By Bashir Bello, KANO
The Kano State Chief Judge, Justice Nura Sagir on Wednesday said plans were underway to designate High courts to entertain Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, SGBV cases in the state.
Justice Sagir stated this during a dissemination meeting organized by the Rule of Law and Anti-corruption, RoLAC programme with funding from the European Union and implemented by the British Council.
The Chief Judge said the state is currently constraint to have designated courts because of the number of judges in the state.
According to him, “Some states have specialized courts for SGBV cases but at the moment we don’t have that in Kano because of the number of judges in the state. We currently have 19 judges and have thousands of cases ranging from civil, criminal, fundamental and enforcement cases etc to be trial.
“But recently, the NJC has given us permission to appoint about nine more judges in which the process has begun and we hope that once we get the additional judges we will be able to designate high courts to entertain SGBV cases. What we do at the moment is take cases of rape to the women judges but that is not enough. We are also looking at situation where Chief Magistrates can trial rape cases as it is done in other states,” he said.
Justice Sagir also dropped hint on plans to increase number of small claims courts from 5 to 12 in the state to enable persons with small businesses access to the courts to get speedy trials.
He commended the RoLAC for numerous intervention in the state which include facilitation and passage of laws such as Administration of Criminal Justice Law, 2019, Magistrate Court Law, 2018 which enhanced the work of Magistrates by way of more jurisdiction to trial cases up to N10 million.
Earlier, the RoLAC Component 2 and 4 Lead, Mrs. Oluwatoyosi Giwa in her presentation on interventions by the program, said the state has highest number of SGBV against boys under 18 based on reports from the Sexual Assault Referral Centres, SARC when compared to other centres.
“We have 32 SARCs across 19 states and Kano has the highest number of SGBV against boys who are under the age of 18 years,” the Component Lead noted.
She further said that barely 3 months after launching of the Sexual Offenders Register database in June, 2022, the state has recorded 34 cases out of which it got 29 convictions and efforts were in top gear to upload backlogs of cases on the register.
On his part, the RoLAC National Programme Manager, Mr. Danladi Plang said it has succeeded in breaking the culture of silence going by the increase in level of reportage of SGBV cases with the setting up of Sexual Assault Referral Centres, SARC and also ensuring justice for the vulnerable with the Administration of Criminal Justice Law which deals with the slow pace of Justice administration and violation of human rights.
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