Sokoto records 677 GBV cases, 5 convictions – Commissioner

Sokoto Commissioner for Women and Children Affairs, Hajia Kulu Sifawa, on Sunday, said a total 677 Gender Violence (GBV) cases were reported in the as at Oct. 27, with only five convictions secured.

Sifawa disclosed this in Sokoto at a press conference and award ceremony for advocates against GBV in the state.

According to her, the negligible number of convictions is due to the limited number of courts prosecuting GBV cases in the state.

She added that this had stopped some of the victims from seeking redress as the distance between courts and most communities was very long.

The commissioner also said other impediments included low level of education of victims, who were mostly scared of the courts.

“Most women educated, unfamiliar with laws that protect their rights, rising cases of secondary victimization, culture of silence and impunity, amongst others.

“All these contribute to lack of confidence in the criminal justice system by women who are subjected to violence,” Sifawa added.

The commissioner, however, said the ministry has been collaborating with the judiciary setting up of special courts to ensure justice survivors of GBV.

She explained that the records of victims were compiled by the situation room set up in the Ministry, under the UN/EU Spotlight initiative Project, supported by United Nations Development Programme.

The commissioner, who said 400 of the victims were minors, added that 176 survivors demanded for justice while 21 cases were closed and about 102 at various stages of prosecution.

The commissioner emphasized the need for more coordinated approach by all stakeholders to address the menace.

Sifawa noted that the best way the root causes of GBV was by listening to the survivors, adoption of comprehensive and inclusive approaches, tackling harmful social norms, and empowering women and girls.

According to her, the has already domesticated the Child Right Act and the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act, to protect women and children in the from abuse.

She also called for sustained advocacy on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment.

Sifawa said the award ceremony was part of the global 16 Days of Activism on Ending Violence against Women and Girls.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that those honoured included the District Head of Gagi, Alhaji Sani Umar-Jabbi, and the Turakin Bodinga, Alhaji Sani Bawa.

Others are reknown Islamic Scholars, Dr Aminu Sufi and Malam Sidi Sidi, as well as Dr Auwal Musa and Rabi’u Bello-Gandi from civil society organizations.

The rest were Dr Bello Lawal, Chief Medical Director of Maryam Abacha Women and Children Hospital and Florence Adamu of Nana Khadija sexual assault center. (NAN)