Nigerian senators have demanded that convicted rapists be punished with the death penalty to address the worrying cases of rape gaining steam in the country.
Senators believe the death penalty will go a long way in discouraging rape crimes.
During plenary on Tuesday, July 9, 2019, Senator Rose Oko (Cross River North – PDP) moved the motion for lawmakers to review existing laws that’ll discourage rape crimes sweeping the nation.
She said the worrying increase in the rape of women and minors must not be allowed to continue.
Other senators who contributed to the motion pushed for the death penalty to be introduced as a deterrent to end the scourge of rape crimes in the country.
Senator Thompson Sekibo (Rivers East – PDP) said the implementation of the death penalty would ensure that justice is done for the victims.
“We should make it a death penalty. By the time you kill two people, people would have learnt and they will stop it,” he said.
Senator Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos Central – APC), also backed the proposal to introduce the death penalty, urging the Senate to take the lead in putting an end to the scourge of rape crimes.
“Children are the most vulnerable group. Whoever is involved in acts like this, should face death. I think rape of a minor deserves a death sentence. This is what we need to do to stop this madness,” she said.
Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi West – PDP) and Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (Niger North – APC) also said a stiffer punishment is needed to arrest the situation.
“This issue is not only satanic, it is also wicked. This is one of the satanic manifestations in the country.
“If we don’t propose stiffer punishment, people will continue to get away with it,” Melaye said.
Abdullahi said a sex offenders’ register should also be created to further deter people from committing rape.
“It is time for us to look at our laws and put sex or rape offenders on a register anywhere in the country,” he said.
Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege (Delta Central – APC), said attention must also be paid to sentencing guidelines. He also called for the review of clemency privileges.
He said, “There should be a minimum sentencing timeline, it will help. We need to look at the status regulating the prerogative of mercy.
“We have governors and state chief judges setting free prisoners. I believe we should focus on these areas. We should have the sex offenders register.”
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan (Yobe North – APC), said rape should not be tolerated and urged lawmakers to review and make laws that discourage others from committing such a crime.
The upper legislative chamber of the National Assembly called on the Nigeria Police Force to diligently deal with sexual abuse cases.
The senators resolved that the relevant Senate committees, when constituted, will push for the implementation of extant laws on rape of women and defilement of minors.