Gbajabimila to engage State Assemblies on domestication of anti-rape laws

The Speaker of the , Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, he will engage Speakers of State Houses of Assemblies domestications of laws against rape.

Gbajabiamila said this while receiving a delegation of 12 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), in his office Friday in Abuja.

Gbajabimila said that he would engage state assembly speakers the urgent need to domesticate the Child Right Act and the Violence Against Persons Act.

“I aware that over 20 are yet to domesticate the Child Right Act and the Violence Against Persons Act.

“Next week, I will have a zoom meeting with all the speakers and I hope that at the end, these Acts will be domesticated across the 36 ,” he said.

According to the speaker, all the 360 members of the house are solidly behind the fight against rape.

The lawmaker said that the house was very emphatic about rape and that it was in line with the Legislative Agenda of the 9th .

Gbajabimila said that the ban on sexual harassment was very low in penalty in the country compared to developed countries.

”In some countries, just complementing a woman can be sexual harassment depending on how she feels but here you can even stroke her hair,” he said.

He stressed the need to tighten the laws on rape particularly as regards consent manner that it would be .

Gbajabimila said that for some who are not so strong, rape was like a death sentence as they live with the scar for the rest of their life.

He said that the house had directed the clerk to write to the National Orientation (NOA) to commence aggressive awareness against rape.

The speaker said that the house would ensure that police officers handling rape-related issues were well trained in the technicalities required so as to secure convictions in court.

Earlier, leader of the delegation Chioma Aguegbo said that since 2015, when the Child Right Act and the Violence Against Persons Act were passed, only about six had domesticated the anti rape laws.

She said that the CSOs had compiled a list of 100 reported rape cases across the country from January to date

Aguegbo said that the group had come to solicit the support of the house to rape to its knees.

She said that the group had met with the Police and would also meet with Federal Executive Council and the Nigeria Governors Forum on the matter.

Another member of the delegation, Miss Dorothy Njemanze, said that she was a of sexual and domestic violence.

Njemanze said that she was now living her live to fight the crime but not much success was being recorded.

According to her, we want government to make it a criminal case where families drop rape cases because of fear of stigma.

Njemanze also said that there was need to make to detect rape free so that all victims would be able to prove their case irrespective of social stratification.

The CSOs include ActionAid, Dorathy Njemanze Foundation, Sexual Assault Referral Centre, TechHer NG among others. . (NAN)