Thursday, October 16, 2014 5:16 pm
The Nigerian Senate on Thursday passed the bill for an Act to prohibit violence against persons, with provisions strengthening sanctions against offenders, including life jail for rapists.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Victor Ndoma-Egba, was passed at Thursday’s plenary and it was approved with favourable voice votes. It will need concurrence by the House of Representatives and President Goodluck Jonathan’s signature to become law.
Speaking at the session, Senate President, David Mark, said the legislation would address some of the evil customs of the society, adding that the law would sufficiently protect the people from the excesses of such devilish people.
The legislation seeks to eliminate violence in private and public life.
It specifically prohibits all forms of violence, ranging from physical, sexual, psychological, domestic, harmful traditional practices and discrimination, against persons.
It provides maximum protection and effective remedies for victims and punishment for offenders.
The proponents of the bill had argued that the right of persons to freedom and security must be guaranteed.
Sections one and two of the legislation have now increased punishment for rape and other forceful sexual activities.
A person convicted under the section, according to the bill, is liable to imprisonment for life
However, where the victim is less than 14 years of age, the offender shall be liable to a minimum of 14 years imprisonment.
“Where the act described under this section is committed by a group of persons, the offence shall be known as gang rape.