Abuja — Nigeria's commercial state of Lagos is advocating for a minimum of 25 years imprisonment for rapist and perpetrators of domestic violence.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode said strict punitive measures would serve as a deterrent to perpetrators of the violent crimes in the conflict-prone country.
"Rape should not be met with light sentencing. The minimum sentence of 25 years is highly recommended," Ambode said.
He welcomed the decision by the Lagos State Judiciary to establish a Sexual Offences Court and lauded the State House of Assembly for enacting legislation against domestic violence and the violation of minors' rights.
"All these efforts are geared towards providing a solid platform for waging the war against sexual and gender based violence," the governor said.
Mudashiru Obasa, Speaker of the Lagos House of Assembly, also endorsed the minimum sentence of 25 years for rape.
"Lagos has set the pace in putting issues of rape, domestic violence, child abuse and others on the front burner. The coming together of the three arms of governments proves political will to fight the menace into a standstill," Obasa said.
In Nigeria, weak legal sanctions and enforcement are blamed for incidents of rape.
Nigeria is also struggling to address the menace of the Boko Haram terror group, whose members are accused of sexually violating hundreds of civilians they have kidnapped in their violent attempt to overthrow the government.