The Rivers State Violence Against Person’s Prohibition (VAPP) Law authorizes that anyone who forcefully evict his or her spouse from matrimonial home commits a crime liable to two years imprisonment, a fine of N300,000 or both.
The Acting Rivers Chairperson of Federation of International Women Lawyers, FIDA, Nnenna Igbokwe, who stated this during a sensitization campaign on the provision of the VAPP Law, in Rumuakunde and Mgbuitanwo communities in Emohua local government of Rivers State, said it is now an offence to throw a spouse out of their home without due processes.
According to her, Governor Nyesom Wike, signed the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) into law on 10 December, 2020, for the protection of right of all persons and to stop all forms of violence, rancour amongst family members in the state.
She, however, noted that under the VAPP Law, it is a crime and harmful traditional practice to deny a woman inheritance in her family.
“FIDA Rivers State has continued to sensitize, advocate for peace in the society and stand against all forms of violence. We go round churches, schools, markets and communities sensitizing the public on the available laws on the protection of their rights.
“We are sensitizing people on the provision of the VAPP Law. Our able and dynamic Governor Nyesom Wike saw the need for peaceful co-existence in the state for effective protection of all persons right. It is our duty as FIDA to ensure everyone is aware of this law.
“In the cause of our work at FIDA center, we have realized that most victims of forceful eviction are women and the VAPP law has provided that it is a crime for a spouse to throw the other party out of their home or refuse his or her spouse access to their home.
“Such person commits an offence and if found guilty, will be convicted to two years imprisonment or a fine of three hundred thousand naira or both as the case maybe.
“A person who tries to commit offence of eviction is liable on conviction of one year or a fine of two hundred thousand naira. Then, a person who incite, aids, abate or counsels another to commit the offence is liable on conviction of one year imprisonment or a fine of two hundred thousand naira.
“An accessory after the fact is also liable on conviction of one year imprisonment or a fine of two hundred thousand naira.
“It’s no more business as usual, everyone should stand up for his or her right and say no to violence. There are due processes in the settlement of dispute, we must not use rancour to settle disputes.
“If for any reason one of the spouse is tired of the marriage, seek for counseling, mediation or approach the court for proper dissolution of marriage. This brings about peace in the home and in the society.”
She said the VAPP Law has given women right to inheritance as it is a harmful traditional practice, a violation of the right of a person and discrimination of another which must stop.