NAPTIP RAPID RESPONSE SQUAD UNIT
The Violence against Persons (prohibition) Act (2015) is an act that eliminates violence in private and public life; prohibit all forms of violence against persons to provide maximum protection and effective remedies for victims and punishment of offenders; and for related matters. The VAPP Act 2015 encapsulates 48 sections and 9 schedules in addition to 26 penal provisions.
To ensure the enforcement of the provisions of this VAPP Act, NAPTIP established a specialized unit known as Rapid Response Unit on August 2017 to ensure quick response to emergency calls arising from sexual and gender-based violence, unbiased treatment of high-profile cases, discreet investigation and diligent prosecution of such cases.
2.0 Core Functions
Rapid Response Squad coordinates and enforces the following;
Ø Coordinate the Enforcement of SGBV Cases Reported by Stakeholders / General Public
Ø Timely rescue of SGBV Victims and Investigation of VAP’s Cases
Ø Facilitate Asset recovery and forfeiture for convicted SGBV Violators
Ø Facilitates Training for Officers on VAPP ACT and other stakeholders
Ø Crime scene investigation
Ø Ensure that information about Suspects are provided for VAPP Department while information on victims are extracted directly during interview by the unit
Ø Handover Rape Victims to VAPP for Medical examination at the Sexual Offences Referral Centre and submit result afterwards
The unit has several cases under investigation, same also with legal and so many others in various High Court etc.
3.0 Scope of VAPP Enforcement
The Law is in operation only in the F.C.T and as such the F.C.T, High Court is vested with jurisdiction to handle cases under the Act.
This jurisdiction however, is not restricted to the High Court since the Act also recognizes the Magistrate Courts vested with jurisdiction to entertain applications made pursuant to the Act.
It is therefore important to state that the High Courts of the F.C.T have jurisdiction to entertain cases or prosecutions under the Act, whereas the Magistrate Courts can make Orders pursuant to an application under the Act. Section 44 of the Act vests in NAPTIP the powers to administer the Act.
In administering the Act, NAPTIP is required to coordinate all activities and programmes geared towards the realization of the letter and spirit of the Act. Prosecution of offenders under the Act is one of the cardinal responsibilities of NAPTIP under the Act.
Emeh Magnus A
Commander Rapid Response