[The Sexuality Blog] What’s the point of a Sexual Violence Response Team when you’ll still parade people accused of sexual crimes?

The Lagos state government under Babatunde Fashola had its problems, but it managed some semblance of uniformity in the policies it proposed and implemented. Akinwunmi Ambode’s Lagos State, however, cannot seem to make up its mind or stand unequivocally on anything – policy related, the rights of citizens, following the rule of law – nothing. This makes it very, very hard for the average Lagosian minority to believe anything the Lagos State government says.

Case in point, this tweet and Facebook post shared on the Lagos state government’s official social media handles (we hope by some overeager intern).

 

The Lagos state government with a cumulative 300,000 followers on Twitter and Facebook put out images of ‘suspects’ yet to be convicted of any crime, or even arraigned before a judge. This is in the same Lagos where there have been hundred of complaints against the Lagos State Task Force of accusing innocent citizens of being yahoo boys, prostitutes and homosexual as a way to extort money from them. The Lagos State government, literally supposed to protect the rights of all citizens, put the lives of 28 men at risk just because they wanted some retweets.

Now this wouldn’t matter as much if the same Lagos state government that hadn’t spent the last two years and several million tax payers Naira promoting its Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) unit, a unit dedicated to protecting the rights of victims of domestic and sexual assault. There were a number of 12 alleged minors arrested along with the 28 adults, and arraigned at the Ebute-Metta Magistrate Court without proper representation from the DSVRT or their parents or guardians. If the alleged minors were caught engaging in consensual homosexual acts with adults then then a proper investigation needs to be made to prove statutory rape before the matter is even brought to the attention of the general public. Instead the Lagos state government chooses instead to act like an Instagram gossip blog.

How does the Lagos state government expect any minors who are being molested or are the victims of sexual assault expected to trust it or the DSVRT, if they could just as easily be put on the Internet to be trolled by bigots and issued death threats.

How does the Lagos state government expect anyone who is suffering sexual assault or rape or domestic violence to approach the DSVRT for help if instead  of helping them, the Lagos State government might use them to ‘trend’ on social media?

The Lagos state government really dropped the ball on this one and Ambode needs to fire whoever sanctioned the release of those pictures.

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