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Sexual Assault Referral Centres record 681 assault cases in Adamawa, Borno, Yobe

No fewer than 681 sexual assaults cases has been recorded by the Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.

This was made known Wednesday in Abuja at the meeting of members of steering committees for the centres.

The centres funded by European Union were established by British Council under its programme of Managing Conflict in Nigeria (MCN) to among others provide free medical treatment, counseling and legal services to victims of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in the affected states recovering from insurgency.

Giving the statistics of Adamawa at the meeting, the Centre Manager, Dr Usha Saxena, said the centre known as Hope Centre was established in 2017 and had at July 2018 recorded 155 cases.

Saxena said 95 per cent of the victims were minors, adding that 18 of the victims were male while the rest were female.

Saxena said out of the 155 cases only 27 cases were so far in court for prosecution.

She lauded the support of Adamawa Government to the centre, particularly the supply of two DNA machines, adding that the Federal Government through the PCNI now North East Development Commission also provided the centre with an Ambulance.

In his presentation, the Centre Manager for Borno, Mr Kimba Goni, said the Borno Centre known as Nelewa Centre was established in February 2018 and had within the period under review recorded 197 cases with many of the cases in court where six convictions were recorded.

Goni also acknowledged the presentation of an ambulance to the Centre by PCNI.

In her presentation, the Centre Manager of Yobe known as Shifa Centre, Mrs Zainab Mohammed who was represented by Musa Mohammed said the Centre established in 2016 had so far recorded 329 cases involving 309 females and 20 males.

Mohammed said many of the cases were in court and so far 46 convictions were recorded.

Mohammed also confirmed receipt of an ambulance from PCNI.

In his message to the meeting, the Managing Director of North East Development Commission (NEDC), Alhaji Mohammed Alkali represented by Mallam Musa Zarami, lauded the role of the centres in addressing critical issues in the insurgency affected states and assured them of the commission’s support.

In their respective remarks at the meeting, the National Programme Manager of MCN, Prof Mohammed Tabiu, and the MCN Technical Lead, Mr Ukoha Ukiwo, said the two-day meeting was to assess progress made and the challenges being face by the centres with a view to come up with solutions or ways for improvement.

They also stressed the need for popular participation in running the centres to ensure sustainability whenever the British Council exit.

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