Defilement: Lawyer decries increase in abuse of minors



 A Legal practitioner, Mr Isaiah Ode, has decried the rising incidents of  defilement, as well as other forms of abuse of minors the country.

Ode made his feelings known an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Thursday.

“Increase defilement cases is a warning sign of lawlessness the society.

“Sex believe that they easily get away with anything after committing the crime,” he noted.

Ode, who defined defilement as sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 18, with or without consent, noted that “most perpetrators of the crime are males who are often known to victims.”

He listed such persons to include family members, including fathers, brothers and uncles, as well as friends, neighbours, teachers and others.

According to him, defilement is a serious crime that even prove fatal, and also create long term psychological trauma for victims.

“The child may suffer mental disorder, poor concentration at school, and other emotional and psychological problems.

may affect marriage in future as many do not recover from the trauma of the abuse,” he said.

He further said some of the abused children always intimidated by family members not to press charges or testify against the offender of stigmatisation.

Ode, who explained that defilement also included other criminal acts such as child abuse and indecent treatment of a child, added that the State Criminal Law, 2015 Section 137 stipulates life imprisonment for defilement.

He, however, expressed disappointment that only a few of the had been convicted of such crimes.

He urged judges and magistrates to sanction culprits in accordance to stipulations of criminal laws of the land.

“The Judiciary should not shy away from handing out maximum punishment to when the occasion demands, to serve as deterrent to others.

“Unless the police and the judiciary take tough action against these wrongdoers, the crime will continue,” he said.

Ode called for training and retraining of all judicial workers as another way of combatting the crime.

“We should put more energy into advocacy. The same way there are campaigns against corruption, we should have more campaigns against defilement,” he added. (NAN)

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