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FG set to take decisive action against rapists

• pushes for domestication of law in states

The Federal Government, on Wednesday, said it will soon come up with a decisive action on rapists, describing the upsurge in rape cases in Nigeria as “embarrassing”

Federal government also said it is pushing for the domestication of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPPA), of 2015 in all the 36 states of the federation in order to ensure rapists face deserved punishments for their actions.

This is part of the outcome of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, had presented a memo for FEC approval on the issue, following the outrage that has greeted the high cases of rape and gender based violence in the country, as a result of lockdown necessitated by the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The VAPPA defines rape as “when a person intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person with any other part of his/her body or anything else without consent, or with incorrectly obtained consent”

According to the Act, “Consent can be incorrectly obtained where it is obtained: by force/threats/intimidation; by means of false and fraudulent representation as to the nature of the act, by the use of substances capable of taking away the will of that person; by a person impersonating a married woman’s husband in order to have sex.”

The VAPPA law is currently only applicable in the Federal Capital Territory, it does not apply in other states of the federation.

Child Rights Act (CRA) provides that sex with a child is rape, and anyone who has sexual intercourse with a child is liable to imprisonment for life upon conviction.

Outrage had trailed the death of Vera Uwaila Omozuwa, a 22-year-old microbiology student, raped and killed in an empty church in Benin City.
18-year-old Barakat Bello, who was taking her bath, was raped and macheted to death in Ibadan, Oyo State.

Fourteen men in Jigawa State, were reported to have repeatedly raped a minor.
No fewer than 80 rape cases were recorded in various parts of Anambra State during the COVID-19 lockdown between April and May.

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