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The Federal Government is engaging respective Heads of Courts to establish specialised courts for speedy and seamless trial of rape and gender-based violence offences, Mr Abubakar Malami has said.
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice disclosed this at the inauguration of the Justice for Children Coordination Forum on Thursday during the launch of the EU-UNICEF access to justice programme for children in Abuja.
Malami, who was represented by Professor Muhammad Ahmadu, lamented the pathetic situation of some children in parts of the country.
Professor Ahmadu is the Special Assistant to the President on Research and Special Duties, Office of the AGF.
“This administration will continue to do its best in the protection of the rights of children and vulnerable persons,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by a spokesperson for the office, Modupe Ogundoro.
As reports of rape and gender-based violence offences surface, the minister is hopeful that the specialised courts will fast track the cases and ensure justice for child victims of sexual violence.
According to him, the Federal Government remains unwaveringly dedicated to improving children’s access to a child-friendly justice system.
Malami gave an assurance that through age and gender-sensitive juvenile justice mechanisms and alternatives to detention for children on the move and vulnerable children, the Nigerian child would benefit from the child-friendly justice sector.
Thereafter, he inaugurated Justice for Children Forum chaired by the Solicitor General of the Federation and the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Justice.
The forum comprises representatives from the ministry, the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, the Federal Ministry of Education, the Federal Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, and the Nigeria Police Force.
Other members were drawn from the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria, National Human Right Commission (NHRC), National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), and United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC), to mention a few.