The Lagos state government on Thursday, February 1, 2018, inaugurated four special courts for the prosecution of sexual offences and corruption cases.
Two of the courts will adjudicate on economic and financial crimes, while the other two will try sexual offences.
The sexual offences court is the first of its kind in Nigeria.
While inaugurating the courts, Akinwumi Ambode, the state governor, lauded Walter Onnoghen, chief justice of Nigeria, for initiating the project at the federal level.
Ambode, who was represented by Oluranti Adebule, his deputy, said the establishment of the courts would facilitate expeditious hearing and trial of sexual and financial related crimes.
According to Adebule, the state had recorded over 400 sexual related cases in the last three years.
She added that the cases would get proper attention with the newly-inaugurated courts.
Adebule said the state was collaborating with the British Council under the rule of law anti-corruption programme to provide technical support for the anti-corruption fight.
“I am particularly glad about the designation of two courts to handle sexually related offences as it complements our fight against sexual abuse,” Adebule said.
“These sexual offences courts will have trained and experienced prosecutors to interact with survivors, provide support and ensure timely prosecution of the cases.
“Between 2015 and now, the DSVRT and Mirabel Centre have handled over 400 cases of sexual offences while 376 cases are being prosecuted in the various courts.
“With a dedicated court now in place to handle these cases, l am sure that these cases will get the attention they deserve.
“We have awarded the contract for the expansion of the operations of the DNA and Forensic Centre and Chemistry section.
“This will automatically place Lagos as one of the leading centres for forensics in Africa.”
Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, was among dignitaries present at the inauguration.