National Assembly has passed a bill removing gender restrictions on rape offences, therefore recognizing men as rape victims.
The bill which was sponsored by Remi Tinubu has already passed second reading.
Remi Tinubu has also pushed for stiffer penalties for rapists while seeking an amendment of the constitution to remove statute of limitations attached to rape.
Section 218 of the criminal code states ““anyone who has unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under the age of thirteen or attempts same is guilty of felony and liable to life imprisonment or fourteen years imprisonment, respectively.”
However, Senator Tinubu said the section of the constitution is limited as it only pursues cases reported two months after the act was committed.
“This is untenable in a country where investigations often take longer than two months”, Tinubu said.
“Considering the shortage of police personnel, relative to our population as prescribed by international standards, the two months limitation is unlikely to be met at all.
“With the development and innovation in forensic technology and the accessibility or otherwise of such infrastructure in Nigeria, rushed investigations with a view to commencing prosecutions within a two month period leave a possibility of a huge margin for error.”
The Senator in her argument further said, the law recognizing only women as rape victims was grievous, saying it fuels the popular belief that men’s consent need not be sought on sexual relations.
Tinubu also advocated that rape penalty be stiffer as she made a comparison with the penalty for kidnapping and robbery, 10 and 21 years imprisonment respectively.
“Why is the punishment for stealing property and replaceable things higher than what is obtainable when you steal a human being?”
“The frequency of kidnap across the federation and its resulting trauma, not to mention the number of lives lost to the crime, make it imperative to review our laws with a view to ensuring appropriate punishment for perpetrators and deterrence for would-be perpetrators.”