Lawyer Commends Lagos State Judiciary on the Creation of Special Courts for Sexual Offenders

On the 4th of February, 2018 Mr Evans Ufeli, legal practitioner,child right activist and convener, Cadrell Advocacy Centre featured on YourView – a breakfast show on television continental, TVC in Lagos south-west Nigeria to discuss the creation of special courts for sexual offenders in Lagos state. Mr Ufeli advocated that the creation of special courts for sexual offenders should be extended to the magistrate court where most of the sexual offenders are first charged.

Mr. Ufeli thinks the entire legal system should be rejigged to enhance productivity. In his words, ‘ as much as the entire system requires and overhauling process, society should also be informed that sexual offense is not a communal affair but a criminal offence. I say this because most often when a girl is raped or sexually assorted the communities assumed jurisdiction to hear and settle rape matters. This is a usurpation of the prosecutorial powers of the state and our communities must desist from it.’ He said.

When asked what he thinks about police investigation in sexual offenses cases in Nigeria he said. ‘Investigation is critical in criminal prosecution generally because evidence are procured from the process. I think the Nigerian police must go scientific given that crime in the 21st century has assumed new dimension. So forensic investigation is required to unearth difficult proofs in investigation activities.’

Tope, asked Mr Ufeli to comment on a case of a neighbor who have seen a girl being sexually abused but looks the other. She wants to know the position of the law as regard such a person. Mr. Ufeli answered thus, ‘ if you see and girl being sexually abused and you fail to report, under the criminal laws of Lagos state it is an offense- you are considered an enabler and the penalty is severe. So, in your own interest, you must report to the nearest police station or do a petition against the culprit and let the police state over from there.’

Mr Ufeli admitted there’s an increase in the case of sexual violence and abuse of both the male and female gender these days. He commended the Lagos state government for taking the bold step to confront this social vice and other illicit criminal activities in the state.