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Senate Seeks Tougher Sanctions Against Rapists

The Senate on Tuesday advocated stiffer punishment against rapists to mitigate the increasing cases of rape against the girl child in the country.
The upper chamber also called on the security agencies to strictly enforce laws against child marriages to protect the girl child.

These resolutions of the Senate followed a motion by Senator Sandy Onuh on the recent death of two girls as a result of gender and

sexual-based violence in Lagos and Edo states respectively.

Miss Uwa Omozuwa, a 100 level undergraduate of the University of Benin was allegedly raped by 11 men in a Pentecostal church in Benin City on the 27th of May, 2020.

Omozuwa later died at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) where she was taken for medical treatment.

In the same vein, a 16-year-old girl, Tina Ezekwe, was allegedly killed in Lagos when she was hit by bullets fired by policemen.
Two police officers, Assistant Superintendent of Police Theophilus Otobo and Inspector Oguntoba Olamigoke, have been reportedly arrested for being allegedly responsible for the death of Tina.

According to reports, the two policemen were trying to arrest a bus driver for violating the nationwide curfew imposed by the Federal Government to check the spread of coronavirus.

The death of both girls generated public outrage as Nigerians demanded justice for their killings.

Senator Onuh in his lead debate, noted that most Nigerian girls and children are today being confronted by one form of abuse or another.

He expressed concern that if proactive measures are not taken to curb “this dastardly act, the cases will rise even further” and it will hinder the country’s growth.

Contributing, Senator Biodun Olujimi (PDP – Ekiti) told his colleagues that a similar incident is being investigated in her state.

Olujimi said: “We have been speaking much and nothing much has been done about it. We didn’t imagine we will go the way of India where rape will become the rape of the people.

“If the security agents do not take it seriously, (we will face a scourge). We are dealing with one in my state and it was perpetrated by a man in office, by someone he took in as a help. He raped and impregnated her.”

Senator Akon Eyakenyi (PDP – Akwa Ibom) said that in her state, there is a case of a father who violated his daughter. She called for urgent intervention to stop the trend.

The Senate in its resolutions upheld the recommendation recommendation of the motion which condemned the killings of the young girls and urged that the perpetuators be found and dealt with.

It also urged the Federal Government to stage a campaign against the increasing brutality and rape against the girl child.

They also called on State Houses of Assembly to amend their criminal and penal codes by prescribing stiffer punishments for rape and violence against the girl child.

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan in his closing remarks said: “We need to make the punishment stiffer for those who aspire to be involved…to save the future of these girls and women and the future of this nation.”

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