Incidents of rape and other gender-based violence have been around but have escalated during the COVID-19 lockdown.
This is according to the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, who gave an update on cases of sexual violence reported in parts of the country.
He made the remarks on Monday while briefing State House correspondents after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The police boss revealed that between January and May, about 717 rape incidents were reported across the country.
He stated that during the period, the police arrested about 799 suspects in connection with rape cases.
“The Nigeria Police, so far from January 2020 till May 2020, we have recorded about 717 rape incidents that are reported across the country, and about 799 suspects were so far arrested with 631 of them (the cases) conclusively investigated and charged to court and we have so far about 52 cases remaining that are under investigation,” the IGP told reporters.
He added, “The police and other security agencies and other Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) have been collaborating, to see to it that these cases of rape and gender-based violence are dealt with.”
Adamu described rape as a very wicked offence, stressing that it was wicked of anyone to engage in defilement.
According to him, some commit the crime for ritual purposes and others do it because they have the urge to take advantage of their victims.
The police boss, therefore, called on the people to ensure rapists and other perpetrators of sexual violence do not go without being punished for their action.
He said, “I will call on every Nigerian that comes across any victim of sexual offences, rape, or gender-based violence to quickly report to law enforcement agents because keeping it without reporting will give room for the perpetrators to continue to commit the offences.”
The IGP briefed reporters in company with the Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, and the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed.