A filmmaker, Mr Stephen Obodomechine, has advised Nigerians to use their phones to record any incidences of Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) as evidence to aid prosecution of such cases.
Obodomechine, CEO, GOT Fortress Ltd gave the advise on the sideline of a three-day training for media and other stakeholders organised by Palladium’s Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE) project, sponsored by USAID in Abuja.
According to him, the media, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Business Members Organisations (BMOs) were critical stakeholders in ending SGBV and Child early and Forced Marriage (CEFM) in Nigeria.
He said the use of phones and other ICT devices were tools that will help in reporting, recording and developing content that sensitises public on SGBV and could also be used to gather evidences for prosecution.
“ The fact that almost everybody has a phone today simply makes it almost impossible for SGBV cases to be denied because you can’t argue with what has been recorded.
“ Perhaps we need to ensure that the law recognises the fact that such evidence is admissible and once that is done the minute you are caught
“ If you see your neighbor beating up his wife or vice versa, do something, the least you can do is to speak for those who cannot speak, lend a voice to the voiceless.
“In that moment when the person may not be able to speak, but your evidence may help the case in court and may prevent somebody else when he goes out,’’ he said.
The filmmaker, also appealed to the government and stakeholders to provide a platform, where such recorded evidences can be submitted and used confidentially, without revealing the identity of the person that sent it.
He said: “I think citizens should be free and encouraged to pull out their phones the very minute they see such an occurrence going on.
“And once that is taken as evidence, a place should be available where they can send it to because they may not have the wherewithal, mentally, academically to pursue the case but there are people well positioned, who can take it up from there.’’
Obodomechine, also explained that one can use the various media platforms through phones to create content that people can subscribe to, follow and begin to mentor others.
“So the plethora of opportunities for having a video cannot be over stated. Apart from those who needs to listen, you can create content for those who you want to listen to you, you can get to those who ordinarily will not let you get into their office.
“These are the powers you already have as an individual working with video.
“Your phone today is your window to the world, and just like the skit makers who have turned around their fortunes, sent across their message using just their phones, you can do likewise without barrier.
“When using videos through your phones, it saves you the previous barriers of finance and acceptability, now you can pass your own message to your own audience.
“And that is where the power of the phone or social media comes in.
“If images speak a thousand words, motion pictures speaks so much more.’’ he said. (NAN)