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Osinbajo: We’ll punish rapists, perpetrators of gender-based violence

Following the spate of sexual assault in the country, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has assured Nigerians that the Federal Government will continue to work with all actors to detect and punish perpetrators of gender-based violence, rape and other related assault.

The vice president also disclosed that the present administration will continue to use the platform of the National Economic Council to encourage states that are yet to domesticate the Violence Against Person’s Prohibition Act of 2015 and the Child Rights Act of 2003 to do so.

Osinbajo made this declaration on Friday at a virtual meeting organized by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on the Scourge of Rape, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Nigeria.

This is contained in a statement made available to the media by his spokesperson, Laolu Akande today.

“On June 11, State Governors, under the auspices of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), agreed to declare a state of emergency on rape and gender-based violence against women and children, while renewing their commitment to ensuring that offenders face the full weight of the law.

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“Similarly, the President, in his June 12 address to Nigerians, reiterated government’s determination to fight gender-based violence through the instrumentality of the law and awareness creation,’’ he said.

According to him, there is need to look beyond just legislation to fix the problem, but rather, interrogate the deeply dysfunctional cultures, the systemic flaws in our institutions and the perverse social norms which enable sexual and gender-based violence.

Osinbajo also acknowledged that the Women Affairs Ministry, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, the International Community and several Civil Society Organizations had also been at the forefront of finding solutions and transformative strategies to address the root causes of gender-based violence.

Meanwhile, the past few weeks have seen many Nigerians calling for severe punishment for convicted rapists in the country.

Earlier in the week, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, updated President Muhammadu Buhari on gender-based and sexual violence across the nation and the efforts of the Police towards addressing the menace.

Adamu said that law enforcement agents have been dealing with all reported rape incidents and gender-based violence in Nigeria.

The IGP disclosed that the Police had recorded about 717 rape incidents across the country between Jan. and May 2020.

He disclosed that 799 suspects had so far been arrested, 631 cases conclusively investigated and charged to court, while 52 cases are still under investigation.

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