SAHARANEWS – The Senate has taken the second reading of a bill seeking to remove gender restrictions in the offence of rape and related matters.
If passed, the bill will formally recognise men as victims of rape as applicable.
The bill also seeks to remove the statute of limitation on defilement, while it also seeks increased punishment for kidnapping.
Introduced by Senator Oluremi Tinubu (APC-Lagos Central) at the Senate plenary on Tuesday, the SB2 is “A Bill for an Act to amend the Criminal Code Act CAP C38 LFN 2004 to delete the Statute of Limitation on defilement, increase in punishment for the offences of kidnapping, remove gender restrictions in the offence of rape and for related matters, 2019 (SB. 2).”
In response, Senator Bala Na’allah (APC-Kebbi South) expressed support for the bill, but noted that the amendments to criminal code being sought are limited in application to southern states.
Na’allah said, “The criminal code that sought to be amended is only applicable to the southern states.
“The intent of this Bill is to make it on general application in Nigeria, and that is why we must commend Senator Tinubu for this.
“The issue of rape has been a very difficult provision in our statue and dates back to the English Law.”
Also speaking in support, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha (PDP-Taraba South) said, “I think this is a bold step in the right direction. I think this is quite commendable.”
Senator Adamu Aliero (PDP-Kebbi Central) also expressed support for the bill, saying, “I commend the mover of this Bill and I urge my colleagues to do the same.”
Speaking in the same vein, Senator Ajibola Basiru (APC-Osun Central) said, “I stand to support that the Bill be allowed for second reading.
“The content of the Bill is very germane. I am happy to be associated with the sponsor and I urge my colleagues to support this Bill for an expeditious passage.”
The bill then passed second reading.
In response, Senate President Ahmad Lawan referred the Bill to the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, urging them to report within four weeks. (Punch)