Rape: Nigeria should learn from countries with stiffer penalties

When the punishment that is tied to a crime is flexible, such crime will continue to record patronage. In Nigeria, we have these two crimes with flexible punishments: embezzlement of public fund and rape. These are among the most reported crimes over the years.

In the space of three to five days, three rape cases have been reported in Nigeria. Sadly, these were not the only cases. Of course, some rape victims within these days have decided to continue living with theirs; they believe that reporting to the appropriate authorities would not bring the perpetrators to book.

We are still angry about the 12-year-old Jigawa girl, who was gang-raped by twelve able-bodied rapists; you don’t call them men. Real men do not rape, and the 22-year-old student of University of Benin, Uwavera Omozuwa, who was gang-raped and mercilessly murdered with a fire extinguisher in a well-known church where she went to read, and now, another teenager, Bello Barakat, has been reportedly raped and killed in Ibadan. Barakat’s remains was seen around her street.

The penalty for rape in Nigeria is quite disturbing. Rapists walk into our prisons and walk out after finite years. Painfully, some of these rapists are recidivists; they will continue from where they stopped after serving their jail term.

India’s penalty for rape used to be life imprisonment, and now it is death sentence. In China, it is death sentence or castration. It is beheading within days in Saudi Arabia. In North Korea, it is death by firing squad. If we inspect these countries very well, they were at a time in our shoes. But when they realised that cases of rape were getting out of hand in their countries, they introduced stiffer penalties, and it has been working well for them. This is a call to the appropriate authorities; the penalty for rape which is life imprisonment is due for a change. It is high time we learnt from China, India, North Korea and other countries with stiffer punishments. We cannot continue to endanger the lives of our women.

Aremu Lukman Umor, aremulukmanumor@gmail.com

 

 

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