The Ekiti State Government has urged the state House of Assembly to rework the Gender-Based Violence Law (GBV) to carry more stringent capital punishment such as medical castration of rapists and defilers.
This, according to it, would be an addition to life jail-term prescribed in the law.
The state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Wale Fapohunda, who stated this at the public hearing organised by the House Committee on Women Affairs of the Ekiti House of Assembly yesterday, said the amendment into the bill sought to include medical castration, compulsory psychiatric test and disqualification of offenders from benefiting from any government prerogative of mercy granted to convicts.
She said her office had been overwhelmed with complaints bordering on all forms of violence, particularly against women since 2018, hence the amendment of the bill becomes imperative to give the victims voices 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, assuring that 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 councils will have one each. You don’t need to come to the state capital before lodging your complaints.
“The GVB management committee has been brought back to attend to complaints. I feel distressed to hear when we returned last year that the committee did not meet for four years after we left.
“I am not the owner of the law, but for men and women in Ekiti State. 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.”
Speaker of the House, Funminiyi Afuye and Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs, Adekemi Balogun, said the law, when amended, would elevate gender issues to human rights in the state.
Afuye said there was a need for people to be proactive to ensure that gender-based violence is banished in Ekiti State.
Another Student Allegedly Raped, Murdered in Ibadan
A post graduate student of the University of Ibadan, Azeezat Shomuyiwa, has been reportedly raped and murdered in Ibadan, Oyo State capital.
The police confirmed the murder but denied that the victim was raped.
She was attacked on Thursday at her house in Aba Ijefun, Akinyele Local Government Area of Ibadan.
The case is currently trending on Twitter.
Residents of the area told our correspondent that a stone used to kill Ms Shomuyiwa was found beside her bed with blood covering her body.
“The girl was raped and killed. As of this morning, police came to the place to arrest some people they suspected,” one resident said asking not to be named.
Another resident of the community, Aduwo Ayodele, told PREMIUM TIMES that “A bad incident happened in my community today. The lady was raped and Nigerian police force came to the place.”
When contacted, the Oyo Stats police spokesperson, Olugbenga Fadeyi, said the victim was murdered but there was no evidence of rape.
“Truly, the matter happened but it was not rape. She was attacked with stone on her head and left to die”, he said. “The police commiserated with the family”
Mr Fadeyi told PREMIUM TIMES that the commissioner of police was there with top officials of the security force.
“The commissioner already asked the deputy commissioner of police to take up the matter for proper investigation.”
Ms Shomuyiwa’s case happened barely 48 hours after 18-year-old Barakat Bello was gang-raped and murdered by unknown assailants in the same Ibadan.
Ms Bello was a student of Department of Science Laboratory Technology (SLT), Federal College of Animal Health and Production in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
It also occurs days after a female undergraduate of the University of Benin, Vera Omozuwa, died in a hospital after she was allegedly raped and assaulted in a church premises in Benin, the Edo State capital.
Activists have been calling on Nigeria authorities to deal more effectively with rapists through the strict enforcement of existing laws and promulgation of tougher sanctions.
On Friday, a coalition of civil society organisations and human rights activists held peaceful protests in the Federal Capital Territory and Lagos demanding a state of emergency to be declared on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in Nigeria.
The protest which took place at the police headquarters in both cities followed a perceived rise in the number of rape cases in Nigeria including the recent deaths of two rape victims.
Cops, Passers-by Feared Killed As Robbers Invade Police Station, Bank in Kogi
A yet-to-be ascertained number of police personnel and passers-by were feared killed when suspected armed robbers invaded the Isanlu branch of the First Bank of Nigeria Limited in Kogi State on Thursday.
A source told our correspondent that the robbers, numbering about seven, came in two vehicles, broke into the bank and shot dead several persons.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, William Ayah, who confirmed the attack, said there were casualties, but the command had yet to ascertain the number.
He said the state Commissioner of Police, Ede Ayuba, had detailed his deputy, Akeem Yusuf, to liaise with the Divisional Police Officer in Isanlu to get details of the incident and report back to him within 24 hours.
It was gathered that about seven security personnel on duty at the bank and some passers-by were killed by the robbers, who were angered by their inability to gain access into the banking hall.
The gunmen were also said to have invaded the Divisional Police Headquarters, Isanlu, and killed some policemen on duty.
Another Student Raped, Murdered in Ibadan
An 18-year-old student of the Federal College of Animal and Production Technology Moore Plantation, Apata, Ibadan, has been raped and killed in Ibadan.
The teenager, Barakat Bello, who was undertaking the National Diploma programme in Science Laboratory Technology, was reportedly attacked on June 1, 2020.
The development comes days after a first-year student of the University of Benin, Uwa Omozuwa, was raped and killed in a parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Edo State.
According to reports, the latest attack on 18-year-old Barakat took place at her home in Akinyele, Ibadan.
Initial reports stated that the corpse was found near the house.
The father of the deceased, Kasimu Elepo, told Sahara Reporters that he was not at home when the incident occurred.
He disclosed that the deceased’s sister was also out of the house at the time the tragic incident occurred.
According to him, the victim’s sister found Barakat’s body at the back of the house in a pool of blood when she returned from Qur’anic lessons.
He said, “I was not at home when the incident happened. The younger sister was not at home too, she went for Qur’anic lessons but when she returned home, she saw her at the back of the house with deep cuts all over her body. She had been raped and killed.
“Somebody called me on the telephone that I should come home but he refused to tell me what happened. When I got home, I saw that my daughter had been raped and stabbed to death.”
Meanwhile, the National Association of Nigerian Students, Zone D, has demanded justice for the victim, saying that the raping of women must stop.
The deceased, who was a member of the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, was buried on Tuesday according to Islamic rites.
The murder of the teenager has sparked protests on Twitter with the #JusticeforBarakat.
UK-based medical doctor, Harvey Olufunmilayo, said the rape ‘epidemic’ must be brought to an end.
He tweeted, “Barakat Bello was alone at home when some men attacked her. She was raped and killed. This was in Ibadan yesterday. She was only 18. Barakat was at home. She is a Muslim hijabi sister. You mad people that come up with excuses for rape, what is the excuse this time?”
Another tweet by @mideglow read, “This is becoming too much!!! We are tired of burying our sisters and friends. We are tired of molestation and rape! Capital punishment should be meted to the perpetrators.”
The Police Public Relations Officer, Oyo State Police Command, Olugbenga Fadeyi, said in a telephone interview with The PUNCH that although the report is trending online, the police could not confirm it at the moment, noting that the incident had not been reported.
He expressed dissatisfaction with the failure of the family of the deceased to report the case for an investigation to be carried out by the police.
“Effort is being intensified to confirm the credibility of the report. At present, the Divisional Police Officers, Oluyole, and Apata divisions were contacted but we found out that the address that was quoted is not correct. When I got the DPOs and I inquired, the two of them said at present, there is no such report in their record.
“It is very funny when some people are too much in a haste to post such things even if it happened truly. I am not saying it happened because our records have not shown that. But, let’s assume it happened, the family is supposed to make an official report; that is another problem.”