A constitutional lawyer, Mr Raphael Anagor, has blamed the upsurge in rape cases in Nigeria on poor enforcement of sexual offences laws.
Anagor said in a statement in Lagos on Monday, that the Nigerian penal laws prohibiting such offences had sufficient provisions to deal with culprits.
He said that apart from the need for rape victims to report such crimes, it was also the duty of law enforcement agencies to ensure that justice was served.
“In the past couple of months, in what seems like the outbreak of a flu, or epidemic, we have seen an upsurge in rape and sexual violence cases.
“Some even culminating in death of the victims. The wave of these sordid incidents is exasperating, but thanks to social media, these incidents covertly carried out in most instances are brought to light.
“Rape and sexual violence crimes affect adversely the psyche of the victims, there are reported cases of victims who could not bear the odium and committed suicide.
“It is noteworthy that rape and sexual violence cases have been with us for ages and fester for various reasons.
“The Penal legislation on rape and sexual offences however, is rich and sufficient to address this malady,” he said.
He said that an encompassing approach was needed to effectively fish out sexual offenders and miscreants from the society.
“Victims should speak out; and for tender victims their parents and guardians should be committed to seek justice,” he said.
Anagor urged victims to report such crimes to the police immediately they happened or when they noticed it in their wards.
“Law enforcement officials must live up to expectations. Arrest, effectively investigate and subsequently prosecute sexual predators.
“Our laws as highlighted are not deficient, the greatest obstacle is enforcement. To effectively stamp out sexual malfeasance, the Bench has a role to play.
“To pass the message for effective prohibition against rape and allied sexual crimes, the court has a crucial role to play.
“They should go for the maximum sentences. For instance in the Criminal Code, it is life imprisonment, it is suggested that this should not be abridged.
“If we avert sentences that smacks of a slap on the wrist, it will deliver the message poignantly that sexual misconduct is a serious offence and the offender will know that he will be ending his life by committing such crime, and so sexual offences will be eradicated from society.
Anagor called for collective efforts in stamping out rape and sexual offences in the country. (NAN)
– Jun. 15, 2020 @ 12:45 GMT |