27th November, 2012
To: Attorney General, Katsina State Judiciary
Dear Alhaji Ibrahim Dan-Soho,
It has come to our attention that at a recent meeting themed “Sextortion” of the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ) on Friday 23rd November 2012 held at the conference rooms of the Abuja High Court in a session Chaired by Honourable Justice Adekeye recently retired from the Supreme Court of Nigeria you uttered the following comments “rape is self inflicted….in at least 90% of cases” and you were queried by your professional peers present at the meeting.
November 25th marks the beginning of the international campaign on 16 Days of Activism on Violence against Women in recognition of the multiple dimensions of sexual and other forms of violence against women. It is also a time for all communities, individuals and nations to make hurried attempts to address through public policies, programmatic interventions and laws.
In Nigeria, our recent history in the protection of women’s rights and especially in addressing gender based violence falls far short of acceptable international standards and norms, notwithstanding that we are signatories to several of these such as Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women.
It is important that this is on record that what you said if attributed to you, is incompatible with your position as Chief Law Officer of Katsina State which carries with it great responsibility to ensure the safety and security of women and girls. Victims or survivors of rape in Katsina State, for instance, have no hope of such support, care, remedies or accountability if or where the Chief Law Officer of the territory takes the view that a crime of this seriousness is self-inflicted. This attitude further victimizes survivors of sexual violence and violates the political and legal obligation on government to protect it entire people equally by providing effective remedies for such crimes.
We are asking for your RESIGNATION since you are unable and unfit to offer protection as you are required to, to victims of gender based violence as required by your position. Your comments and attitude are a danger to public safety and security. Any Chief Law Officer that harbours this view has a duty to re-consider his position as such because this is fundamentally incompatible with the functions and primary responsibilities of the Attorney-General.
Finally, it is important that law officers and leaders – such as yourself - must do more and take a clear action to address the multi-dimensional problem of violence against women.
Nigerian Feminist Forum