The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice for Ogun State, Akingbolahan Adeniran, has disputed a report by The Eagle Online that the state was yet to domesticate the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act.
The Commissioner said this in a statement by the Special Assistant (Legal Matters) to Governor Dapo Abiodun, Olumide Mustapha, on Saturday.
The statement read:
The above-referred article, authored by the News Agency of Nigeria, was published on Eagle Online on the 2nd December, 2020 (https://theeagleonline.com.ng/only-ekiti-has-domesticated-vapp-act-in-south-west-survey/) (“the Article”).
The headline and contents of the Article purport that Ekiti State is the only State in the South West to have domesticated the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act having passed an equivalent VAPP law for the State.
More particularly, the Article purports that Ogun State has not yet domesticated its own VAPP law – as it is unknown “whether or not the bill was signed by Amosun because a copy of the signed bill was not sent for gazette”.
To clarify the position, the former Governor did indeed assent to the Ogun State VAPP Law, 2017 (“the VAPP Law”) which was Gazetted and came into force on the 17th January, 2018. (A pdf copy of the Gazetted Ogun State VAPP Law, 2017 is attached for your information and reference). Contrary to information contained in the Article, Ogun state has not only passed the VAPP Law, but the current administration has been taking active steps to implement its provisions.
For example, at the beginning of the year His Excellency, the Governor of Ogun State, Prince (Dr) Dapo Abiodun MFR, inaugurated the VAPP Management Committee pursuant to the VAPP Law. The Management Committee is a multi-agency partnership to provide a systemic response to SGBV crimes in the State. It is chaired by Her Excellency, the First Lady of Ogun State and is composed of representatives from the Judiciary, the NPF, Ogun State Ministry of Justice, various other Ministries, civil society organisations and other stakeholders.
Furthermore, the Honourable Attorney-General of Ogun State (the HAG), Mr. Akingbolohan Adeniran, has personally visited all ten Nigerian Police Force (NPF) Area Commands in Ogun State to facilitate training for senior NPF officers on the investigation of SGBV crimes from the prosecutor’s perspective. Copies of the VAPP Law have also been disseminated to all officers of the NPF Area Commands in Ogun State. A similar training session will be held, in the second week of December, for lawyers in Ogun State Ministry of Justice’s Public Prosecution Department; again to be personally facilitated by the HAG himself.
Ogun State Ministry of Justice is also currently working with the Law Reform Committee (inaugurated by His Excellency the Governor earlier this year and chaired by the HAG) to compile an updated compendium of all the existing laws in the State, including the VAPP Law, for publication in both physical and digital formats.
Based on the foregoing, we hereby request that a correction or update be made to the Article, or a follow-up report be published on your website, to ensure that your audience and the wider public are accurately informed on the true state of affairs regarding the status of the VAPP Law, as well as the Ogun State Government’s commitment and efforts towards combatting sexual and gender-based violence.
Kindly endeavour in future to also contact Ogun State Ministry of Justice where information about the status of any law of Ogun State is required for a report or article, and before publication of same. The contact email address for Ogun State Ministry of Justice is [email protected]
Should further comment or clarification be required on any of the above do not hesitate to contact me.
Thanks and regards.