Advocates For Children And Vulnerable Person’s Network (ACVPN), a non-governmental organisation, with an interest in the protection of children and other vulnerable people in Nigeria, wish to state our position concerning the shenanigan that has been playing out with the refusal of the Lagos State Ministry Of Youth And Social Development (Child Protection Unit) to accept to place a serially sexually abused minor in a protective shelter.
This is a case of sexual defilement and forced abortions on a minor by her guardian identified as 36-year-old Gift Odini, an auxiliary nurse, Seyifunmi, a 40-year-old female and the paedophile, identified as 46-year-old Mr Ifeanyi Fred.
This case was reported by ACVPN to the Nigeria Police Force, Ifako-Gbagada, Lagos on the 8th Of April, 2024.
The perpetrators, in this case, were immediately apprehended by the Police, while the minor was under the protective custody of the DPO of the station.
The perpetrators were moved to the Gender Unit Of the Nigeria Police Force, Ikeja on the 12th of April, 2024 and further charged to court from the results of the investigations carried out by the Gender unit officers.
The minor’s shelter status was raised to the Lagos State Ministry of Youth And Social Development, Child Protection Unit, for speedy intervention on Friday 12th April 2024, by ACVPN Case Manager, Ms Jennifer Nwosu, while the case was being heard at the Samuel Ilori Court House, Ogba Magistrate Court, so that the minor would have a safe place to stay, avoid tutoring to change her given statements and also keep her on a place where she would get away from the traumatic events.
The officials who the case manager called, asked for the charge sheet of the case, a police extract of the case and a letter from ACVPN, and that ACVPN must state its role in the matter as required documents to enable them to place the minor in a shelter.
The case manager got the required documents and moved to deposit same in the office of the Permanent Secretary as they had stated to her on Monday, 15th April 2024.
She, however, still met with stiff resistance as she was told that the document required was an extract from the Gender Unit.
She duly got it back to them with the Police extract document, but they also turned it down saying that there was no specification from the Investigating Police Officer (IPO) of the case asking that the minor be placed in a safe shelter.
The case manager even suggested that the officials of Lagos State MYSD(CPU) call the officials of the Gender unit to get verification on the matter but this has not been helpful as even of Tuesday 16th April 2024, the officials have failed to take calls or messages to address this issue.
We, therefore, call on the Commissioner, Lagos State Ministry Of Youth and Social Development and also the Permanent Secretary, Child Protection Unit in the ministry, to take a closer look into this matter because the Child Protection Unit (CPU) officials’ inactions Contravene the Lagos State Child Protection and Safeguarding policy section for Non-response by officials who failed to act as at when due.
The Honourable Commissioner and the Permanent secretary should explain to us as an organisation, Lagos citizens and Nigerians as a whole, why a child of such a heinous crime, will not be granted a measure of safety to ensure her mental well-being after such a traumatic and horrific incidents in her young life.
Such an action, more likely than not, will lead to a compromise and natural death of the case, if not well handled and followed up. Also, returning the minor to her hostile environment will be too traumatic.
This nonchalant stance of the Unit towards its duty continues to hinder the ongoing battle against child abusers and the rate of convictions in Lagos State.

Ebenezer M. Omejalile
Chief Operating Officer
17th April 2024.

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