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Niger Assembly mulls death penalty, life sentence for sex offenders

As the the menace of rape increases across the country, Niger State House of Assembly yesterday called for a bill to provide for death penalty for rapists and life sentence for other sex-related offenses in the state.
This was just as the Assembly directed the Chief Judge of Niger State to designate a special court that would try rapists and sexual offenders.
However disturbed by the rise, a motion was tabled by Hon. Binta Mamman, representing Gurara Constituency on the matter, saying that rape was currently on the increase and assumed an alarming dimension that must be quickly tackled.
She recalled the case of late Uwa Omozuwa, a University of Benin student that was raped and killed in a church in Edo State, and in Niger State the two girls raped by their father for 10 years as well as the 85-year-old woman raped, among others. She said: “It is unacceptable to allow offenders go free.”
According to her, “Rape is unacceptable, it is highly degrading and most times the perpetrators get away with it due to pending cases in courts. And to make matters worse, victims of rape don’t report to avoid stigmatisation.
“We need stiffer punishment for these people, most of these sexual offenders commit these offences repeatedly and the most surprising thing is that this is not only for girls, it also implies to the boy child. If there is a stiffer punishment on the ground, these people will understand that what they are doing is wrong.”
While lamenting the prolong cases of sexual offences, which she said made such offenders walk freely, the legislator called on the House to direct the chief judge of the state to designate some courts that would trial such cases.
“This would ensure speedy trial of offenders and serve as deterrent to others. The cases are high now because people who commit these offences are not punished accordingly.”
Supporting the motion, other lawmakers condemned the dangerous turn that rape had taken in the county, while calling for stiffer punishment against perpetrators.
They likened rape to a pandemic that was worst than the current Coronavirus that was ravaging the the globe, recalling the story of a man that raped 40 women in the country.

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