By Ayodele Deen Cole
The President of a non profit organisation called LAWYERS, Rhoda Nuni is calling on the government to provide more local interpreters in court to assist them during the cross-examination and interrogation of witnesses and victims who cannot speak English. She also called on the government to establish a forensic laboratory to investigate pertinent issues relating to sexual and gender based violence crimes in the country.
Speaking recently during the launching of National Youth Commission, Young Women Empowerment and Advancement Program, the LAWYERS’ president noted that some young girls come in conflict with the law and do not get as much as they should from the law due to the absence of some of these facilities. Lawyer Rhoda Nuni also spoke on the need for the government to provide more legal representation for girls who are in conflict with the law. According to her, most of the victims of SGBV cannot speak the official language of the court and so they find it very hard to explain the truth. She called on NAYCOM through their new project to focus on educating young girls about the law, by distributing legal material to them so that they would know their rights and responsibilities when they come in conflict with the law. The LAWYERS’ president admonished NAYCOM to work with the judiciary to ensure that women who are in conflict with the law are treated fairly as at the moment court procedures and response are usually very difficult to get used to. Lawyer Rhoda Nuni further noted that the government must not only focus on women in prison but also those that are facing the court. Her statement received several support from some of the key stakeholders at the meeting. A representative from the United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA) said that one of their key objectives is to bridge the demographic divide by creating conditions for young people to enjoy their human rights. She promised to look into the concerns raised by the president of LAWYERS so that young women will make meaningful contribution to society.