The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) NIGERIA wishes to condemn in strong terms the recent reported cases of rape and violence allegedly perpetrated by Soldiers from Brigade of Guards of the Nigerian Army on innocent women in the Federal Capital City. The impunity with which women and girls are daily raped, defiled and violated in this country is completely unacceptable,
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.
FIDA Nigeria therefore calls on the leadership of the Nigerian Army to investigate and ensure that the perpetrators of this dastardly act are fished out and made to face the wrath of the Law. 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. The increasing rate of sexual violence in our 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.
Dated this 16th of January, 2012
Hauwa Evelyn Shekarau
National President, FIDA Nigeria.