Senate advocates stiffer penalties for rape, seeks amendment of penal, criminal codes by State Assemblies
The Senate on Tuesday called for stiffer penalties to rape cases in the country and urged State Assemblies to amend the criminal and penal codes to ensure adequate punishement for perpetrators of the heinous act.
The Senate is concerned that there are increasing cases of rape and brutality against the girl child in Nigeria without adequate legislation to prevent or end it.
The call by the Senate followed a motion by Senator Sandy Onor (PDP, Cross River Central).
Specifically, the Senate said it was disturbed by the death of Miss Uwa Omozuwa who was recently brutalised and raped at a church, where she went to study in the evening of that day, in Edo State.
Also, it noted that on Tuesday, 26th May, 2020, a 16-year old girl, Miss Tina Ezekwe, was hit by a bullet when a trigger-happy policeman opened fire on a bus in Lagos.
Consequently, Senate is urging the Federal Government to stage a campaign against the increasing brutality and rape of the girl child, while calling on the relevant security agencies to evolve proactive measures to checkmate the unfortunate occurrences.
Leading the debate, Senator Onor said brutality and rape cases against the girl child in Nigeria are on the rise, with some of the cases reported and several others, admittedly unreported.
He said because of the situation, young girls are no longer having the confidence to live their normal lives.
Onor further stated that the negative physical, psychological and emotional effects of rape and brutality on young girls might impact them for the rest of their lives with attendant consequences on their self-esteem and general productivity
“The average young girl in Nigeria is obviously becoming terrified and scared to live with and trust her close male relatives and neighbours.”
“Most Nigerian girls and women might have experienced one form of verbal and physical abuse or assault in their lifetime.”
In his remarks, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, agreed that unless stiffer penalties were ruled for rape, the ugly act be curtailed.
Lawan also said if strong penalties are enforced, it will serve as deterrent to perpetrators involved in the cruel act.
“We stand together should to shoulder on this, and I think we need to make the penalties for rape stiffer to be sufficient deterrent for those who are involved in this, or who even desire to be involved. We have to save our future, and these girls and women are the future of this nation,” Lawan said.