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Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Female Genital Mutilation, Forced Marriage Now Criminal in Bauchi — ‘Trials Won’t Exceed 180 Days’

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage among other harmful traditional practices and heinous offences would be tried in competent courts of law within 180 days, according to Bauchi State Government.

Abubakar Mohammed, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, disclosed this during a press briefing at Press Centre where he equally announced that the state government has implemented Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) law, Administration of Criminal Justice Law and Penal Code of the state.

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The commissioner while reitearting the 180 days trial benchmark, noted that issues of concealed rape cases would also prosecuted.

“We now have elimination of delay,” Mohammed said. “No matter how weighty an offence is, you must conclude it within 180 days. Also, we now have a limited number of adjournments, which is five.”

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But the Chief Registrar of the High Court, Bauchi, Subilim Danjuma argued that laws, when assented to would only be existing in “our statute books”. This, according to the scribe, simly interprets that “these laws only existed in the bookshelves of the Ministry of Justice, as they could not be implemented after their assent.”

“The major reasons in the legal cycle were primarily because of the multiple incurable defects associated with the laws,” he remarked. “On the other hand, our Penal Code never saw the light of amendment since September 30, 1960 when it was signed into law; it appears no one ever saw the need to review the law.”


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