With claims of rape and sexual assault rising in Nigeria, the Nigeria Senate on Tuesday moved to frame laws that would make perpetrators face capital punishment.
The Senator representing Cross River North Senatorial district, Rose Oko, while moving the motion on Order 42 and 52 of Senate rules, stated that victims of child rape have been on the increase, she called on the Senate to intervene.
“Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, I rise on order 42 and 52 of Senate rules to explain a very disturbing issue of child rape. Mr. President, I want to say that this matter is alarming and we need to deal with it.”
The Senator representing Lagos Central Senatorial District, Oluremi Tinubu on Tuesday said those indulging in child abuse deserve the death penalty.
She questioned the aim of the perpetrators, she said, “raping a child is synonymous to killing that child.”
“Imagine a child who doesn’t know anything and was raped. If you ask the child victim to stand in law Court, what would she tell the judge?”
Senator Sabi Abdulahi representing Niger North argued that the Senate must intervene by putting stiffer penalties for perpetrators.
The Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege stated that there were enough rape laws, he added that implementing the laws is the problem.
According to him, Court judges perhaps have too much discretion, saying that Senate should review these laws is geared towards tying their hands in a manner that they would be forced to pass judgement without deciding otherwise.
“Judges have too much discretion. Even governors too have the prerogative of mercy where they visit prison yards and set inmates free.”
Senator Chukwuka Utazi, while speaking on the motion called for psychiatric test on perpetrators of child abuse.
He stated that the school curriculum should also cover sex education from the elementary level to higher institutions.
Adopting the motion, Senate President, Dr Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan upheld the prayers and also upholding the review of all relevant laws that would ensure capital punishment for offenders of child abuse.
Part of the payers sustained too was the training of the police and other security agents handling rape cases, while they also urged the public to serve as watchdogs against rape.