Nigeria’s House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government to immediately set up special courts to try rape cases and other sexual and gender-based violence.
This was sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion by Rep. Unyime Idem (PDP-Akwa Ibom) at the plenary on Tuesday.
Moving the motion earlier, Idem recalled that in the mist of COVID-19 pandemic, the pandemic of rape and gender violation increased in the country.
According to him, the Nigerian Police Force has reported a surging record between January 2020 and May 2020 of more than 717 rape cases formally reported, an average of 143 cases per month and around five cases per day.
The lawmaker described rape as a gross violation of human rights which include right to dignity, right to life and right to sexuality.
“The victims of rape should not be stigmatized by the society but rather encouraged to speak up and out when they fall victims of the act.
“The Federal Government should without delay launch a national campaign against rape and gender-based violence, the campaign which should include advocacy, public sensitisation and social mobilisation.
“Also the campaign is necessary not only to raise the level of awareness about rape and gender-based violence but to ensure that Nigerians own the fight against the abhorrent and repulsive criminal acts,” he said.
The house condemned in strong terms the act of rape and all other gender-based violence over the past months in the country.
The green chambers urged the Federal Government to set up accelerated court hearing mechanism and prosecution for rape and other sexual based violence case.
In his ruling, the Speaker of the house, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, mandated the House Committee on Women Affairs and Social Development, Federal Judiciary and Human Rights to ensure implementation.
He mandated the committee to liaise with relevant government’s regulatory agencies and ensure compliance with the appropriate resolution of the house and report to the house within two weeks.(NAN)