Sokoto Prescribes Life Imprisonment For Sexual Assault, Others
NOVEMBER 26, 2020
ABUBAKAR AUWAL, SOKOTO
The Sokoto State government has prescribed life imprisonment for gender-based violence (GBV) and other forms of attack against persons.
Governor Aminu Tambuwal disclosed this on Wednesday at the commissioning of Sexual Assault and Referral Centre named after the daughter of the great Islamic Reformer, Sheikh Usman Bin Fodiyo, Nana Khadija.
According to the governor, the state had re-enacted Sokoto State Penal Code law 2019 which had since been assented to and gazetted.
He explained that there was a chapter in the law which prescribed life imprisonment for violence against persons and gender-based violence.
“Before, such offences got lenient sentences as low as two years. But now, it is life imprisonment and fine ranging from N50,000 and up to one million Naira,” the governor who was represented by the state commissioner for justice, Sulaiman Usman, said.
The governor also said there was no option of a fine in respect of gender-based violence and the sentences had been increased.
He reiterated the readiness to partner with any agency and organisation to end violence against women in the state.
Commissioning the centre, the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Paulin Tallen, said one in every three girls would have experienced at least one form of sexual abuse by the time they reach 25 years.
According to Tallen, there were 28 Sexual Assault and Referral Centres (SARCs) across Nigeria.
She added that these centres had assisted over 15, 000 survivors of sexual assault, the majority of who were under 18 years old.
She said medical workers at all the 28 centres were trained in forensic medical examination procedures and documentations as well as in the provision of psycho-social services to survivor of sexual assault.
However, the minister appealed to the state government to domesticate the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act, 2015 and the Child Rights Act, 2003.
In her remarks, the Managing Partner of Nana Khadija Centre, Mrs Eze Itoro Anaba, said they had so far received over 200 cases of sexual assault.