Thursday 17 September 2015

The Justice for All (J4A) programme has demonstrated its commitment to tackle the high incidence of rape and the lack of services for the survivors of sexual violence by supporting the establishment of Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARC) in Lagos and Enugu. This support is being extended to other states that have shown interest in establishing a SARC.  

In Jigawa, Kano, Kaduna and Niger justice sector actors and senior officials from the ministries of health, gender and women’s affairs have been working together to replicate the SARC model in their states. J4A supported the collaboration between the identified states by sponsoring key representatives on study tours to the Lagos and Enugu SARCs in 2014.  The visit was aimed at gathering lessons and examples that can be applied in their respective states.    

J4A is also supporting specialised training in forensic medical examination, treatment and counseling for 30 experienced doctors, nurses and counselors from government run hospitals in Jigawa, Kano, and Niger states. The training took place from 7-12 September 2015 in Abuja with two experienced professional instructors from the St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre in Manchester, United Kingdom.

It is expected that the professionals who received this training will make use of their newly acquired skills in the soon to be established SARCs and in their current roles as doctors and counselors. The training will enhance their ability to handle cases of sexual and gender-based violence more effectively.  

"Before the training, many of us doctors would not usually conduct non-genital examination to check for bruises and scratches on other parts of the body.  The training has emphasized the importance of performing a holistic medical examination on victims and recording evidence that may be vital to proving sexual assault in court"

Dr Yinka, Police Clinic, Minna

“Before we had general knowledge of counseling but now we have practical detail of how to manage our clients in a supportive, sensitive and friendly way. I have learnt how I can help my clients overcome the emotional and physical trauma as a result of sexual violence and rape.”

Hajara Aliyu Ndayako

Social Worker, Niger State Ministry of Gender and Social Development


Implementing the Lagos State Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2011

Fully Equipped Confession Statement Room Commissioned

The first fully equipped confession statement room has been commissioned by Assistant Inspector General of Police, Mr Joseph Mbu on 22 July 2015 at the Zone 2 Command, Onikan, Lagos State. He called on the federal and state governments to support the Nigeria Police Force with the establishment of fully equipped statement rooms to implement the provisions of the ACJ Laws effectively..

The facility was supported by a J4A grant that was awarded to the Legal Defense Assistance Project (LEDAP) to facilitate the application of the ACJ law in Lagos and Anambra States. The funds were used to equip two statement rooms in each state, provide storage facilities and provide training on its usage.

The Evidence Act 2011 provides that a confession is not admissible unless it is proved to have been made voluntarily and without duress. To resolve this, the Lagos State Administration of Criminal Justice (ACJ) Law 2011 contains provisions for audio and video recording of statements and that such recordings may be admitted as evidence. However, few police stations have the necessary equipment to make recordings.  The purpose of this project is to learn lessons that may be more generally applied in the future.