SENATE ADVOCATES STIFFER PENALTIES FOR RAPISTS IN NIGERIA
By: Joy Odor
Disturbed by the increasing cases of rape and brutality against the girl child in Nigeria, the Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan has advocated stiffer penalties for rapists in the country.
This is even as the upper legislative chamber called on security agencies to strictly enforce laws against child marriages to protect the girl child.
Senator Ahmed Lawan made the call in his concluding remarks on a motion, “Increasing cases of rape and brutality against the girl child in Nigeria”, by the member representing Cross River Central, Senator Sandy Onor on the recent death of two girls as a result of gender and sexual-based violence in Lagos and Edo States respectively.
According to him, having in place stiffer penalties in Nigeria’s criminal and penal code will serve as a deterrent to perpetrators involved in the act.
Senator Onor had opined that, “brutality and rape cases against the girl child in Nigeria are on the increase, with some of the cases reported and several others unreported”, adding that young girls may no longer have the confidence to live their normal lives.
He expressed concern “that if proactive measures are not taken by relevant authorities to curb the dastardly act and bring culprits to justice, the cases of sexual assault and brutality will rise even further.
The lawmaker stated that unless timely action is taken against sexual assault and brutality, it will hinder our growth as a nation and as the Senate as leaders should take action to rescue young girls from the scourge of rape and brutality.
Accordingly, the Senate in its resolutions called on the State Houses of Assembly to amend the penal and criminal code to make penalties for rape and sexual assault stiffer so as to deter perpetrators.
The upper legislative chamber also condemned the killings of the young girls, and called for the immediate arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators of the unwholesome acts.
It urged the federal government to stage a campaign against increasing brutality and rape of the girl child, adding that relevant security authorities must evolve proactive measures to checkmate and nip the unfortunate occurrences in the bud.