By Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
The Ekiti State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Olawale Fapohunda, has alleged that some powerful individuals are found interceding for rape offenders in the state, describing the interferences as a serious impediment to the fight against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in Ekiti.
This startling revelation came as the government, yesterday held its 1st GBV Summit in Ekiti and inaugurated a “He -for -She champions” as well as Moremi GBV Referral Clinic to tackle the menace of rape and gender molestations.
Speaking as a panelist at the summit, the Commissioner said: “No one or age is immuned from rape. The minors, aged people are involved. Whoever that is found guilty now goes to life imprisonment. The issue of rape now constitutes serious shame to all of us and the trend must change .
“Whoever that is sent to jail, we will get the picture and paste in his home, local government and town. Rape has been festering because people are tolerating it. The very day you apprehend rapists or take them to court, traditional rulers, politicians and other big people will be begging me to drop the case, this is wrong.
“Don’t leave the fight for the government alone, it has to be collective. No more pleading on behalf of offenders. We are feeling ashamed with the trends rape has assumed. There can be no justification for issue of rape. Indecent dressing of ladies doesn’t justify rape.
“Three teachers are presently on trial in Ekiti. Some people would even take these minors to hotel and had carnal knowledge of them. Some are reading politics to it and I always said if voting for us would make us drop a case against anyone, it is better not to vote for us.”
Speaking while inaugurating the Moremi GBV Referral Clinic built within the premises of the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Governor Kayode Fayemi , said GBV has become a global pandemic that must be tackled, with violence against girls and children being the most disturbing.
“This Clinic will provide services for HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases patients, provide forensic evidence to support legal process for diligent prosecution of GBV offenders, refer cases that are connected with sexual abuses, provide care for victims of rape, and psychosocial support and counseling for families.
“The governors’ forum had declared an emergency on GBV, because of its psycho social and emotional effects on our citizens and the society. I charge all the health workers in Ekiti to reciprocate this gesture by rendering quality services to Ekiti people, especially victims of GBV”.
Also, the First Lady appealed to the GVB ambassadors to expand the scope of advocacy and sensitisation against violence for the fight to be more virulent in Ekiti.
“Through the Office of the Attorney-General, the Sex Offenders Register of 2013 was reactivated in 2019. In addition, Ekiti State now has a ‘Name and Shame’ policy which publishes the names and photographs of convicted sex offenders in the State.
“A permanent site for the State Shelter, supported by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant on SDGs at the Presidency, has been completed. The Transit Home for Women and Children and Life Skills Acquisition Center will be commissioned tomorrow November 26th 2020.
“The GBV Law of 2019 makes provision for a Survivors’ Fund. Since December 2018, this Fund has been used to assist at least 213 survivors with rebuilding their lives. Examples of assistance include renting accommodation, starting businesses, school fees and other needs as determined by survivors”.
The Chairman, Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers, Oba Ajibade Alabi, represented by Alare of Are Ekiti, Oba Boluwade Adebiyi, stated that they have intensified sensitisation of their subjects and advising for refrain from rape , molestation and maltreatment of women.
The Commissioner of Police, Mr Babatunde Mobayo, represented by the officer in charge of Legal Services, Mr. Femi Falade, said the policemen had been given matching orders to speedily prosecute whoever found engaging in rape and other GBV related crime.