Kaduna Govt. Proposes Life Jail For Rapists

Kaduna Govt. Proposes Life Jail For RapistsWorried by the rising cases of sexual assault against minors in Kaduna, the State Government is proposing a life jail sentence as punishment for rapists in the new Child Right Bill that has been forwarded to the State House of Assembly for passage into law.

The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Amina Sijuade, disclosed this during the commissioning of the Sexual Assault Reform Centre at Gwamna Awan General Hospital in the state capital.

The Commissioner explained that the decision became necessary, following incessant cases of rape, particularly of minors, being recorded frequently in the state.

The Commissioner, after commissioning the Sexual Assault Reform Centre, said that the centre would work closely with security agencies and hospitals in order to achieve the desired objective.

“The Ministry of Justice has already designated a gender desk officer who will prepare all legal documents for legal action for victims.

“Also, all the officials that will work at the centre have already been trained with support from the Department for International Development (DFID).

“This initiative will greatly help in curbing the alarming rate of violence and sexual assault against minors in the state,’’ she said.

She spoke further: “Already there is a review of the penal code for the 19 northern states. This initiative was chaired by myself together with all the attorney-generals of the 19 northern states. And in the penal code, what we did was we escalated the penalty for rape in response to calls by the public.

“What we are proposing is life imprisonment for rapists. Definitely it will help address the menace not just for minors but rape generally of both sexes. We emphasize the importance of traditional rulers in this fight, the community and religious leaders and lastly the media.

“Most of the reports on rape come from the communities where community and religious leaders are in charge, and the fight against it and sensitization cannot be successful without their help.

“So, they will be engaged in sensitizing their communities. The media is also crucial to this and we have commenced sensitization on radio and television. And we solicit for your cooperation.”

The Sexual Assault Referral Centre would be run by the Ministry of Justice, in partnership with the Ministry of Women and Social Development, Ministry of Health and other relevant agencies.

Incidences of rape are becoming rampant in Kaduna state. It is particularly disturbing that the offenders are mostly elderly men whose victims are toddlers and minors within the age range of three to six.

In most cases the suspects are related to the victims.

Generally, rape laws in a lot of countries are strictly clarified and efficient in terms of implementation. The same cannot be said of Nigeria where no capital punishment is meted against those that have been caught in such act.

Sadly, while the suspects suffer light or no punishment at all, their victims would have to contend with the trauma that comes with being a rape victim.

Agency To Build New Facilities To Decongest Prisons

nigerian prisonThe Nigerian Prison Service is planning to build new prisons and renovate the old ones, as part of effort by the current administration to decongest the prisons across the nation, the Comptroller General of the Prison Service, Dr. Peter Ekpendu, has said.

Dr. Ekpendu gave the hint during the commissioning of the Zaria Prison that was renovated by the Kaduna State government.

Some aggrieved inmates of the prison had on May 28, set the detention facility ablaze during a riot, while two inmates escaped.

During an inspection tour to assess the level of damage at the prison, Governor Nasir El-Rufai, approved the sum of 24 million Naira for the renovation of the facility.

Riots and jail breaks in Nigerian prisons have become a phenomenon that have more or less become part and parcel of issues of great concern in the administration of justice, prisons management and national security.

Some of the causes of most of the riots in prisons in Nigeria include congestion in cells, poor feeding of inmates, lack of court appearance, poor medical attention and facilities and harsh punishment in prisons among others.

The Zaria prisons built in 1903 is not an exception, as it witnessed an attempted jail break on May 28, 2015.

At the commissioning of the renovated building were the Controller General of the Service accompanied by the representative of the Kaduna State Governor, Amina Sijuade and heads of other security agencies.

The Controller General said the renovation of old prison building and the construction of new ones had become very important to decongest detention centres across the nation and give them the necessary infrastructural facelift required in line with international standards.

While acknowledging that Prisons Service was within the exclusive list in Nigeria, he urged Governors to help the Federal Government improve prison facilities in their respective states.

The State Commissioner of Police, Umar Shehu, who was also at the event, assured Nigerians of the readiness of his command to collaborate with the Nigerian Prison Service for speedy dispensation of justice, as a way to further decongest the prisons.

NPS To Build New Prisons, Renovate Old Ones

NPS To Build New Prisons, Renovate Old OnesThe Controller-General of the Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS), Dr. Peter Ekpendu, says the service is planning to build new prisons and renovate the old ones as part of effort by the current administration to decongest the prisons across the country.

He disclosed this in the presence of a representative of the Kaduna State Governor, Amina Sijuade, the Controller of Prisons in the state, Abubakar Garba as well as the state’s Commissioner of Police, Umar Shehu, during the commissioning of the Zaria Prison that was renovated by the State government.

Some aggrieved inmates of the prison had on May 28, set part of the detention facility ablaze during a riot, while two inmates escaped.

During an inspection tour to assess the level of damage at the prison, Governor Nasir El-Rufai had released the sum of 24 Million naira for the renovation of the damaged facility.

The Controller-General stressed the importance to decongest detention centres across the country and give them the necessary infrastructural face-lift required in line with international standards.

Acknowledging that Prisons Service was within the exclusive list in Nigeria, Dr. Ekpendu challenged state governors in the country to help the Federal Government improve prison facilities in their respective states.

The state’s Commissioner of Police also pledged the readiness of his command to collaborate with the NPS for speedy dispensation of justice as a way to further decongest the prisons.