Sokoto State House of Assembly
Sokoto State House of Assembly has passed a bill for a law to supplement the provisions of the Penal code law, 2019 and provide for the punishment of offences relating to Gender-Based Violence (GBV).
The bill was passed on Wednesday after a motion was moved by the All Progressive Congress (APC) leader of the Assembly Bello Ambarura (APC-Illela) following the consideration of the House Committee on Judiciary, Justice and Human Rights report at W
The Committee Chairman, Maidawa Kajiji (APC-Shagari), said that the committee consulted all stakeholders to ensure proper recommendations on the Bill.
The Committee, he added, recommended that an interpretation section be created in the Bill on all phrases relating to violence against a person that includes abandonment of women, children, circumcision of a girl or women, domestic relationship and violence among others.
According to him, a provision for compensation of victims should be created and the court shall in addition to penalties provided for the offences, award appropriate compensation to the victim as it may deem fit in the circumstance.
The chairman said whoever is found guilty of rape shall be punished with imprisonment for life or for a term of not less than 21 years, provided that the offender is 14 years of age shall be liable to imprisonment for a term, not more than 14 years, while below shall be less than 12 years.
He said in the case of rape by a group of persons, the offenders are jointly liable to a term of imprisonment of not less than 25 years imprisonment without an option of fine, while any person who rapes a child shall be liable to life imprisonment.
Kajiji also said that a register for convicted sexual offenders shall be maintained in the Bill and made accessible to the public.
“A person who performs female circumcision or mutilation commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding four years or fine not less than N200,000 or both.
“A person who abandons a wife or husband, children or other dependents without any means of sustenance shall serve imprisonment term not exceeding three years or fine not exceeding N500,000 or both and pay compensation in addition,” he said.
The Lawmaker further said that a provision for the establishment of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) offences response team in each of the three Senatorial District be provided in the Bill.
He said this should include representatives of the ministries of justice, women and children affairs, social welfare, and health as well as Nigeria Police, Civil Defense Corps and CSOs.
“The team shall be responsible for the monitoring of the SGBV cases, to provide legal, medical, emergency assistance, counselling and psychological and psycho-social support to survivors,” he added.
The members unanimously accepted the committee’s 34 number recommendations on the Bill in a voice vote presided over by Deputy Speaker Abubakar Magaji.