Monday, 29 August 2016

'Rape a child and be jailed for life' -Kaduna state government warns

Worried by the incessant cases of rape of minors, the Kaduna state government has proposed life sentence for rapists.

Irimiya Samson, deputy director, civil litigation in the state’s ministry for justice, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN.

He said the current penalty for rape in the penal code is very light, as such it was important to make the law stricter to curtail the ugly trend.

Samson said the proposal of life sentence is in the new child right bill forwarded to the state house of assembly for passage into law.

“The incidents of rape have become very rampant in the state. It is particularly disturbing that the offenders are mostly elderly men whose victims are toddlers, minors within the age range of three to six,” he said.

“In curbing this abominable act, the state government has decided to invoke a stiff punishment for offenders in the child right law. As such, when the bill is passed, anyone caught would remain behind bars for life.”

He added that the law also criminalises child trafficking, child labour, street hawking, and begging, which are common practices in the state.

“Similarly, exposing children to obscene materials like phonographic content has also been criminalised,” he said.

“Offenders would be imprisoned or made to pay fine of N500, 000 for individuals and N1 million to N5 million for companies, plus a two-year ban.

“The proposed law also de-emphasises detaining or locking up children for juvenile offences, having realised that detention does not help the children in anyway.

“What the law proposed in place of detention is community service, which in all sense could instill some level of discipline in juvenile offenders.

“Education was also covered in the law, making it mandatory for every child to acquire basic education.”

Key stakeholders in the various meetings, including the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) and Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), produced the redrafted law, which was vetted by the justice ministry.