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Nigerian lawmakers want death sentence for rape

Nigerian lawmakers are pushing for the death penalty for rape, weeks after allegations of sexual assault against senior religious clerics sparked nationwide uproar, amidst concerns over rising cases of sexual abuse.

“We should review our laws and make it a death penalty and by the time we kill one or two persons, those who are raping will control that thing that is making them to rape,” said George Sekibo of Rivers State, during plenary on Tuesday.

The lawmaker made the statement while contributing to a motion on “Sexual abuse in Nigeria: a growing scourge”, sponsored by Rose Oko and 10 other senators.

Ms Oko had raised a point of order to present a motion on the increasing rate of reported rape cases and sexual assault especially on children across the country.

Rose Oko, who represents Cross River, described rape as a “dastardly act” and said it is perpetrated on children as young as six months.

She referred to a UNICEF report of 2015 which states that six of ten children under the age of 18 experience emotional and sexual violence.

Using the rape cases of a six-month-old baby in Kano and Ochanya Ogbaje in Benue State, Mrs Oko said there are more reports of children being raped by school teachers, relatives among others.

She also faulted the unserious attitude of relevant agencies towards rape crimes and that failure of states to implement laws protecting children against such violence.

“Authorities have been accused of treating child molesters with levity. Nigerians have complained of the lackadaisical attitude of government agencies towards the fight against child sexual abuse,” she said.

“In most cases, prisoners, rapists inclusive, get released because of overcrowding. The lack of training of security officers on how to deal with victims of sexual abuse.

In his contribution, Mr Sekibo blamed the government for failing to implement penalties for rape crimes. He called for death sentences for perpetrators of the act.

“If a man commits sexual abuse on a six-month old baby, it is criminal. That person ought to be killed not to be sentenced. It has been happening in this country and perpetrators are not punished. Are there no laws? don’t we have departments of governments that are handling these laws?

“No religions accepts that. We should either review our laws and make it a death penalty and by the time we kill one or two persons, those who are raping will control that thing that is making them to rape.

“The problem is, when issues are reported, people take it for granted. Parents may be poor people who may not be able to push the matter to a higher level and then the matters will die there.

“My appeal is, when an abuse takes place, let the parents report and if they can, run to the Senate. If the police cannot handle it, I’m sure the Senate through its committees will address the issue,” he said.

Kogi senator, Dino Melaye, said the issue was not only evil but “satanic, nefarious, barbaric and outrageously wicked”.

“It is an evil that if we do not propose stiffer punishments, people will continue to exhibit it and get away with it.

“Unfortunately, because of the corruption that is endemic in our systems, many rape victims get away with it. You report a case of rape to the Police, it is treated as a minor offence.

“The National Orientation Agency and other relevant agencies must take seriously, sensitisation programmes concerning this issue,” he said.

On her part, Oluremi Tinubu said a lot has been said about rape but nothing has been done. She said children are the most vulnerable groups who don’t even understand the meaning of sex.

“It is very criminal and I think it will warrant a death sentence at this point in time. What has been done to this child besides physical damage.

“Most of these acts are done by people living with the victims. They are mostly relatives. It is time we do the right thing to do to curb this menace.

“Parents should be given the orientation how raise their children. They should sensitise their children on sex education too,” she said.

The Senate thereafter directed its Committees on Judiciary, Police Affairs, Women and Social Development (when constituted) to seek ways of improving implementation of all legislation and policies aimed at protecting minors from rapists and other forms of violence.

It also directed the committees to review the relevant legislations to provide stiffer penalties against sexual abuse of infants and minors especially.

The Senate called on the Police and other law enforcement agencies to conduct mandatory training for officer in dealing with cases and young victims of abuse.

– Premium Times
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About Don Saint

PR Guru / Author / Promoter / Controversial Writer / Hip Hop Artiste / Actor / Human Rights Activist. The First Nigerian Hip Hop Artiste to obtain a Masters Degree (M.A) in Arts ( Religion & Human Relations). The author of one of the most controversial books in Nigeria; "Emancipation from Masturbation". With over 12 Movies and 3 Musical albums since 2003. Former Events Manager at Silverbird’s Rhythm Fm Awka Station till 2010. For more info. Call : 08033239298, 08056381068.

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