Legal Nigeria

Police seek stringent laws against withdrawal of rape cases

A Deputy Commissioner of Police in Borno, DCP Ahmad Bello, has called for stringent laws to stop withdrawal of rape and other sexual violence cases by relatives of victims in court.

He made the call in Maiduguri in his contribution at a stakeholders’ consultative meeting on Enhancing Gender-Responsive Security Operations and Community Dialogue, organised by UN Women in collaboration with the Borno Ministry of Women Affairs.

Bello, who represented the Borno Police Command at the meeting, said: “Another major thing that needs to be addressed is the culture of silence and stigmatisation of rape and other sexual violence victims.

”We have seen instances where, while a sexual violence case is progressing, prosecutors will get court affidavits from victim relations saying they want to withdraw the case.

”Such intentions to withdraw have to do with fear of stigmatisation.

”In many instances, the victims want justice but are put in a dilemma by their relatives,” he said.

Bello called for laws to keep requests for withdrawal of the cases under KIV for some period of time to enable the victim to finally decide on the matter.

He urged UN Women and other stakeholders to sponsor a bill to address some of the loopholes slowing the fight against sexual and gender-based violence in the society.

Source: NAN