KANO State government has approved life jail sentence for any convicted rapist.Solicitor General of the state, Barrister Sani Daniji, who disclosed the new development, told journalists that this review which was submitted by the state Justice Sector Reform Committee has been approved by the government due to increasing cases of rape of minors in recent time.
Frowning at the current rate of sexual assault and gender-based violence in Kano, Sani posited that the new law would be enforced without fear or favour.
Sani, who spoke at the Justice for all (J4A) conference on Integrated Response to Sexual and Gender-based Violence, maintained that government efforts through the Justice Sector Reform Committee on sexual assault is currently yielding positive result with significant number of cases being reported for investigation and persecution.
“We now have reasons to celebrate because of the positive response in the number of reported cases. We are currently investing on media campaign against sexual assault and the need for people to report their case to security agencies or the government for immediate action. Before now many people are being stigmatised in their environment and that is the major reason why people don’t report their cases.”
The solicitor general assured Justice for All of government support to effectively execute its project, calling for civil society group, media and community leaders to support government to check the ugly trend.
National Programme Manager J4A, Dr. Bob Arnon, explained that the project, being funded by UK Department of International Development (DFID) was initiated to fight sexual and gender-based violence in Nigeria through its Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) in Lagos and Enugu.
Dr. Bob emphasized J4A’s collaboration with security apparatus, ministries of justice and civil society organisations to bring justice to rape victims in the country.
Lamenting difficulty in proving evidence on the part of rape victims before the law court, Bob posited that J4A is strengthening training of medical personnel and security officers on forensic analysis to prove the technicalities against suspected rapists.
“SARCs is being supported and funded to coordinate our civil organisations, ministries of health and justice and other collaborating groups including the security agencies to fight sexual assault. Through these efforts we provide medical and counseling services to almost 1,200 survivors of sexual assault, 800 of whom are under 18 in Enugu and Lagos states.”
He noted that the conference was organised to review its activities in Enugu and Lagos as well as draw plans to tackle emerging challenges, adding that J4A is working with Justice Sector Reform Committee in Kano, Jigawa and Niger states ahead of SARCs implementation in those states.