) Bill, 2018. Humanitarian League said the law will “increase the scope of legal protection for victims in tune with modern realities, strengthens advocacy against rape, female genital mutilation FGM, spousal battery, stalking, harmful widowhood practices, while prohibiting all forms of physical, sexual, psychological, domestic violence etc”

Recall that the Federal Government had enacted the violence against persons (Prohibition) Act in 2015 and since states like Ekiti, Rivers, Plateau, Imo, Lagos, Kogi, Anambra, Oyo, Benue, Ebonyi, Edo, Enugu, Osun, Kaduna,Ondo etc have since domesticated as state laws in line with global best practices and trends that Akwa Ibom State cannot be left out.

The bill when assented to will criminalizes circumcisions or genital mutilation, forceful ejection of spouse from home, force financial dependence or economic abuse, damage to property with intent to cause distress, forced isolation or separation from family and friends, emotional, verbal and psychological abuse, harmful widowhood practice including forceful ejection from spouse’s property, abandonment of children, spouse and other dependents without care or sustenance, stalking, spousal battery, harmful traditional practices, political violence, incest, indecent exposure and violence by State actors.

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