Saturday, February 3, 2018
In recent months, there has been alarming reports of cases financial crimes, sexual offences and ritual incidences with females and young persons as the primary victims. It is against this background that we commend the Lagos State Government and the Chief Justice of the Federation for the establishment of two special courts to handle sexual related offences and financial crimes.
The courts were built with assistance from the British Council under the Rule of Law, Anti-Corruption Programme to provide technical support for the anti-corruption crusade. The wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Oludolapo Osinbajo declaring the courts opened applauded the humanitarian concern of the Lagos State Government for girls and women who are victims of sexual abuses and violence pointing out that they live in perpetual nightmare and trauma. The special courts would enormously relieve the regular high courts of the burden of plethora of sexual offences and financial crimes related cases pending before them as over 500 matters on financial crimes have been assigned the special offences courts.
Any society that is searching for growth and development must pay premium attention to healing the deep psychological wounds afflicted on its people by sexual related offences. This is not just because of the immediate effects of the crimes on the victims and families but its long time consequences of molding the future of generations. Corruption on the other hand as we have always insisted is a huge retarding blocks against development. In both instance, it is important that justice is not only done but social justice must be manifestly done. Many time, the cases in regular courts are sacrificed on the altar of legal gymnastic and technicalities leading to denial of justice through delays and sometimes miscarriage.
CACOL urge that administrators of our judicial system also formulate necessary special procedural rules and codes for adjudication for sexual offences and financial crimes in these special courts. Nigeria as a nation cannot afford time wasted at the regular courts on these types of crimes. The office of the Attorney General should equally go ahead to establish a special unit dedicated for sexual offences and corruption prosecution.
Executive Chairman, CACOL