KDSG establishes family court to handle cases involving minors
NNN: The Kaduna state government has established family courts, which will handle cases of children below 18 years of age, who would not be taken to regular courts for prosecution.
Justice Darius khobo made this known at a media engagement with members of the Kaduna State Justice for Children Coordination Committee.
Khobo, who is also the chairman of the committee, said the courts would guarantee access to justice for minors or alleged offenders, who could not be taken to regular courts or the correctional services.
“And we have come to the realization that the only way out is to establish family courts in Kaduna state to be in line with the provision of the state child welfare protection law, which has been domesticated in the state since 2018,” he said.
He said that the committee had worked hard to identify stakeholders, talked about the need to establish the family courts and fashioned out the designation of the courts.
He further disclosed that some courts had already been designated as family courts in order to commence the family court projects in the state.
The Judge said that all that is needed is to train personnel that would man the courts and the children’s cases.
Such training, he said, entails knowing how to protect the rights of the alleged offenders that will be brought to them and how to protect their rights.
Justice Khobo said the designated courts will be located in Kaduna, Zaria and Kafanchan, which cover the three senatorial zones of the state.
“And from there, if there is need to remand them, they will be taken to a remand home, which is a home away from home.
“This is work on their psyche, to be completely reformed and be taken to the diversion centre, where they will be trained on skills, which they can likely be good at.
“We will train them through a social worker to get them integrated back into the society and become better persons,” he said.
He added that the committee is also saddled with the responsibility of carrying out advocacy visits to stakeholders in the administration of criminal Justice for children in the state.
“It will provide a baseline data of children in detention centres and ensure that children in conflict with the law know their rights and have access to justice,” he said.
Also speaking at the event, the State Commissioner for Human Services and Social Development, Hajiya Hafsat Baba, applauded the establishment of the family courts in the state.
Baba described it as a giant step and very critical, noting that it would ensure that cases concerning children and the responsibility of parents would be fully addressed.
While raising concern on the neglect of children by some parents, the commissioner urged parents to stop producing children that they can not take care of.
According to her, the responsibility of government is to provide services, schools, healthcare and other social amenities, but “it is the responsibility of parents to cater for the wellbeing and training of their children on good manners because we want to breed responsible citizens and responsible leaders.”
The Commissioner expressed her appreciation to the committee for ensuring that the establishment of the family courts in the state becomes a reality.
She stressed the need for more engagements with all stakeholders, traditional and religious leaders to address various other issues concerning children in the state.
According to her, it is the collective responsibility of all to ensure the protection of children across the state and for them to have access to justice.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the project is a collaborative effort of the Kaduna state government, UNICEF and the European Union.
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