Young girls are no longer safe in Ekiti State as male adults molest them with sexual assault and outright rape. The rate of occurrences is quite alarming while victims include minors in their teens.

Worried by this ugly development which is abnormally on the rise, Ekiti State chapter of International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) has decried the trend and called on the on the state judiciary and other relevant authorities to ensure speedy prosecution of culprits

Chairperson of FIDA in Ekiti State, Mrs. Rita Ilevbare, while briefing newsmen on the development in Ado Ekiti the state capital on Thursday, lamented the development and called for the trial of any rape case adding that this ?should be done in chambers to protect the identities of the victims.?

FIDA also called on the Ekiti State government, through its Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice to take over all rape cases pending before the courts in the state for quick dispensation of justice. FIDA said the state Ministry of Justice must exhibit zealousness on the implementation of the gender-based Violence Prohibition Law and the Child Rights Law to protect the rights of women and stem the tide of rape incidents in Ekiti State.

According to Ilevbare, the trial of accused rapist in-chambers became imperative following the perceived reluctance of victims to testify in court because of stigma.

?In most cases, some of these cases ended up being struck out for lack of diligent prosecution once the victims are not favourably disposed to testify in court,? Ilevbare stated.

The group, however commended the state Police Commissioner, Mr. Sotonnye Wakama, for the arrest and extant prosecution of 85-year old Mr. Samuel Oladipupo, for the alleged rape of a 12-year old girl in Ado Ekiti recently.

Also commenting on the stigmatization of the victims, the Programme Officer, Gender Relevance Initiative Programme (GRIP), Mrs. Abimbola Ahmed, appealed to parents to always warn their children and wards against pornographic materials, saying ?those addicted to such always grow the criminal tendency for rape, especially at childhood stage.?

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