By FELIX KASSIM
A Non-Governmental Organisation, Wanda Adu Foundation has joined forces with the Nigeria Police, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and other organisations to wage war on the growing incidents of child sexual abuse in the country.
Speaking at a roundtable on strengthened partnership between the Nigerian Police and key stakeholders in Abuja on Tuesday, President and Founder of Wanda Adu Foundation, Wanda Ebe, expressed concern over the lack of adequate support from law enforcement agencies in cases bordering on sexual abuse.
Ebe, who drew attention to a recent incident in Katampe Area of Abuja where a three year old girl was allegedly defiled by a pastor, said the Foundation had to expend its resources before the case was brought to court by the Police.
“We are not getting the necessary support from Police on sexual abuse cases. There is this issue of regularly asking for money to open files and for transport. These obstacles continue to serve as hindrance to complainants and the victims,” she said.
Also speaking at the event, which was organised by Wanda Adu Foundation in collaboration with the International Centre for Investigating Reporting (ICIR) and Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), a representative of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command, Chief Superintendent Tunde Kabiru, assured that the Police will leave no stone unturned to ensure that sexual abuse cases get the desired speedy attention.
CSP Kabiru, however, blamed delay in such cases on issue of paucity of funds and other challenges not within the confines of Police, stressing that personnel sometimes encounter challenges in getting genuine medical reports to prove sexual abuse cases in court.
On his part, representative of NAPTIP, Mr Obi Agusiobo, said the agency has continued to record success in the prosecution of sex offenders, adding that the sex offender register launched by the organisation on Monday would further give a boost to the fight.
While stressing the commitment of NAPTIP to partner with NGOs to ensure effective prosecution of child sex offenders, Obi called for the conversion of Witness Protection Policy into a law to guard against sex abuse victims recanting their statements as a result of pressure or threats either from family or offenders.
Highpoint of the event, which witnessed commitment from participants on a renewed war against child sexual abuse, was the session on experience sharing and challenges on child sexual abuse cases in Abuja.
Dorothy Njemanze of Dorothy Njemanze Foundation, Joseph Osuigwe of Devatop Centre for Africa Development , among other representatives of civil society organisations also took part in the event.