The Nigerian lawmakers approved the bill on Tuesday. The House of Representatives in Abuja on Tuesday approved life imprisonment for any person convicted of rape. In addition, persons convicted of gang raping a victim shall be liable jointly and severally to a minimum of 20 years imprisonment without the option of fine.
The decisions followed the adoption of a report on a Bill for an Act to Eliminate Violence in Private and Public Life; Prohibit all Forms of Violence, Harmful Traditional Practices against Persons. The bill seeks to safeguard the rights of vulnerable persons, particularly the girl- child, women and girls, against private and domestic violence. The bill was sponsored by Abike Dabiri-Erewa (ACN-Lagos), the Chairman of the House Committee on Diaspora.
Mrs. Dabiri-Erewa said it had become expedient for the bill to become law going by the rising cases of violence against persons in Nigeria. The bill also approved 25 years imprisonment for any person who attempted to use chemical, biological or any harmful liquid on another person.
It also provides that any person who incites, aids, abets, or counsels another person to commit violence is guilty of the offence and liable on conviction to three years imprisonment or N200, 000 fine or both Accordingly, any person convicted of performing female circumcision and general mutilation or engaging someone to carry it out risks four years in jail or a fine not more than N200,000 or both.
Aiding female circumcision attracts N100, 000 or two years in jail or both. Any person convicted of frustrating investigation and prosecution of offenders is guilty of felony and liable on conviction to imprisonment of not more than three years or a fine not exceeding N500, 000.
The bill will only become law after the Senate concurs to it and the President signs it.