From Sola Ojo, Kaduna

The Africa Media Development Foundation (AMDF) has trained officers and men of the gender and family unit of the Kaduna State Command of the Nigerian Police on the implementation of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law 2018.

The law, which was passed by Kaduna State House of Assembly and subsequently assented to Governor Nasir El-Rufai in 2018, was domesticated to replace Kaduna penal code in addressing gender-based violence with stiffer penalties of offenders.

The one-day capacity building for gender and family unit of Kaduna State Police Command was designed to strengthen the capacity of officers and men of the gender and family unit of command on Violence Against Person Prohibition law (2018) and its implementation in Kaduna State.

Taking the participating stakeholders through the nitty-gritty of the law, Chairperson, Observatory Steering Committee (OBSEC), Barrister Amina Audi Mohammed, stated that the police now have the enabling law to charge people who are involved in violence in the private or public sphere.

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‘It is important this law is publicised and implemented because it came up to replace the law of yesteryears which has become obsolete. For example, this VAPP law provides clear definitions and penalties and clear definitions of the offences,’ she stated.

‘The training of police is very important because they are the prosecutor. All the offences have to come to the police first before it can be proven in a court of competent jurisdiction and this is why this training is important.’

In a media interview shortly after the training session on Thursday, the Project Officer, Prevention of Gender-based Violence project, Joy Gadani, said the implementing partners saw the need to bring all the stakeholders including the police on board to see a possibility drastically reduce gender-based violence.

‘We found out that there is a little awareness about this important law on the ground. We visited the Kaduna State Police Command earlier and during our interaction, we discovered that the gender and monitoring support unit if the command has little awareness of the VAPP law and that informed this sensitisation meeting.

‘This became necessary because the law cannot be well implemented without the Police. So, we are here to rub minds on how to replace the penal code with this law which has been in place since 2018,’ she said.