Mrs Obaseki (middle) flanked by Dep. Gov. Philip Shaibu and his wife, Marian

By Jethro Ibileke/Benin

Wife of Edo State Governor, Mrs Betsy Obaseki, the state Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu and his wife, Marian on Wednesday stormed the State Magistrate Court, Sapele Road, Benin, in solidarity with a seven-year-old victim of sexual defilement.

In the case, 55-year-old Micheal Ogboke, who operates a laundry shop in the premises of the state police command headquarters, allegedly defiled the minor (name withheld).

The accused was first arraigned on 17 May 2021 and subsequently remanded in prison custody.

Addressing journalists on Wednesday at the court, the Edo First Lady reiterated her commitment to ensuring that anyone found guilty of sexual and gender-based violence in the state, must face the full wrath of the law, no matter how highly connected.

She stated that the Governors of the 36 states and President Muhammadu Buhari have declared a state-of-emergency on sexual and gender-based violence in Nigeria.

Mrs Obaseki noted that the Edo state government has domesticated the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law, as evidence of its commitment to putting an end to gender-based offences.

She further disclosed that Governor Godwin Obaseki will assent to law this week and will be implemented upon every case of gender-based violence in the state.

“The law will take its full course, regardless of who is involved, whether rich or poor, because we won’t allow our children to be violated and their future destroyed anymore,” Mrs Obaseki assured.