Convicted rapist may soon be made to face death sentence if a bill tagged, “A Law to Eliminate Violence in Private and Public Life, Prohibit all forms of Violence Against Persons and to Provide Maximum Protection and Effective Remedies for Victims and Punishment of Offenders and for Related Matters,” brought before the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly at its plenary on Thursday, July 18th 2019 is duly passed by the house and subsequently receives the assent of Governor Udom Emmanuel.
The Legislative House currently presided over by Speaker Aniekan Bassey, moved by the current spate of violent crimes in Nigeria, were compelled to impose more severe sanctions of offenders as a deterrent measure.
The Deputy Leader of the House, Rt. Hon. Aniefiok Dennis who represent Etinan State constituency and fifteen other members of the house co-sponsored the billl.
Rt Hon. Dennis, roundly condemned recent violent crimes in the state and held that proposed law is meant to protect women, children and other vulnerable persons against not only rape but also cases of abandonment, circumcision, domestic and economic abuses.
He also said that there are recommendations for penalties against forced financial dependence, sexual exploitation, emotional, verbal and psychological abuse that will serve to discourage potential offenders from these acts.
Representative of Ibesikpo Asutan State Constituency Rt. Hon. Aniekan Uko who is one of the co-sponsors of the Bill, argued that violent crimes were not only particular to women, and that the Bill when passed into law, will also protect the men from all forms of harassment.
Rt. Hon. Nse Essien, Member representing Onna State Constituency, who is also a co-sponsor of the Bill asserted that the Bill also seeks to criminalize harmful traditional practices and drum up support from all quarters for the bill to see the light of the day.
Others, who spoke in support of the Bill, including the Member representing Ika/Etim Ekpo State Constituency, Hon. Mfon Idung, that of Ini, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekpenyong; Abak State Constituency, Hon. Udeme Otong;
Ikot Abasi/Eastern Obolo State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Uduak Odudu and Member Ukanafun State Constituency, Dr. (Mrs) Charity Ido, lauded the lead sponsor, Rt. Hon. Aniefiok Dennis for leading the team to make the new law which will further promote peace in the state.
In his remarks, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey, who lauded members for their interests in the Bill, referred it to the House Committee on Woman Affairs, Social Welfare and Cooperative and directed the committee to report back to the House within one month.