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Senate considers bill to protect victims of rape, insurgency

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AHMED Lawan, Senate President on Wednesday directed the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Legal Matters to look into a bill seeking to protect victims of rape and insurgency in the country.

The bill, sponsored by Sani Musa,  senator representing Niger East Senatorial District, titled “A Bill for an Act to prohibit the stigmatization of victims of rape and insurgency, 2020 (SB. 243)”, seeks to ensure  that rape victims and insurgency are reintegrated into society and given equal opportunities.

While presenting the bill that has passed second reading, Musa noted that it was important at the moment  as the bill will account for the legislation to cover the estimated 205 million Nigerian population.

He explained that the bill if passed would protect and provide a legal and institutional framework for the rape victims and insurgency as well as prohibit their stigmatisation.

Musa added that the country with an estimated 205 million people has no legislation that will protect  and provide for the victims of rape  and insurgency.

“The Bill shall ensure that the victims are reintegrated into society and given equal opportunities in Nigeria,” he said.

According to him, the bill has eleven clauses spelling out the objectives and how the bill will be implemented, noting that it shall be an offence to stigmatize victims of rape and insurgency.

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“The bill provides the legal part for such victims to seek redress in the court of law,” he said.

If passed into law, the lawmaker submitted that the bill shall apply through-out the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Sandy Onor,  senator representing Cross River Central Senatorial District, who seconded the motion recalled that he had raised a motion of the rape and brutality of women and girls in the country.

He argued that rape like murder should attract no bail and that the Senate should look for a way of ensuring that the victims are not stigmatized.

Supporting the bill also, Ike Ekweremadu,  senator representing Enugu West Senatorial District and formal deputy president of the Senate said Nigeria “needs to have proper records of the perpetrators and have them profiled so that those who have committed rape would be denied social benefits.”

Meanwhile, the Senate President gave the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Legal Matters four weeks to report back to the Senate on the bill.

 

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Samad Uthman is a multimedia journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting. He tweets @sarmerdk2 and can be shot through [email protected]

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