Tunde Bolaji – Minna
Legislators in Niger state are irked by the increasing reported cases of rapes across the country and decided to enact a law to check mate it in the state.
Towards achieving this aim, the House of Assembly has called for a Bill for Law to provide for death penalty for rape and other sexual offences.
The House stated that particularly, when the victim of rape dies.
A motion to this effect was raised by Hon. Binta Mamman Representing Gurara Constituency on the matter.
She stated that rape is currently on the increase and assumed an alarming dimension that must be quickly tackled.
Recalling, the case of late Uwa, a university student that was raped and killed in the church in Edo state, and in Niger state the two girls raped by their father for 10 years as well as the 85 year old woman among others, she said it is unacceptable to allow offenders go free.
” Rape is unacceptable, it is highly degrading and must times the perpetrators getting away with it due to pending cases in the courts. And, to make matters worst, victims of rape don’t report to avoid stigmatisation.
“That is why, measures must be taken to stop it by setting up Courts to trail Rape and other Sexual Assault cases. I urge you, my colleagues to help address this challenge,” Mamman stated.
Supporting the motion, the members condemned the dangerous turn rape has taken in the county, while calling for a stiff punishment against perpetrators.
They likened rape to a pandemic worst than the present novel Coronavirus ravaging the people across the globe, recalling the story of a man that raped 40 women in the country.
Decrying the situation, Hon. Ahmed Bello, Agwara Constituency called on the Niger state Governor Abubakar Sani Bello to come up with a riot Act against the menace that is ravaging the society.
” That is why, we need to invite the state Commissioner of Police, Commissioner of Justice or or a Representative to tell us their challenges at an Executive Session. So, that we can all come together to fight it holistically. It is a serious issue.
Shuiabu Mohammed, Suleja Constituency, however attributed the issue of rape to decay in moral values of the society and lack of enforcement of the relevant laws against rape in the country.
” The issue of rape goes down to decay in our moral values and among our leaders such as political leaders, religious leaders and traditional leaders that suppose to set a good example to us. And, people tend to be more afraid of the traditional laws on rape than the conventional laws.
” In the past, when there is a taboo placed on a thing, people tend to fear to commit an offence in that regard.”
Also, Idris from Lapai Constituency
said rape is currently a burning issue that must be given the desired attention.
Reading the resolution of the House, the Speaker Hon. Bdullahi Bawa Wuse directed the Assembly Committee on Justice to
look for relevant laws set up a Committee to liaise with relevant bodies to come up with section of law to punish perpetrators of rape.
Bar. Wuse therefore called on the State Government through the Ministry for Women Affairs to embark on sensitization of people against stigmatization of victims of rape.
The lawmakers than urged the state Chief Justice to designate some Courts to trial rape cases to ensure speedy trial of offenders of rape.
The Speaker Hon. Bawa also directed the Assembly Committee on Justice to liaise with Ministries of Women Affairs, Justice, MDAs and CSOs to look into relevant sections of the law dealing with rape and sexual assault to punish offenders.