Yemi Osibanjo: “Rapists To Face Full Weight Of The Law”

The Vice President Of Nigeria, Yemi Osibanjo has made it clear that rapists and others who aid in sexual violence will be brought to book in order to face the law.

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Rapists To Face Full Weight Of The Law – Osibanjo
VP Yemi Osibanjo

Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osibanjo has assured that all perpetrators of sexual violence would be brought to book, in line with the law.

Osinbajo also stressed that rape and every form of sexual assault were demeaning to the society and human dignity.

Osibanjo said this on Friday, at a virtual meeting organized by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on the Scourge of Rape, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Nigeria.

The Vice President while citing cases of sexual violence (Mrs Queen Igbinevbo, a pregnant woman in her home in Edo State on May 20, 2020; and Vera Uwaila Omozuwa, a 22-year old student of University of Benin on May 27 2020 ) in the country, assured that together with state governments and the National Economic Council, the present administration was working harder to deal with the problem.

“Gender-based violence, rape and sexual assaults are a blemish on our collective humanity and dignity as a people and a Nation.

“We will work with all actors to detect and punish the perpetrators of these sickening acts and work even harder to prevent their occurrence,” he added.

Furthermore, Osinbajo urged governors to come hard on the sad trend, thereby putting a stop to it.

“We will continue to use the platform of the National Economic Council to encourage States yet to domesticate the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act of 2015 and the Child Rights Act of 2003 to do so.

“While violence against women has always been a challenge in Nigeria, the COVID-19 lockdown has occasioned a steep increase in sexual and gender-based violence across the country.

“I am told that between March 23, 2020 – May 29, 2020, the FCT Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Response Team received an overwhelming 105 incidents; an average of 13 incidents per week, up from the usual 5 to 6 incidents per week, pre-COVID-19,” he maintained.

The vice president stressed that drastic measures needed to be taken immediately because the cases were rising at an alarming rate.

“Also, a few days ago the Inspector-General of Police disclosed that the police had recorded about 717 rape incidents across the country between January and May 2020.

“And that 799 suspects had so far been arrested, 631 cases conclusively investigated and charged to court while 52 cases are still under investigation.

“What these figures show is an escalation of an already disgraceful trend of violence against women and girls in the country, ” Prof. Osinbajo said.

He also reassured that President Muhammadu Buhari and State Governors would not rest until the matter was resolved.

“On June 11, State Governors, under the auspices of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), agreed to declare a state of emergency on rape and gender-based violence against women and children, while renewing their commitment to ensuring that offenders face the full weight of the law.

“Similarly, the President, in his June 12 address to Nigerians, reiterated government’s determination to fight gender-based violence through the instrumentality of the law and awareness creation,’’ he said.

Osinbajo lauded the Women Affairs Ministry, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, the International Community and several Civil Society Organizations, for sustaining the momentum against sexual violence in the country.

Present at the virtual meeting were the Women Affairs Minister, Dame Paullen Tallen, the Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Tony Ojukwu, representatives of the United Nations and Civil Society Organizations.

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