Pilot Law

Rape: There’s need to amend Kwara Child Right Act

Barrister Kamaldeen Aliyu Tunde was called to the Nigerian Bar on 14th Feb, 2012 and had his NYSC with K.B Odedeji & Co., Osogbo, Osun State between 2011-2012. Thereafter he joined the chambers of Saka Isau (SAN)& Co. for his tutelage where he worked as a counsel between January 2013- February 2015. Today, he is a principal partner in A.T. Kamaldeen & Co. (AL-MUBARAK CHAMBERS) located in Ilorin. He Speaks with ACTING EDITOR, MUMINI ABDULKAREEM on limitations he observed about the Child Right Act and other topical issues in the polity. Excerpts:
Junior lawyers in Kwara State have long agitated for better condition of service from their seniors and employers. Do you think the senior lawyers are doing enough in this regard or there is need for more campaign by those affected?
The seniors have been doing so wonderfully in terms of training and encouraging the young lawyers. However, the young lawyers nowadays are not ready to learn. Most of them are after money and want to become richer quickly than their seniors at all cost. They don’t want to wait for their time and thus trade their integrity with dirty wealth. This is the situation and it is very unfortunate. There is need for the juniors to get the perspective right from the very beginning.
Cases of sexual violence, gang rape, murder of victims and cultism have surged recently, what is your take on how to holistically address the menace through the instrumentality of law?
As a parent and as an Islamic knowledge seeker, I wish to advice all parents to give their children proper training about the teachings of Islam. Christian parents should equally train their children on morals and religion. Charity they say begins at home. A rapist and cultist are products of some careless parental attitude. Parents should equally guide their children on the kind of friends they move with and the type of home cinemas they watch at home. Most of these social habits are mostly learnt through television, internet and social media among others. In the same vein, government, religious bodies and NGOs should take responsibilities to sensitize the society on the dangers of these social menaces.
Is our child right law in Kwara adequately sufficient to protect juveniles or there is need to domesticate relevant laws from other jurisdiction?
There is need to amend the child right laws of Kwara State to specifically mention a rape as a crime against children instead of the general provisions of “unlawful sexual intercourse”. In the same vein, the law only provides for “other forms” of sexual harassment without specifically and explicitly stating them. It is very fundamental for the law to mention categorically other forms of sexual assaults like kissing, fingering, romancing and homosexuality, among others, of a child as crimes to avoid unnecessary objections from defence counsel when a perpetrator is being prosecuted in court.
How do you think the welfare package for junior lawyers in Kwara can be improved?
Honestly, the welfare package and salary which some senior lawyers are paying their juniors is so ridiculous and not encouraging at all. There is need to motivate and encourage young lawyers more.
As a stakeholder in the legal sector in the state, how do you assess the MAI Akande-led administration and what are your expectations from the new leadership of the NBA?
The past NBA leadership under MAI Akande has challenged the next leadership of NBA with his excellent and credible performance. The news administration can do better if they follow this good precedent. My boss and mentor, Alhaji Issa Manzuma’s administration worked tirelessly on the harmonisation of the Ilorin bar and laid a solid foundation which the last administration consolidated on.

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