Foundation seeks declaration of state of emergency on sexual, gender-based violence

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THE Global Hope for Women and Children Foundation (GLOHWOC) has called for the declaration of a state of emergency on sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in the country.

The foundation also called for effective enforcement of penal laws in the country to punish rapists.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the call came on the heels of the increasing number of rape cases across the country.

The foundation’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mrs. Christy Abayomi-Oluwole, in a statement made available to NAN on Friday at Omu-Aran, decried the recent upsurge in rape cases, especially against minors.

She also urged the police to facilitate effective and prompt investigation of rape and rape-related cases.

Abayomi-Oluwole also advocated for urgent domestication and enforcement of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act and the Child Rights Act.

Quoting Sections 282 and 283 of the Penal Code, she said that the penalty for rape was life imprisonment.

“The penalty, under the criminal code, is life imprisonment for rape and 14 years imprisonment for attempted rape (Sections 357, 358 and 359 of the Criminal Code).

“Unfortunately, this felonious offence has become one of the major prevailing offences in Nigeria today.

“Recently reported cases to include the rape and murder of a 22-year-old Uwaila Omozuwa of the University of Benin and 18-year-old Barakat Bello of the Federal College of Animal and Production Technology, Ibadan, who was stabbed to death for her refusal to be raped.

“There was also the disheartening case of a four-year-old girl in Cross River State,” she said.

According to her, the need for a declaration of a state of emergency on SGBV in Nigeria cannot be overemphasised.

“We call on the government to ensure urgent domestication and enforcement of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act and the Child Rights Act.

“Government should also ensure the establishment of functional sexual assault referral centers (SARC) at the state level.

“The Nigerian Police Force should facilitate effective and prompt investigation of all reported rape/SGBV cases, while government should ensure criminalisation and prompt prosecution of those cases and domesticate sex offenders’ registers,’’ she said. (NAN)

– Jun. 5, 2020 @ 16:29 GMT |

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