Lagos Assembly frowns at rape, sexual assaults

By Lanre Lagada-Abayomi, Lagos

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The Lagos State House of Assembly during Plenary on Monday moved against the alarming rate of domestic violence, rape, defilement of minor and other sexual abuses in the State and the country.

The mover of the motion, Honourable Mojisola Alli-Macaulay expressed the need to curb incidences of rape, defilement of minors and other sexual abuses in the State and the country.

She said some victims of sexual assault who were either minors, adult or aged females were left to the trauma and stigmatisation by the society while the culprits move freely without fear of being apprehended and prosecuted.

She further stated that weak enforcement of related laws, lack of education on how victims of the heinous act can seek redress, mistreatment of rape cases among others created an environment where sexual abuse was perpetrated with impunity.

She therefore uttered that only few offenders out of many reported cases were prosecuted and culprits convicted.

The Deputy Speaker, Honourable Wasiu Sanni-Eshinlokun said that “the incessant cases of rape in the country is unnerving and there is need to recalibrate what rape is and what consent is”.

He said the mode of defending should be taught in home, schools, and places of worship explaining that there was a need to educate both genders on how to prevent themselves from being raped while victims should be encouraged to report without being stigmatised.

The Majority Leader of the House, Honourable Sanai Agunbiade, emphasised the need to have a remedy and justice for rape victims thereby ensuring that the accused when proven guilty would be publicly shamed.

He said they should also be made to serve community sentencing with rapist logo boldly written on their uniforms for some times before serving the jail term.

“This will serve as a means of deterring future occurrences… Lagos Assembly has amended the laws to make rape perpetrators serve a life sentence a long time ago but proper enforcement and quick prosecution is needed.” He stated.

Honourable Adedamola Kasumu while commenting on the issue said: “It is only a man that is suffering from mental illness that would rape. So, it will not be out of place to call on the National Assembly to review the criminal code while Lagos State law reform should come up with stringent penalties for the perpetrators of the menace.”

The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa advised parents to protect their children as mother hen would do explaining that parents who failed to protect their children are negligent of their duties and such parents should be penalised.

The House thereafter resolved to call on the Governor of Lagos State ,Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu to direct the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command to ensure that offenders of domestic violence, including rape and defilement of minors are made to face the full weight of the law.

They also enjoined the Judiciary to accelerate any rape or sexual assault cases against any gender.

They added that the Commissioner for Information and Strategy  should intensify efforts on the campaign against sexual abuses and sensitise members of the public to report any form of sexual assault to the appropriate authority in the State, then the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation should manage rape and sexual assault cases.

 

Lateefah Ibrahim

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