Nigeria: Ekiti Plans Law Allowing Castration of Rapists

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11 October 2019

The Ekiti State Government is proposing an amendment to the Gender Based Violence (GBV, Prohibition) Law, to provide for the medical castration of those convicted of rape, in addition to life imprisonment.

The government said such provision would deter those involved in the crime.

The wife of the Ekiti State Governor, Bisi Fayemi, also suggested that the amendment of the law enacted in 2011 should include capital punishment.

These positions were advanced at the public hearing of the GBV amendment bill at the Ekiti State House of Assembly on Thursday.

The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Wale Fapohunda, in his presentation, said the amendment to the bill might include "medical castration, compulsory psychiatric test and disqualification of offenders from benefiting from any government social investment programmes."

"We plead with the assembly to have expeditious and holistic consideration of the amendment into this bill, because it is to provide legal framework for Governor Kayode Fayemi's zero tolerance for all forms of gender violence," he said.

"The increasing cases of rape and defiling of little children in Ekiti requires urgent attention.

"The amendment being sought may include imprisonment and medical castration of offenders among others not stipulated in the existing law."

'Overwhelming complaints'

Mrs Fayemi, who also made a presentation, said her office had been overwhelmed by complaints bordering on all forms of violence, particularly against women since 2018.

She said the amendment of the bill becomes imperative to give the victims a voice and for offenders to be held accountable.

The first lady added that the best form of injustice in any society is for offenders to be let off the hook without justifiable reasons.

She said strengthening the law will ensure punishment for violators and allow people to take ownership.

"To make the law effective, we are going to decentralise the referral centres and all the local governments will have one each," she said.

"You don't need to come to the state capital before lodging your complaints. The GBV Management Committee has been brought back to attend to complaints.

"I feel distressed to hear when we returned past year that the committee didn't meet for four years after we left.

"I am not the owner of the law, but for men and women in Ekiti. We only championed it. It is to protect us, our family and society against all forms of discrimination, so that we can all live a life of respect and dignity.

"Violence against women keeps increasing in Ekiti. We appeal to the House to pass this law expeditiously."

Meanwhile, the Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Funminiyi Afuye, and the Chairman, House Committe on Women Affairs, Adekemi Balogun, said the law when amended, would elevate gender issues to human rights in the state.

Mr Afuye added that there was need for people to be proactive to ensure that gender-based violence was banished in Ekiti.

"Rape and defilement have become epidemics in our society," said Mr Afuye."This bill will be given expeditious passage. Gender violence must not be tolerated in Ekiti."

"Ekiti must be a barometer to gauge how Nigeria is fighting the scourge and in doing this, we have to be proactive."

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