By Chinenye Festus:-
A new law that will enable judges hand down life Imprisonment to sexual molesters or anyone convicted of rape henceforth has been enacted by the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Dr Udom Emmanuel.
Speaking after the bill was assented to by the governor, the commissioner for agriculture and women affairs, Dr Glory Edet, while signing of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law, VAPPL, 2020 describes VAPPL as a sledgehammer for rapists and perpetrators of gender-based violence.
Her words: “I think this is one of the best things that has happened to protect the female gender and as the commissioner overseeing women matters, I believe the women of Akwa Ibom, the children and even our men are happy because this law will really teach defaulters a lesson.
“This law allows for the implementation of a lot of things we were praying for and prescribes stiffer punishment for violators of the Child’s Right Act, perpetrators of violence against citizens of both genders.
“Before now violators of the female gender had some years to spend in prison but VAPPL recommends life imprisonment to really deal with the offenders and discourage the spate of violence in our society.”
The state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Uwemedimo Nwoko on his part, revealed the law also provides 14 years imprisonment for perpetrators of gender-based violence and any kind of sexual offence other than rape.
He said the law also provides a penalty of a life sentence for rapists.
Recall, that since this issue of rape became more prevalent in recent times, a lot of individuals, stakeholders and civil societies have lent their voices adopting stiffer punishment for perpetrators of this wicked act..