Niger Assembly mulls death penalty for rapists

The Niger State House of Assembly on Thursday has said it will consider a law to provide for the death penalty for rapists and other sex offenders in the state.

The house stated this during a motion on a matter of urgent public importance at the plenary on the rampant cases of rape and other sexual assault against women and children across the country.

Tribune Online reports that the motion was moved by Hajiya Binta Mamman, Member Representing Gurara Constituency and seconded by Alhaji Ahmed Bello, Member Representing Agwarra Constituency.

The Speaker of the House, Alhaji Abdullahi Wuse, said that the house condemned the recent cases of rape, such as the student of the University of Benni that was recently raped and killed.

He also cited the cases of an 85-year-old woman that was raped by her grandson and the two girls raped for 10 years by their father in the state.

Wuse directed the Chief Judge of the state to designate a special court that would be saddled with the responsibility of trying rape offenders in the state.

He called on the state government and the Ministry of Women Affairs to embark on sensitisation of people against the stigmatisation of rape victims.

He said the house would set up a committee mandating the state Ministries of Women Affairs and Justice to examine the various provision of laws concerning rape and come up with a report.

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Earlier, Mamman in her presentation said in spite of the amendment of penal code in some states, Niger was still dealing with rape and sexual offenders.

She said that victims of rape faced stigma by people which discouraged them and their parents from reporting to the appropriate authorities.

“It is pathetic as a mother, it makes one insecure especially when you have children that you have tried to train into the society to become responsible.

“It is an alarming issue, indecent dressing should not be used as an excuse for rape.

“It is alarming and this has become a pandemic. It is not only girls that are victims, but young boys are also being raped,” she said.

Mamman added that there was the need to amend the law to provide for the death penalty on convicted rape offenders, adding that the state law on prohibition of street hawking by children be adequately enforced.

Seconding the motion, Bello blamed the police and the judiciary for delaying investigations, prosecution and conviction of rape offenders.

Also, Liman Shuaibu, Member Representing Suleja Constituency, said the weak and non-enforcement of the laws was contributing to the escalation of the menace of rape.

He noted that the cases of rape had become a pandemic and was causing more damage than the coronavirus in the country. (NAN)

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