LAGOS LAWMAKERS FROWNS AGAINST RAPE, DEFILEMENT OF MINORS, OTHERS. ***APPROPRIATION (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2020 SCALES THROUGH SECOND READING.
Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly during Plenary on Monday frowned at the alarming rate of domestic violence, rape, defilement of minor and other sexual abuses in the State; And therefore call on Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, the Executive Governor of Lagos State to direct the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command to ensure that offenders of domestic violence, including rape and defilement of minors are made to face the full weight of the law while the Judiciary should accelerate any rape or sexual assault cases against any gender.
The House also called on the Governor to direct the Commissioner for Information and Strategy to intensify efforts on the campaign against sexual abuses and sensitize members of the public to report any form of sexual assault to the appropriate authority in the State, and the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation to manage rape and sexual assault cases/victims.
The Speaker of the House Rt.hon.Mudashiru Obasa while condemning rape and its vices, urged parents to pay more attention to their minors to compliment the effort of the state which has provided laws to punish rapist and other sexual offenders.
Hon. Mojisola Alli-Macaulay, the prime mover of the motion expressed the need to curb incidences of rape, defilement of minors and other sexual abuses in the State, adding that some victims of sexual assault who were either minors, adult or aged female are left to the trauma and stigmatization of their fate in the society while the culprits move freely without fear of being apprehended and prosecuted.
She further stated that the weak enforcement of related laws, lack of education on how victims of the heinous act can seek redress, mistreatment of rape cases among others have created an environment where sexual abuse is perpetrated with impunity.
Hon.Macauley further said that only few offenders out of many reported cases were prosecuted and culprits convicted.
The Deputy Speaker, Hon. Wasiu Sanni-Eshinlokun speaking on this, said that “the rampancy of rape in the country is unnerving and there is need to recalibrate what rape is and what consent is”. He added that the mode of self defence should be taught in home, schools, and places of worship. Adding that there is a need to educate both genders on how to prevent oneself from being raped while victims should be encouraged to report and not be stigmatized.
Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, the Majority Leader of the House emphasized the need to have a remedy through justice for rape victims thereby ensuring that the accused when proven guilty is publicly shamed and serve community sentencing with rapist logo boldly written on their uniform for some time before serving jail term. This will serve as a means of deterring future occurrences. He added that Lagos Assembly has amended the laws to make rape perpetrators serve a life sentence a long time ago but proper enforcement and quick prosecution is needed.
In his contribution, Hon. Adedamola Kasumu said that “it is only a man that is suffering from mental illness that would rape. So, it will not be out of place to call on the National Assembly to review the criminal code while Lagos State law reform should come up with stringent penalties for the perpetrators of the menace.”
In another development, a bill for a law to amend the Appropriation Law, 2020 has scaled through the second reading.
The amendment is to revise the budget size of ₦1,168,561,893,990 (One Trillion, One Hundred and Sixty-Eight Billion, Five Hundred and Sixty-One Million, Eight Hundred and Ninety-Three Thousand, Nine Hundred and Ninety Naira) to be revised to ₦920,469,343,216 (Nine Hundred and Twenty Billion, Four Hundred and Sixty-Nine Million, Three Hundred and Forty-Three Thousand, Two Hundred and Sixteen Naira) for the year ending 31st December, 2020.
The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa thereafter committed the bill to the joint Committee on Economic Planning and budget; and Finance committee.