Justice for Uwa and other sexually assaulted victims, how elusive can it be?
Miss Uwa Omozuwa was a 22nd year old young, promising, vibrant young Nigerian girl, whose dreams and bright future was cut short by perpetrators of sexual assault who raped and murdered her in a church! Within the same week also, it was reported that eleven men were arrested by the police in Jigawa for allegedly raping a 12 years old girl.
A 12 year old is still a child. She is not even a teenager yet. For the innocence of such a child to be taken out in such a wicked and brutal manner is so disheartening and totally unacceptable.
JUSTICE FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIMS IN NIGERIA, HOW ELUSIVE?
In a number of countries, including Nigeria, getting justice for sexual assault victims can be a mirage, and very elusive indeed!
Whenever I critically look at Nigerian investigation and justice system, my heart bleeds. How prepared is our police intelligence units and justice system in solving, resolving, unraveling and finally bringing to book the perpetrators of sexual and other related crimes?
Come to think of it, do we have the relevant infrastructure and qualified manpower to successfully investigate and prosecute a sexual assault crime?
Most times, whenever I watch crime investigation and prosecution programs on television channels like CBS Reality, CBS Justice, Investigation Discovery (ID) and the likes, I see a wide gap between what is obtainable in developed climes and what we have in Nigeria.
These gaps include:
- Lack of CCTV cameras in public and relevant places
- Inadequate forensic investigation units and officers
- Inadequate DNA testing units
- Lack of comprehensive and organized database for crime investigation and prosecution
Justice for sexual assault victims will remain a mirage and an elusive chase until our government does the needful in terms of crime investigation and prosecution. Government must provide the needed relevant infrastructures such as functional CCTV cameras in all public and relevant places. There is also a need to recruit, train and equip intelligent police officers skilled in investigation of crimes. Proper integration of DNA technology into Nigerian crime investigation and prosecution must be vigorously pursued.
Finally we need to consciously start working on developing a comprehensive database for crime prevention. The DNA and finger prints technology, especially that of convicted or arrested offenders must be part of the database building.
In conclusion, sexual assault offenders are like parasites that feed and live on the society, which is the host, causing it great harm. They seem to thrive where their malevolent acts are condoned or covered due to social, religious or cultural biases. We all must unite to fight and conquer this evil by encouraging the victims to speak up and also collectively insisting that justice is served and very quickly too.