Rapists to get life imprisonment as Senate passes bill into law

In the bill, gang rape will attract life imprisonment, 10 years for incest, another 10 years imprisonment for child pornography or more.

Nigeria's Senate Chamber

The Senate has approved life imprisonment penalty for anyone found guilty of rape, child sex tourism or deliberate passage of HIV/AIDS to innocent citizens, and other sexual offences.

As contained in the Sexual Offences Bill sponsored by Senator Chris Anyanwu, which was passed into law on Wednesday, June 3, gang rape will attract life imprisonment, 10 years for incest, another 10 years imprisonment for child pornography or more and a fine of N2 million as well as 14 years jail term for sexual offences.

The Chairman of the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matter, Umaru Dahiru, while presenting the report in the chamber said the bill seeks to redefine and consolidate existing laws on sexual offences.

The bill has been pending since in the Senate since 2913.

Anyanwu, the sponsor of the bill, said it “seeks to make a comprehensive legislation on sexual offences by criminalising certain acts such as sexual tourism, child pornography and cultural and religious sexual offences in our criminal jurisprudence.

“The new law also provides for effective witness protection programme to protect victims and witnesses in trial for sexual offences.

“It also provides for compulsory documentation, supervision of sexual offenders and medical treatment for victims, which is in line with the global trend and finally, and most importantly, it provides for adequate and stringent punishments to perpetrators.”

In what came as a shock on Wednesday, the Senate passed 45 other bills into law.

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