ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
Worried by the rampant cases of defilements of girls and ladies, women human rights activists in Bayelsa State have demanded quick prosecution of rape cases in the state.
The activists on Thursday met with the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Echeng Eworo Echeng, to press for the establishment of Gender Desks in the various Divisional Headquarters of the Nigeria Police in the state to facilitate quick prosecution of rape cases, violence against the girl child and domestic violence.
The women activists, under the auspices of the Gender Response Initiative Team (GRIT), was set up by the wife of Bayelsa State Governor, Mrs. Gloria Diri, to advocate against violence against the girl-child.
GRIT also sought the assistance of the CP for the arrest, investigation and prosecution of a herbalist in Otuasega community in Ogbia Local Government Area who allegedly defiled a primary school pupil.
Coordinator, GRIT, Mrs Dise Ogbise, called on the police to partner with the organisation to deal with cases against women and girl child.
Ogbise, who led other members of GRIT, comprising the Secretary, Mrs Tari Oliver, the Assistant Secetary, Dr. Ann Obuebite anc Public Relations Officer, Hajiya Mariam Abeki, requested the immediate intervention of the police in the current case at Otuasega where an uncle had forced canal knowledge of a seven-year old pupil.
GRIT also sought the assistance of the police for all rape cases at the divisional levels to be transferred immediately to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Gender Office and that all defilement cases should be treated free at the police clinic or at a subsidised amount.
In his response, Echeng commended Mrs Diri for constituting a team of great minds and purpose, promising to continue the existing partnership that had helped the police in dealing with issues of violence in the state, especially gender-based violence.
Echeng immediately ordered that a police signal be sent across all the police formations within Bayelsa State for all cases of defilements to be transferred to the Gender Desk in SCID.
He also ordered the immediate transfer of the case of defilement which occurred in Otuasega community in Ogbia.