Lagos State Government through the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) has urged Lagosians to speak out on any form of human rights abuses that might be affecting them, stressing that it is only by speaking out that the government would be able to assist in solving it.
The Director OPD, Mrs Olayinka Adeyemi who spoke at the Awareness Campaign/Legal Clinic organized by the Office at the compound of Bariga Local Council Development Area, said that “Problem shared is problem solved.
“The state government recognised that there are various forms of human rights abuses in the society hence the need for constituting various laws to guide and protect the citizenry so as to have an organize society”.
Mrs Adeyemi further urged residents to speak out especially for victims of sexual and domestic violence in their neighbourhood, stressing that some victims are scared or shy in reporting their case.
Adding that such perpetrators should be reported so that they can face the full wrath of the law.
The Director noted that present economic situation in the country should not be a yardstick for the increase in domestic and sexual violence, stating that State
Government has zero tolerance for domestic, sex and other human rights abuses and would continue to make efforts in ensuring that human rights abuses are reduce to barest minimum level.
According to her, “Also beating of spouses is rampant nowadays in the society. It is not only men who beat up their women, women also beat men”.
The Director further urged the people of the State to desist from the habit of pleading for offenders after committing an offence so as to allow the law to take its full course.
Explaining that it has become a culture in our society to plead on behalf of perpetrator of crime thus slowing down the pace of justice system in the society, Mrs
Adeyemi revealed that there is no ignorance of law adding that anybody that goes against the law should be punished accordingly and be left to face the full weight of the law.
While expressing concern over the increase in sexual offences especially rape and defilement of children from the ages of 0-17, she affirmed that the Lagos State Government has zero tolerance for domestic violence and anybody found culpable would be brought to book.
According to her, “We have noticed that when this offences are committed particularly when it involves children. Landlords, Community Leaders, Religious Leaders, Family members and respectable people in the society come to beg on their behalf. They even go to the extent of pressurising the parents of the children involved not to follow up the case.
“They should stop begging for the perpetrators. It is shameful to see that they come forward pleading for them, they should support the State Government in ensuring that those who commit evil act do not go free without been punished so that we can have a peaceful society where one can sleep with two eyes closed. We must not encourage negative acts in our society”.
While using the medium to appeal to the people of the state to desist from the habit of pleading for offenders after committing an offence so as to allow the law to take its full course, Adeyemi urged Lagosians to take advantage of the office which was set to render free legal services to the less privileged members of the state with focus on the socio-economic rights of women, children and persons with disability.