Towards protecting lives and upholding the rights of people, the International Human Rights Commission has passed a vote of confidence to the Delta State Governor, His Excellency, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa on passing the Violence Against Persons Law 2020 on Wednesday 11th October.
In a note reviewed and consented by the International Secretary-General of the International Human Rights Commission, Prof Sir. Rafal Marcin Wasik, through the Nigeria Country Head, Amb. Dr. Friday Sani had it that the law was a result of agitations for the protection of persons against the different forms of violence-violence, both at the home front and the larger society.
Reports have it that violence both at the home front and the larger society is fast becoming a trend in the recent day Nigeria as further proven by someone killing or maiming their spouse, or a scorned lover pouring acid on an ex-lover, or someone being forcefully taken away from their family and loved ones.
It was the need to protect citizens from violence such as these that led to the enactment of this law in Delta State. The outstanding uniqueness of this law is an improvement on the penal and criminal code about violence; it also makes provision for compensation to victims as well as the protection of their rights.
While commending the Honourable Speaker of the House of Assembly Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori, IHRC said that appropriate laws that ensure good governance, the rule of law, peace and security, and respect to human rights are a major responsibility of the legislative arm of government which has been demonstrated in this critical time in Delta State amidst conflicts and cultist rival.
Our Vote of Confidence was made following a careful observation and total compliance to the international laws.
The Bill which was cited as Violence Against Persons Law, 2020; is aimed to tackle and eliminate violence in public and private Life; prohibit all forms of violence against persons, and to provide maximum protection and effective remedies for victims and the punishment of offenders, and other matters connected therewith.
According to the Speaker, Rt Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, the bill has enormous advantages on the human persons, such:
- It provides for the Protection for victims of domestic violence and also seeks to punish the perpetrators of such crimes.
- It provides for adequate programs and care for victims of domestic violence, ensures the rehabilitation and recovery of such victims in the society.
- It seeks to provide for necessary measures to stop persons from committing crimes related to domestic violence.
- Makes provision for Law enforcement officers to effectively carry out their responsibilities about domestic violence by letting victims know their rights.
- Prohibits traditional harmful practices, widowhood maltreatment, female circumcision, and genital mutilation.
- It provides for enforcement of court orders by Law enforcement officers, state institutions, and other relevant agencies in the State.
- Prohibits Indecent dressing which is seen as one of the major causes of rape and adequately addressed.
- Seeks to reduce, if not, eradicate violence in Public and Private life, thereby providing maximum protection, cost-effective corrective measures/remedies for victims of violence, and punishment for offenders, amongst others.
The Bill, therefore, covers a whole lot of issues that affect human society today and geared toward creating an atmosphere for peaceful co-existence, harmonious and cordial relationship in the management of human life,” Mr. Speaker assured.
We believed that this Act will bring succor and effective remedies to millions of victims who have suffered violence, in one form or the other, in silence without recourse to justice or rehabilitative, psychological, or social support for their recovery and reintegration.
The Bill does not only ensure that the violators are brought to justice, but also that the victims are adequately compensated, reintegrated into the society, and given the necessary support and protection. It is thus expected that the other states in Nigeria will take immediate and necessary action to adopt and enact similar laws on Violence against persons.
IHRC ZVC, Niger Delta
Amb. Dr. Sani Friday,
Country Head, IHRC Nigeria
Prof Sir. Rafal Marcin Wasik,