Long Wait For The Law On Violence | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Long Wait For The Law On Violence

Posted: May 9, 2015 at 3:51 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Last Tuesday, the long-awaited Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Bill was passed by the Senate after it had gone through the assent of the House of Representatives last October.



Nigerians are however earnestly waiting for the final stage of the bill before the Assembly which would involve the harmonization of various differentials in the clauses as observed by both chambers while the bill was before them.

Speaking on the urgent need to give the harmonization a speedy attention so the bill could get to President Goodluck Jonathan for his final assent before May 29, President of the Federation of Female Lawyers (FIDA) and Senior Policy Advocate, Ipas Nigeria, Hauwa Shekarau said, “While we commend the Senate for passing the bill, we are appealing that the conference of the two chambers which is to harmonize the versions of the bills as passed by each of them should speedily go through with the process”.

According to Shekarau, “It is the harmonized version of the bill that both chambers would agree on that would now be presented before the floor of the houses for adoption and once it is adopted, it would now be sent to the legal department of the Assembly which will now go through to confirm the legal correctness of the bill to ensure it does not go against the spirit of the Constitution after which it can then go to the President for his assent”.

Shekarau urged those put in charge of the procedures which she said has begun “to do all the necessary administrative works in good time so that the president would have the opportunity to sign it before the expiration of the administration”

She noted that it would have become a wasted effort if after thirteen years, the long awaited law to curb the excess of violence against every Nigerian particularly the most vulnerable groups of women and children never saw the light of the day.

“One thing is certain that this new law has redefined violence and assault and rape for instance has received a broader definition as well.

“Cases of violence against women, against the girl child and other persons occur on daily bases and the current laws that we have are not adequate to address the situation. And that is why we continue to have rise in these cases with impunity

“That is what the VAPP Bill seeks to do and thereafter we would need the services and cooperation of the law enforcing agencies to help make the law work once it is instituted”, Shekarau told our Correspondent.