Oyo formally presents VAPP law to the public

Oyo formally presents VAPP law to the public

The Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) law, which stipulates sanctions for perpetrators of all forms of Gender-Based Violence, has begun operation in Oyo State, as the state government has held a formal public presentation of the law.

The public presentation and stakeholders engagement, held in Ibadan, the state capital, on Wednesday, was sponsored by the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) with funding by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

Speakers at the event commended the state government for the support given towards the realisation of the law, stressing the need for synergy among all implementing partners in the state in the overall interest of all citizens, especially vulnerable groups.

Read: VAPP Law: Oyo State to develop Standard Operating System
The wife of the state governor, Mrs Tamunominini Makinde, said the VAPP law was basically put in place to protect the rights of women, children and all vulnerable persons, irrespective of their gender, noting that the law was presented to the people of the state so that likely violators would be aware of its existence, content and punishment, as it can now be used to prosecute anyone who violates the rights of another.

Mrs Makinde maintained that Oyo is one the first few states to have began implementation of the law, disclosing that the format of the law in the state has been adopted by other states.

She said: “This law is made to address all forms of violence.

I want to urge our people to always speak out and not be afraid against any form of violence.

Curbing gender based violence
The Speaker of the Oyo Assembly, Adebo Ogundoyin, on his part, said the law would eliminate violence in private and public life of the people of the state, close up gender parity gap in the law, provide maximum protection and effective remedies for victims and punishment for offenders, as well as cut down the country’s very high incidence of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) which disproportionately affects women and girls.

Ogundoyin noted: “The Law also redefines rape and is the first Nigerian Law to recognise that rape can involve male victims.

In addition, the Oyo State VAPP Law, 2020 provides a legal framework that protects victims of Female Genital Mutilation, denial of inheritance and succession rights and forced marriage among others.

The State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Professor Oyelowo Oyewo, represented by Mrs Dupe Awosemusi, lamented that GBV has continued to undermine the rights of women and girls across the country, Oyo State inclusive, saying the minimum penalty for violators has been included in the VAPP law.

The Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, Mrs Kafilat Olayiwola, represented by Mrs Oluyemisi Olakayode, described the new law as a milestone achievement towards ensuring that the rights of women and girls are protected in the state.

She said the Ministry would create awareness and sensitise the people to know that their rights for survival, protection and participation are guaranteed, as the response team is always on the ground to render help.

Passage of the law
In his remarks, the Country Director, WFD, Mr Adebowale Olorunmola, traced the journey of the passage of the law, commending the state government and all stakeholders for the cooperation at seeing the process of the law through to the implementation stage.

He applauded Oyo State for getting to the last stage, the public presentation and enforcement stage, as some states stopped at the point of passage and assent, noting that the execution of the law would not have been possible in Oyo state without the law being gazetteed and urged all the stakeholders to work together as a team for effectiveness.

Impact awards were presented to Governor Seyi Makinde; his wife, Mrs Tamunominini Makinde; Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly, Adebo Ogundoyin and the only female lawmaker in the Oyo Assembly, Mrs Olawunmi Oladeji, who sponsored the bill, for the roles they played in ensuring the enactment and final gazetting of the law.

Emmanuel Ukoh
Oyo formally presents VAPP law to the public