Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, has proposed life jail for rapists in the new Child Right Bill forwarded to the State House of Assembly for passage into law.
The deputy director, Civil Litigation in the state Ministry for Justice, Mr Irimiya Samson,said this in an interview with newsmen in Kaduna ,on Monday.
Samson said that the development became necessary, following incessant cases of rape in the state ,particularly, with minors, recorded on daily basis.
He noted that the current penalty for rape in the Penal Code was very light, as such, it was important to make the law more strict to curtail the trend.
‘The incidences of rape have become very rampant in the state. It is particularly disturbing that the offenders are mostly elderly men whose victims are toddlers and minors.
“In curbing this abominable act, the state government has decided to invoke a stiff punishment for offenders in the child right law.
“As such, when the bill is passed, anyone caught would remain behind bars for life.” He added that the law also criminalise child trafficking, child labour, street hawking and begging, which are common practices in the state.
“Similarly, exposing children to obscene materials like pornographic content, has also been criminalised. “Offenders would be imprisoned or made to pay a fine of N500, 000 for individuals and N1million to N5 million for companies, plus a two-year ban.
“The proposed law also de-emphasise detaining children for juvenile offences, having realised that detention do not help children in anyway.
“What the law proposed in place of detention, is community service, which in all sense ,could instill some level of discipline in juvenile offenders. “Education was also covered in the law, making it mandatory for every child to acquire basic education,” he added.
Samson also said that the state government would be involved in issues bordering on welfare and development of children. According to him, based on the proposed law, government would take away children from parents, caregivers, or guardians who failed to cater for children under them.
He added that guidelines for fostering and adoption of children was provided in the bill, for people who wish to adopt or foster a child.
The UNICEF, in conjunction with ministries, departments and agencies concerned with children, had, in 2015, held series of meetings to push for the domestication of the Child Right Act in the state.