Lockdown Escalated The Number Of Rape Cases,Minister Of Women Affairs,Pauline Tallen

The federal government has pledged to take decisive action against rapists, especially given the upsurge in reported rape cases.

The Federal Executive Council took the decision at its meeting Wednesday following a memo presented by the Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen.

Alarming trend

PREMIUM TIMES has reported several rape cases across Nigeria in the past few weeks, some leading to the death of the victims.

In some of the recent cases, a graduate undergoing the mandatory National Youth Service Corps was gang-raped in Akwa Ibom, while two underage girls were also raped in the same state.

Last week,18-year-old Barakat Bello was gang-raped and murdered by unknown assailants in the Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

Ms Bello was a student of Department of Science Laboratory Technology (SLT), Federal College of Animal Health and Production in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

Before that, a female undergraduate of the University of Benin, Vera Omozuwa, died in a hospital after she was allegedly raped and assaulted in a church premise in Benin, the Edo State capital.

FEC rolls out measures

At its meeting Wednesday, the FEC resolved to call on all states to domesticate the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPPA), which is currently only operational in Abuja.

Mrs Tallen said the recent rape cases across the county were discussed at the meeting presided by President Muhammad Buhari, who described the menace as as embarrassing.

She admitted that the loopholes in some of the laws against rape such as failure to domesticate the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPPA), 2015 was part of what led to the increase in rape cases. Hence, the government pushed for the domestication of the act, she said.

“Out of the 36 states of the federation, only nine states have domesticated the VAPPA law. The VAPPA defines rape as when a person intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person with any other part of his/her body or anything else without consent, or with incorrectly obtained consent.

“Consent can be incorrectly obtained where it is obtained: by force/threats/intimidation; by means of false and fraudulent representation as to the nature of the act, by the use of substances capable of taking away the will of that person; by a person impersonating a married woman’s husband in order to have sex.”

She also read the provision of Child Rights Act (CRA), which states that sex with a child is rape, and anyone who has sexual intercourse with a child is liable to imprisonment for life upon conviction.

“No fewer than 80 rape cases were recorded in various parts of Anambra State during the COVID-19 lockdown between April and May. I’m sure you are aware that for the past few weeks, the country has witnessed a lot of outrage and outcry because of the pandemic within the pandemic that we are facing.

“I know before COVID-19, we have always had pandemic of rape cases and gender based violence. But with the lockdown due to COVID-19, women and children are locked down with their abusers and the number has escalated three times. There is no state that is an exception.

“This has reached an embarrassing situation that a memo was presented in council, calling for immediate intervention, legal and prompt dispensation of justice in the cases. Because, from the statistics we have and from the meetings I had with the 36 states commissioners of women affairs, we have hundreds of cases within our courts that have not been addressed.”

1 thought on “Lockdown Escalated The Number Of Rape Cases,Minister Of Women Affairs,Pauline Tallen

Leave a Reply