Senate Endorses Life Jail For Rapists & Those Who Infect People With HIV Deliberately

Senate on Wednesday prescribed life imprisonment for rapists and other sexual offenders.

This followed the passage of the Sexual Offences Bill which prescribes life jail for sexual offenders including rape, child sex tourism and people who deliberately infect others with the Human Immuno Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS).

The Bill that was sponsored by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Navy, Senator Chris Anyanwu, is expected to get the concurrence of the House of Representatives on Thursday.

The Bill also prescribed life imprisonment for gang rape and 10 years jail for Inbreeding and child pornography respectively or a fine of N2million
Other sexual offences would also attract 14 years jail term.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Umaru Dahiru, in his report said the Bill is meant to redefine and consolidate existing laws on sexual offences.

Senator Anyanwu, however expressed joy over the passage of the Bill which was introduced in Senate in 2013.

According to her, the Sexual Offences Bill “seeks to make a comprehensive legislation on sexual offences by criminalising certain acts such as sexual tourism, child pornograhpy and cultural and religious sexual offences in our criminal jurisprudence.

“The Bill also provides for effective witness protection programme in order 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 addition, the new sexual offences Bill has criminalized acts of people who deliberately lace drinks with drugs with intent to stupefy and sexually abuse them.

It also frowns at having sexual relations with people with mental disabilities, among others.

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