By Tank Mohammed
Abuja. September 18, 2020
As Nigerians worry over increasing cases of rape and child molestation, the Kaduna state government in north, has enacted a law making rapists go through surgical castration upon conviction.
The state law also prescribed death for child rape.
The amended Penal Code 2020 signed into law by Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna is at variant with the federal’s criminal law which prescribes a maximum of 21 years imprisonment for the offence.
According to the penal code, besides, convicts’ names are to be listed on the Sex Offenders Register that will be published by the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice.
The amended bill was passed into law on September 10, 2020 by the Kaduna State House of Assembly and was assented by Governor El-Rufai on September 17.
The state Law 2020 provides stiff penalties upon conviction for the rape of a child, including surgical castration for male convicts and bilateral salpingectomy for female convicts.
The governor on his Facebook, confirmed that the law updated the penalties for the offence of the rape of a child, which include the punishments of death.
Also the a statement by the Governor’s Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Mr Muyiwa Adekeye, said the new law has come into effect in Kaduna State.
It introduces stricter punishments than the previous law which carried a maximum penalty of 21 years imprisonment for the rape of an adult and life imprisonment for the rape of a child.
“Under the amended law, the punishment for the rape of a person older than 14 years will include surgical castration or removal of fallopian tubes, but the death penalty shall not apply.
“In cases where the rape convict is also a child, the court shall order an appropriate punishment under the Children and Young Persons Law Cap 26, Laws of Kaduna State 1991.’’
The Governor, he stated, sees that these drastic penalties are required to help further protect children from a serious crime.
Further, the law provides that whoever has sexual intercourse with a male child below the age of fourteen years shall be punished with surgical castration and or death.
Where a female adult is convicted for the offence of rape of a child, the Court shall punish the accused with Bilateral Salpingectomy and or death.
It stated that where the victim is above fourteen years, the Court shall on conviction sentence the accused with a punishment of surgical castration and life imprisonment.
“Where the convict is a child, the Court shall order as appropriate under the Children and Young Person Law Cap 26 Laws of Kaduna State 1991;
“Where the victim is a child, the Court shall in addition to the conviction, order that the convict be listed in the Sex Offenders Register to be published by the Attorney General.’’
The law stated that where the Court is trying the offence of rape involving a child below the age of fourteen years, corroboration of a medical report shall be necessary.
Meanwhile, the law has found favour among women right activists who expressed their support at two-day training programme organised by an NGO, Global Hope for Women Children Foundation (GLOHWOC ) for Kwara Rapid Response team on handling sexual violence, in Ilorin, Kwara state on Friday.
At the training, which was supported by Actionaid Nigeria and the Global Affairs Canada, Mrs Christy Abayomi-Oluwole, who is the Executive Director of the GLOHWOC, said that the newly passed law in Kaduna was appropriate and never too harsh for rapists.
She said it was appropriate to also push for the passage of such law in Kwara state under the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) bill.
“We also believe that what Kaduna State did can be replicated in Kwara because sexual abuse and rape are grievous offences. They are offences that shouldn’t be taken with levity.’’