Group in Ebonyi solicits for female judges, free medication to raped victims

Wife of Ebonyi State Governor, Chief Mrs Rachel Umahi.

An Ebonyi based Civil Society Organization, Health for the Society, Justice and Peace Initiative, has appealed for more female judges to be appointed in the state. 

Mrs Nkem Chukwu, Executive Director of the  Organisation, stated that few female judges were in high and magistrate courts in the state. 

Chukwu who is a legal practitioner, made the recommendation on Monday, during a round table conference to mark the 2021 edition of International Women's Day.

The day with theme: "Choose to Challenge",was organised by the state Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development in collaboration with Mrs Rachael Umahi, wife of the state Governor. 

According to her, the judges would be needed at the High and National Industrial court, Federal high Court and court of Appeal to address issues of rape and disinheritance effectively. 

She added that the appointment would also be a plus to women and enable rape cases presented at law court be handled properly. 

"Unbehalf of women, we call on Governor David Umahi to appoint more female judges from the state. 

"This will address some cases properly. 

"When most cases are represented, the male judges make unpleasant questions that are not necessary. 

"The male judges also reduce punishment when the law says life imprisonment. 

"But female judges will strictly look at what the law provides," Chukwu said. 

She also called on the state government to circulate copies of Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law to legal practitioners to resite, rely on it at law courts  for effective justice delivery. 

She further stated that the copies when made available would persuade judges to abide by it at the law court. 

She however, pleaded that free medication for victims of rape with autopsy examination be made a policy to ensure proper punishment for culprits. 

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Florence Nwali said that Mrs Rachael Umahi, wife of the state Governor, had done much in ensuring that FGM is eradicated.

Nwali said in terms of appointment of women into political offices, the state has done well.

The State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mrs Elizabeth Ogbaga called on women to always support each other adding that women are nation builders.

“Ebonyi Government has done a lot to ensure that women are empowered above just doing unskilled jobs,” she said.

She urged women to rise up and take their responsibilities in the society.

The Director in the Ministry, Macilina Ibina said the target of the Ministry is to see that every Ebonyi woman is empowered.

“Our young girls must be hardworking because they are the hope for tommorow, they should desist from any act that can jeopardize their future,” she said.

The Special Assistance to the Governor on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Mrs Ngozi Obichukwu urged women folks to support and encouragement themselves politically and otherwise. 

She advised women to always maintain regular health check for better well-being and development. 

"As we strive for equality, women should work hard for development," Obichukwu said.

The representative of Persons Living with Disabilities, Agbo Elizabeth urged her members to be courageous that there is always abilities in disabilities.

Meanwhile, Mrs Rachael Umahi, wife of the state Governor represented by her Special Assistance on Welfare, Mrs Patience Offorokorie promised more support for Persons Living with Disability. 

NATIONAL PANEL reports that representatives of the federal ministry of women affairs, CSOs, Nigerian Youth Parliament among others were in attendance at the conference.

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