ROLAC urges Obiano to sign VAPP Bill into law

Willie Obiano

The Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (ROLAC), an European Union-funded project, has appealed to Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra to sign the Violence Against Persons Prosecution (VAPP) Bill into law.

ROLAC Coordinator in Anambra, Mrs Josephine Onah, made the call at a lecture to mark the 2018 International Women’s Day in Awka.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the bill was passed at both the National and Anambra State Assemblies in 2015 but had yet to get the governor’s assent.

Onah said that the domestication of the bill would go a long way in addressing all forms of violence against women in the state.

She decried violence against women, noting that VAPP Bill, when signed into law, would give succour to women who had taken to jungle justice due to increasing violence against them.

According to her, VAPP law is meant to bring change in the way the society views and treats women.

“It makes provision for compensation and protection of victims as well as punishment for culprits.

“The law will also takes care of the lacuna in the criminal law and penal code on violence against women, and will further help to restore sanity on the issue of marriage.”

Onah noted that ROLAC was poised to raising the awareness of government on the need to give assent to the bill, to enable the European Union to intervene in key areas in the justice system.

Contributing, Mrs Chineze Obianyo, the Chairperson, Federation of International Women Lawyers (FIDA) in the state, noted that the bill addresses all manner of violence against women in the state.

According to her the bill also addresses criminal matters, child laws and disability, among others, stressing that it will help to put an end to criminality and violence in all ramifications.

Also speaking, a Magistrate, Mr Mike Anyadiegwu, commended the state assembly for considering the merit of the bill.

Anyadiegwu, who noted that rape cases were common but under-reported, argued that VAPP Bill would give the opportunity to rape victims to be compensated.

Meanwhile, Prof. Helen Obi, a Lecturer at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, observed that the rate of violence against women had increased in the society.

Obi called for concerted efforts by all to eliminate violence in the state.