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Judiciary Affirms Best Practices In Adjudication Of SGBV Cases… As Lagos DSVA, Rolac Trains Judges And Magistrates.

The Honourable Chief Judge of Lagos State, Hon Justice Kazeem Alogba at a  2- day training program held for Judges and Magistrates Judges and Magistrates drawn from the Family Courts and the Special Offences Courts (Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Courts) re-affirmed the Judiciary’s commitment towards ensuring best practices for the adjudication of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in the State. At the event which was organized by the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency (DSVA) in partnership with the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IlDEA) which took place at the Raddison Blu Hotel, The Hon Chief Jugde said the Lagos State Judiciary would continue  to be trailblazers in criminal adjudication in the Country. He noted that the Judiciary would continue to uphold and interpret the law.  The Chairman, House Committee on Judiciary,  Petition and LASIEC,  Hon. Ladi Ajomale,  in his goodwill message applauded the Judiciary for their continued efforts in entrenching the rule of law.  He hailed the Judiciary for the launch of the Bail Information Management System (BIMS) which he noted would positively impact the information systems for cases and the attendants in adjudication processes. He gave assurance that the Legislative arm would continue to be in Synergy with the Judiciary.Also at the event,  the Solicitor General and Permanent Secretary,  Ministry of Justice,  Mrs Titilayo ShittaBey -Jeje who was represented by Director – Office of the Public Defender,  Mrs Bunmi Adesomoju in her goodwill message said the Judiciary plays a critical role in the adjudication of sexual and gender based cases and the decisions have a profound impact on the lives of the survivors hence the need for continuous and regular trainings . For a more just and equitable society for all,  it is important for the judiciary to posses the knowledge and skills to adjudicate professionally which the training with the wide range of topics will avail.  Mrs. Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, Executive Secretary, Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency in her welcome address underscored   the core requirements of the rule of law as good governance and a functioning justice system that carries out its duties fairly without bias or discrimination and is accessible to all. “The Approach to justice must be concerned with ensuring that legal and judicial outcomes are themselves ‘just and equitable’, as complexities of the legal landscape are constantly evolving” Vivour Adeniyi  said recent findings revealed a need to embark  on regular engagements with Judges and Magistrates to ensure that they are equipped with the latest information, techniques, and best practices, to enhance efficiency and access  to justice processes.She said the objectives of the training  was for enhanced knowledge of Judges and Magistrates on issues about Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, enhanced access to justice that will increase convictions and serve as deterrence, Increase issuance of protection orders,  Increase usage/application of the provision of the Protection Against Domestic Violence Law, 2015 and Improved evidence gathering that will enable quick dispensation of justice. Ajibola Ijimakinwa, State Project  Coordinator of the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (ROLAC) program  funded by  European Union and managed by IDEA,  said the ROLAC programme has to do with strengthening the rule of law, curbing corruption and increasing access to justice for women, children and persons with disabilities.  “As you know, the DSVA has done quite a lot of work in fighting against SGBV in Lagos State. We are partnering with them to train judges and magistrates to increase the required pathways for victims of SGBV. The more our judiciary knows more about the law that protects the rights of victims, the more victims can get justice in Lagos State. That is why we are supporting this process happening today. The programme is for 5 years and this is just the first year of implementing the programme. We hope to continue to support like organisations like DSVA, the judiciary, the Ministry of Justice, Civil Society organisations, even the media that fights against SGBV in Lagos mainly because we want to support survivors to have access to justice. We know that if we don’t, we’ve not started doing what we are expected to.  “You have Judges, Magistrates, the Courts, the Lagos DSVA , Civil Societies in Lagos, people and organisations that you can go to and report. Don’t suck it in, don’t suffer in silence. You have people that are willing to listen you and refer you to the right quarters”,  Ijimakinwa advised.The 2-day program featured a robust faculty with sessions facilitated by Dr. Funmi Bammeke, immediate past Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Lagos and others including Mrs. Atinuke Odukoya, Executive Director of CEHWIN, Dr. Tolu Oko-Ighaire, Provost – Institute of Counselling in Nigeria, Dr. Babajide Martins, Director of Public Prosecutions , Dr. Funmi Akinola amongst others. Adejoke Ladenegan-Oginni Lagos DSVA 29/11/2023  

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Lagos DSVA,  Rolac Organize Capacity Building Workshop For SGBV Lagos Focal Persons / Desk Officers

The Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency (DSVA) in conjunction with the Rule of Law and Anti-corruption (ROLAC) program has organized a training for SGBV Desk Officers from across the Local Government and Local Council development areas in Lagos State at the Protea Hotels in Ikeja,  Lagos on the 27th of November, 2023.   The Executive Secretary, of Lagos DSVA, Mrs. Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi at the event said Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) remains a pervasive and deeply rooted issue globally,  affecting individuals across age, gender, and socio-economic backgrounds. She said the Agency  in response to the pressing  need for a coordinated and effective approach which is part of its  statutory mandate, proposed a comprehensive strategy  to enhance the capacity of responder agencies in addressing SGBV which informed   ensuring capacity building for all relevant responder agencies  across the State. She stressed that given the above, the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency in partnership with the  Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (ROLAC) organized the capacity of focal persons across the 20  LGAs and LCDAs to be able to respond to SGBV cases optimally.  Vivour-Adeniyi told the gathering that the objectives of training will help develop protocols for seamless inter-agency cooperation, including information-sharing and referral mechanisms, will provide responders with in-depth knowledge about the various forms of SGBV, including  cultural nuances and intersectionality. She said further that the training would also aid responders on the reporting mechanisms established by Lagos State whilst emphasizing the  importance of accurate and timely reporting and establishing clear procedures for documenting SGBV cases in alignment with Lagos State  protocols. The program with 100 participants availed sessions which included *Understanding relevant laws* by Mrs. Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, *Disability Inclusion in handling SGBV cases* by General Manager *LASODA*,  Mr. Dare Dairo.   *Understanding the Gender Roles* by Mr. Damilare Adewusi and *Approaches to SGBV”* by Mrs. I  Tumininu Oni.  The training is expected to Strengthen responder competency in addressing Lagos State-specific SGBV challenges, Improve collaboration and communication among responder agencies within the State;  enhanced utilization of Lagos State legal and reporting frameworks; increased confidence and capability of responders in delivering survivor-centric services. Adejoke Ladenegan-Oginni Head,  Lagos DSVA 28/11/2023

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Lagos DSVA,  Rolac  Holds SGBV Case Conference With Lagos Divisional Police Officers, O-Cs Gender Desk

The Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency (DSVA) in collaboration with the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption ROLAC  has organized a 1-day interactive SGBV Case Conference with Divisional Police Officers, (DPOs),  Officers in Charge of Family Support Units (OCs) and Officers in FSUs in the Lagos Police Command at the Amber Residence  Hotel, Ikeja-GRA,  Lagos on the 8th of November 2023. The Officer in Charge,  Gender Desk Department, Lagos State Police Command, CSP Grace Agboola who stood in for the  Commissioner of Police, lauded the efforts of State Government and the Lagos DSVA for continually scaling up the pace in the quest to eradicate SGBV in the State.  He gave assurance that officers in the Lagos Police Command will continue to give the needed support to ensuring Perpetrators of these crimes are made to face the full wrath of the Law and Survivors get Justice.  Executive Secretary, DSVA, Titilola Vivour- Adeniyi in her opening,  gave a background to burgeoning issues of Sexual and Gender Based Violence SGBV and said the one-day interactive engagement with the law enforcement agents was strategically aimed at addressing and effectively responding to cases of SGBV.   While reiterating the Lagos State’s zero tolerance stance against all forms of SGBV crimes, she noted that Sexual and Gender based Violence remains a globally pervasive human rights violation as  statistics has shown that one in three women worldwide will experience physical and/or sexual violence at the hands of men at some point in their lives and with the establishment of the Lagos DSVA, preventing and responding to these heinous crimes is the Agency’s core mandate. Vivour -Adeniyi revealed that since the establishment of  the Agency,  it has provided services to over 10000 survivors including adults and children with the unrelenting support and Political Will of the State Government, the Police and the collaborative support of stakeholders.  “The ultimate aim of this gathering is to reinforce our commitment to eradicating SGBV from our  dear state,  as you may know that it is not over until it is over. We must constantly educate ourselves and be open minded to embrace new ideas, and new techniques, identify our challenges and proffer solutions that would improve outcomes for Survivors of SGBV. Giving her goodwill message,  the Project Coordinator,  The Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) Programme Phase II, Mrs. Ajibola Ijimakinwa said the programme is funded by the European Union and implemented by International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IIDEA) Project Coordinator said “The overall goal of the programme is to contribute to the consolidation of the rule of law and anti-corruption reforms in Nigeria.  Component 2 of the Programme is seeking to improve access to justice for vulnerable women, children, juveniles, persons with disabilities and victims of sexual and gender-based violence by strengthening inclusive policy, institutional and operational frameworks for access to justice and improving availability of referral and legal aid services for vulnerable persons” “RoLAC 2 is collaborating with the DSVA to engage with Divisional Police officers and the officers of the Family support unit to facilitate discussions on how to improve access to justice for victims of sexual and gender-based violence. The Police are encouraged to conduct more thorough investigations, gather necessary evidence, and adhere to proper procedures, ultimately leading to a higher rate of successful prosecutions” Ijimakinwa said Ijimakinwa also revealed that the programme will be implemented over a period of five years 2023 – 2027 at the Federal and in 5 states including Lagos.  Also at the conference,  General Manager Lagos State Office for Disabilty Affairs (LASODA) Mr. Oluwadamilare Ogundairo presented a paper on Disability Inclusion in handling SGBV cases.  CSP Grace Agboola, OC,  Gender Desk Department gave an overview of the establishment,  importance and functions of the Family Support Unit.  Head, Case Management DSVA,  Mrs. Tumininu Oni reeled out data on SGBV cases and the efforts of the Agency in the adjudication of Justice for Survivors  Representing the Director for Public Prosecutions Dr. Babajide Martins,  from the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Ms.  Inumidun Solarin interfaced with Officers on the salient underlings during investigations and challenges faced by FSUs in ensuring justice. Adejoke Ladenegan-Oginni Lagos DSVA 9/11/2023

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