Nigerian Senate approves life imprisonment for rapists

Senate chamber

The Senate toughened Nigeria’s response to violence Thursday, approving new sanctions for a range of offences including rape which will now be punished with life imprisonment.

The bill, sponsored by the Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, will address some of the evil customs of the society, and would sufficiently protect people from the excesses of “devilish people”, Senate President, David Mark, said.

Lawmakers said the bill seeks to eliminate violence in private and public life.

It specifically prohibits all forms of violence, including physical, sexual, psychological, domestic, harmful traditional practices and discrimination, against persons.

Proponents of the bill argued that the right of persons to freedom and security must be guaranteed.

Sections one and two of the bill increased punishment for rape and other sexual offences.

A person convicted under the section, according to the bill, is liable to imprisonment for life.

However, where the victim is less than 14 years of age, the offender shall be liable to a minimum of 14 years in jail.

“Where the act described under this section is committed by a group of persons, the offence shall be known as gang rape.

“And on conviction the persons shall be liable jointly and severally to a minimum of 20 years imprisonment without an option of fine.

“The court shall also award appropriate compensation to the victim as it may deem fit in the circumstance,” according to the bill.

The bill will require a similar passage by the House of Representatives and the president’s signature to become effective.



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  • Wähala

    …with castration!
    A He-Goat on life sentence will most likely turn to gay and continue his rape orgy, castration… biko!

  • Giganto

    It is a good legislation

  • uduakomiri

    At last we seem to be waking up to this massively under punished issue of rape in Nigeria. At least our lawmakers for once have looked at this problem from a wholly Human Rights perspective. The legislature is supposed to be the arm of government that looks at the loopholes in our laws, lifestyle and social issues and craft laws that seek to adjust and fill up such loopholes.
    There is what is called ‘mischief’ in law whereby the legislature makes laws to correct a particular mischief in society. So this is very commendable. I hope we look at other issues such as corruption, state sanctioned violence and killings, genocide, the abuse of vulnerable individuals by those whose responsibility is to protect such individuals. In this sense, we should consider a A Human Rights Act, if we do not already have one. I doubt we do. This is an important piece of legislation and we need to move along the path of civility like other nations. Good laws make society better because law helps change the perception of society. Take for instance when this rape bill comes into force, in a matter of weeks-years, Nigerians will realise that rape is punishable, the fact this deterrence exists would help change social perceptions about rape in the country in line with what the law frowns upon. As a result, the younger generation will grow up aware that rape in unlawful. What this awareness does is it would help victims to come forward when such wrong has been done to them while it may not stop rape entirely but at least it makes it a punishable behaviour.
    I would like to see under-aged young girls who have been forced to marry at a very young age to bring charges of rape under this bill against their parents, and their husbands. This would help further draw the line on the assumption that because a child has been committed to marriage by her parents to which she had no choice that such situations could not be challenged as rape which legally, it is a case of rape.

  • MrFesh

    Killing a fly with a sledge hammer.


    What of stealing public money?

  • Almajeed07

    I almost accepted everything u said, but u display ignorance at d interior ministry choice, on the long run, we won’t need the military to defeat boko haram but policing and intelligent gathering. On the issue of solid mineral, you need an innovator and someone dedicated to do such if we are to explore that area as alternative to crude oil. And the list udoma to me is perfect for national planning, talking about education ministry, must it always be a Prof?

    • Anonymous

      I wonder o! George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the UK equivalent to our Minister of Finance studied History at Cambridge. He was also at one time an aspiring journalist and an entrepreneur before joining the conservative party and rising to the rank of Chancellor. In management we teach that a fresh look into a problem is always the best. Management is about understanding the challenges in a sector and being analytical in your appraisal and then enacting strategies. Nobody has asked Adamu Adamu to go and teach in a University so subject content is not the issue here and when subject content becomes an issue then he has the able support of the Professor. Ministry of Education is not just about the universities but starts with early child education, basic education, secondary, technical/vocational and of course tertiary. This administration has chosen well in my opinion.

    • dikop

      It mus not be a prof, but an expert in the field of education. And the prof fit into that position

      • KUNLE

        What we need as ministers are administrators with good past experience. Expertise is left to the Perm Sec, Directors…etc. in the ministries. Professor Eyitayo Lambo is an Economist who managed the Ministry of Health very well during Obasanjo’s time. Many people did not know this fact. If you go to many industries e.g Health, Oil & Energy etc. Experts are not just good Managers until he is specially trained.

  • Amy

    The writer has shown his total ignorance of the operations of Ministries of works, housing and Power. They all are doing engineering related jobs. If you go to Ministry of Works and housing you will find Electrical and Mechanical Engineers working with Civil Engineerings in Roads and Housing construction. The same is the situation in the Ministry of Power where Electrical and Mechanical Engineer also work with Civil Engineers.
    In your myopic thinking you are proposing merger between information and communication between journalists and electrical engineers.

  • Bejim

    By the writer’s logic, Buhari himself might as well change places with Fashola.

  • Malik Isah

    Jaafar, you go try contest as president o so that you go fit do am as you sabi am!


    For me President Buhari appointed Leaders ( also experts but not directly connecting to the portfolios). The problem of this Nation surpasses expertise as it has failed us in time past, but with quality Leaders, it can only get better.

  • True Nigerian

    Guy quite abeg

  • True Nigerian

    Fashola appointment for me was the best thing to happen to Nigeria. Putting him in the justice ministry would only waste his leadership skills. So keep your opinion to yourself dazzol

  • MI

    Sometimes what you need are excellent administrators and leaders from any background to turn around certain sectors not necessarily a professor from that field. We have had several professors of universities as ministers in the education ministry in the past and even recently prof Ruqquya Rufai and nothing changed other than strike after strike with our education quality dipped steeply south. I heard prof Akin Oyebode on channels tv yesterday on same issue. But exceptions abound.

    Jafar, remember when Tam David-West was appointed minister of petroleum, a professor of virology, you might have thought as wrong appointment but he remained one of Nigeria’s all time best ministers. Fashola (SAN) isn’t a prof in energy nor an engineer but has great administrative know how, I can say same for many others. So, I strongly believe a reason suffices for the combined appointment and I’m ready to give the benefit of doubt for Buhari’s choice. If Adamu’s performance is not excellent, then their should be a swap or be removed immediately. Except you know of his antecedents. We have had Adamu Ciroma a journalist headed the CBN and Finance and he did well on both occasions especially in CBN. The best companies are not necessarily made by just experts in that field but experienced technocrats and administrators. But this by no means that professionals shouldn’t be appointed, that’s isn’t my line of argument. And surely competent and professional hand exists in great numbers in all fields.

    For me turning round the education sector, is most critical and especially at the formative levels the primary and secondary education and requires a capable hand. We must provide qualitative and compulsory education to all children as it use to be some 30 yrs ago. The university level though critical but is easier to handle once we have good product from the formative levels. And also, because of its number and level (high).

    • Bayo Ola

      I wanted to write a rejoinder to the author of this article but stopped after reading yours. You captured it all. Briliant. As argued by you, a good administrator does not have to be an expert on the field. One of the attributes of a good administrator is the ability to spot talents. You can recruit best talents to help you transform your vision to reality. What is important is the vision and the will to implement your vision. Goodluck Jonathan claims to have a Phd yet when ranked to Tafawa Balewa who did not attend a University, the difference is like day and night; In eloquence, delievery, train of thought, in vision, you cannot compare Jonathan level of intellect to any of Nigeria former Presidents. Fashola is a lawyer yet a better administrator than many accountants. The immediate Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Sanusi did not read economics or accounting yet excelled better than some of his predecessors. For a leader, I strongly believe a vision that captures what you want to achieve and the will to achieve your vision is more important than your paper qualification or area of expertise