The Speaker of Ondo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. David Bamidele Oleyelogun, has said the passage and signing of the bill on Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) into law was made possible for the especial intervention and support of the wife of Ondo State Governor, Arabirin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu.
Oleyelogun said, “I must commend the wife of our Governor, Mrs Betty-Anyanwu Akeredolu, for her support and intervention as a mother in ensuring the passage of the VAPP law.
“Around Dec 2020, the Bill on Violence Against Persons Prohibition was sent to the House for scrutiny and passage into law and by the grace of God within a short period, it is now a law”.
The Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, signed the bill on Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) into law on Thursday after he received the clean copy from the House of Assembly delegation led by Speaker, Rt. Hon. David Bamidele Oleyelogun.
The Governor’s assent comes after months of painstaking work by the Ondo State House of Assembly and pioneering advocacy by the wife of the Governor, Arabinrin Betty-Anyanwu Akeredolu.
Governor Akeredolu, while assenting to the bill in Akure, said that it was not selective, but for everyone in the state.
He explained that although VAPP was for everyone, the state was particular about violence against the girl-child, adding that so many things were inherent in the new law.
“We realise that to have a decent society, such laws must be in place and I believe that this will ensure greater peace and harmony in the home and in the public place.
Beyond this, it will enable us to live in peace and live like human beings we were created to be, because many times the instincts in man tend to go against the laws of peace.”
VAPP law is aimed at eliminating violence in private and public life, promote maximum protection and effective remedies for victims and punishment of offenders in the state and for other connected purposes.
The law is effectively placing Ondo in the league of states with robust legislation and safeguards against various forms of violence against humanity. It would improve the rating of the state on its commitments to the protection of its citizens against violence.
Also speaking, wife of the governor, Arabirin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, explained that the law would protect the girl child and women against all forms of violence.
She called on the public to report any violation of the bill, with a promise to ensure that such cases would be pursued to logical conclusion.
“The implementation of VAPP is much more than its passage. It is not biased; it is for all of us and it is gender- balanced.
The passage of this bill and its assent by His Excellency will send a strong warning to anyone who intends to perpetrate this ungodly act,” she said.
Acknowledging the importance of this new law, Austin Otabor, Chief Operating Officer of BAAF, described the introduction of this law as a robust legal framework for implementing justice for gender- based issues and rape.
“The VAPP law covers psychological, socio-economic and physical violence. It makes provisions for violence perpetrated by spouses, deprivations by spouses, harmful widowhood practices, female genital mutilation, indecent exposure, incest, abandonment of children, as well as harmful substance attacks.
It even further protects citizens from violence perpetrated by recognized state institutions or agencies.”
Chairperson of the VAPP Committee, Mrs Ogunjebi, noted that with the Gov’s Imprimatur, Ondo State has joined other states in the Federation with commitment to the protection of persons and ensure that perpetrators are brought to book.
“We owe a lot to the determination of the Wife of the Governor to get this law passed and signed. I also commend Mr Governor for timeliness in signing the law. It provides a more robust legal framework for implementing justice for gender based issues and rape. We have many very clear cases of abuse and violence that do not see the light of day in court because some extant laws have proven inadequate for diligent prosecution.
We therefore remain grateful to you and Arabinrin, we urge you to kindly put in- place a strong Task team to ensure realistic implementation of the VAPP ACT”
-Media Team, Office of Wife of Gov.