Reps approve life imprisonment for rapists

Inside the chambers of the House of Representatives

Nigerian lawmakers approved the bill on Thursday.

The House of Representatives on Tuesday in Abuja approved life imprisonment for any person convicted of rape in Nigeria.

Also, persons convicted of gang-raping a victim shall be liable jointly and severally to a minimum of 20 years imprisonment without an option of fine.

This followed the passage of a bill for an act to eliminate violence in private and public life, prohibit all forms of violence, including physical, sexual, psychological, domestic, harmful traditional practices and discrimination against persons.

The bill seeks to safeguard the rights of vulnerable persons, particularly the girl-child, women and girls in general against private and domestic violence.

The bill also approved 25 years imprisonment for any person who attempted to use chemical, biological or any harmful liquid on another person.

Any person who incites, aids, abets, or counsels another person to commit the act of violence is guilty of the offence is also liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to a fine not exceeding N200,000 or both.

Female circumcision and genital mutilation also drew punishments as any person convicted of performing it or engaging someone to carry it out risks four-year-jail term or a fine not more than N200, 000 or both.

Aiding female circumcision attracts N100, 000 or two years jail term or both.

Any person convicted of frustrating investigation and prosecution of offenders is guilty of felony and liable on conviction to imprisonment not more than three years or a fine not exceeding N500, 000.

The bill was sponsored by Abike Dabiri-Erewa (ACN-Lagos), the Chairman, House Committee on Diaspora.

The Senate would have to also approve the bill before it is sent to President Goodluck Jonathan for signing for it to become law.




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