- Sexual molesters in Akwa Ibom may face up to life imprisonment in the state
- A new law assented to by the governor, will enable judges hand down life imprisonment to anyone convicted of rape in the state
- The law also provides 14 years imprisonment for perpetrators of any kind of sexual offence other than rape
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Sexual molesters in Akwa Ibom state may face up to life imprisonment following the signing of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law, VAPPL, 2020 by Governor Udom Emmanuel.
The new law will enable judges to hand down life imprisonment to anyone convicted of rape henceforth in the state.
Speaking after the bill was assented to by the governor, the commissioner for agriculture and women affairs, Dr Glory Edet, 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.”
Dr Edet noted that sensitization and awareness campaign on the new law will soon commence in the state.
Also speaking, the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Uwemedimo Nwoko said the law provides a penalty of a life sentence for rapists.
He revealed the law also provides 14 years imprisonment for perpetrators of gender-based violence and any kind of sexual offence other than rape.
Meanwhile, civil society groups on Tuesday, June 16, shutdown Otukpo, Benue in an awareness rally to end the scourge of rape in the community and the state at large.
The group, which staged a peaceful protest under the aegis of Benue Coalition Against Rape, (BeCare), lamented that the area had recorded 8 new rape cases in the last one week, describing the development as worrisome.
Convener of the coalition, Prince Yemi Itodo, while addressing the gathering said the march was to create awareness about the dangers of rape and the need to put an end to the menace.
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