Sokoto — The Sokoto State House of Assembly has passed a law that prescribes a minimum of 14 years jail term for anyone found guilty of rape, homosexuality, lesbianism and child defilement.
This followed an amendment of the Penal Code Law CAP 96 of Sokoto State of Nigeria 1996.
The bill for a law to amend the provisions of the Penal Code CAP 96 of Sokoto State was sponsored by Bello Muhammad.
After it passed second reading, it was referred to the committee on judiciary for further legislative action.
In its report, the committee recommended a minimum of 14 years imprisonment for rape, homosexuality, lesbianism and child defilement.
The committee also recommended that: “The sum of N50, 000 fine as proposed in the bill shall be dropped so as to give judges discretion to prescribe higher amounts”.
The bill provides that rape victims shall be entitled to adequate compensation in medication and rehabilitation.
The committee also called on government to employ strict measures in checking the menace of sexual harassment in educational institutions and offices.
Commenting on the bill, Bello Muhammad said: “It is aimed at maintaining and safeguarding the morality and dignity of mankind. The novelty of this bill is intended to really address the issues of rape, lesbianism, sexual harassment.”
He said during the discussions on the bill, meaningful contributions were made by 21 organizations which include state Ministry of Justice, office of the Head of Service, Shari’ah Court of Appeal, Sokoto State Police Command, Child Protection Network, Coalition of Non-Governmental Organizations, Nigerian Union of Teachers, Council of Ulamas, Christian Association of Nigeria among others.