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Human trafficking and gender based violence are human right abuses that have plagued Nigeria and become an issue of National concern despite various efforts by government bodies like NAPTIP, Nigeria Police Force, Immigration and CSOs like NACTAL, Devatop Center for Africa Development, Media Coalition & Awareness to Halt Trafficking (MeCAHT) etc. The month of August like other months in the year 2021 recorded yet other series of human right violation ranging from rape, domestic violence, gender-based violence etc.

In a shocking story, one Stephen John Stephen John, a farmer in Ore, Odigbo council area of Ondo state who was apprehended for rape without showing any remorse, confidently said that he derived “so much pleasure raping old women in the farm”. Stephen was arrested by police detectives in the state after he raped a lady, Fatima Yahaya who was sent on an errand by her mother. He reportedly grabbed the victim and dragged her into the bush where he had carnal knowledge of her at about 7 am. The serial rapist was alleged to have been he perpetrator of many rape cases reported to be carried out on older women around that axis in their farms.

In another news, the Ogun State Police command said it had arrested an administrative staff of College of Health Technology, Ilese, Ijebu, Olawale Jamiu, for allegedly having unlawful carnal knowledge of a student of the College (name withheld). According to Oyeyemi, the 39-year old randy College staff was arrested following a report lodged at Ilese Ijebu Divisional headquarters by the management of the college. The police spokesman explained that they reported that the victim was raped when she went to collect her school file from the office of the suspect. The statement read, “On getting there, the suspect dragged the victim into the file room and forcefully had sex with her”. “The victim there and then reported the incident to her guardian who in turn reported to the authority of the school”.

In an unverified news, a Nigeria’s business magnate Aliko Dangote was involved in alleged rape and psychological manipulation of the wife of a businessman Kevin Ajenifuja, with an intention to steal his trade secrets, court documents obtained by Peoples Gazette said. Mr Ajenifuja said he had developed the technique and process of a sector exchange-traded funds for Africa in June 2004, after over 10 years of research. In a lawsuit filed by the businessman on August 2, 2019, Mr Dangote allegedly made arrangements on how Mr Ajenifuja’s 22-weeks pregnant wife was drugged and how young men slept with her with the intention of stealing his trade secrets.

A father of five, Zakaria Waye, was arraigned in Chief Magistrate Court 4 in Yola, Adamawa State, for allegedly assaulting his wife, Ruth Zakaria. It was gathered that the accused from Girei town in Girei Local Government Area of Adamawa, allegedly broke his wife’s lower jaw and damaged her left eye during a quarrel which happened on Wednesday, August 25. The victim, Ruth, could not talk when she was brought to court on Thursday, August 26, as she had undergone surgery to stitch and wire her broken jaw. It was further gathered that Zakaria constantly beat his wife, sometimes in the presence of their children whenever misunderstanding crops up between them.

However disturbing these reported cases are, there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel and hope of positive turn with the news that President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to deal decisively with perpetrators of rape and other gender-based violence in the country. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo disclosed this at the official launch of the United States Agency for International Development’s Momentum Country and Global Leadership initiative. The Vice President, who was represented by Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, said the declaration by the Federal Government of zero tolerance for rape and other forms of gender-based violence is a step in the right direction.

In same vein, In a bid to provide a multi-sectoral survivor-centered approach in responding to domestic and sexual violence in the state, the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) has adopted the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Unified Protocol for the main purpose of outlining the procedures to be used in responding to, investigating and prosecuting cases of domestic and sexual violence.

A widespread sigh of relief greeted the passage of Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Bill in Sokoto; six years after the law came into effect in Nigeria.

The State House of Assembly’s passing of the Bill to supplement the Penal Code Law, 2019, and provide for the punishment of offences relating to Gender-Based Violence (GBV) comes in the wake of a disturbing wave of violence against women and girls in the state.