The National Assembly has passed a bill that recognizes the male gender as possible victims of rape.
The bill was sponsored by Senator Oluremi Tinubu and sought to make an amendment to the criminal code act CAP C38 LFN 2004. It passed third reading in the Senate on Tuesday after the Chairman of the House Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Opeyemi Bamidele gave a report on the bill.
The new legislation also removes the time limit during which rape cases can be reported and decided upon in the court of law.
Senator Bamidele said during his presentation that individuals and organisations expressed diverse views regarding the bill during public hearing.
While presenting his report on the floor of the upper legislative chamber, Bamidele said stakeholders at the public hearing expressed divergent views as regards the proposed amendments in the bill.
“The bill will address lingering issues starting with statute of limitation in the prosecution of rape and as well as defilement cases and it will curb the menace which has been on the rise,” he said.
“That the statute of limitation has been omitted from the violence against persons act 2015 which is the prevailing law of the subject matter,” he said.
He also reiterated that the bill sought to amend the criminal code act of 1916 and will only apply to Federal High Courts across the country when enacted.
The bill also prescribed life imprisonment for individuals convicted of kidnapping and abduction.
“The bill seeks to amend the criminal code act of 1916 and not that of the states. The bill when enacted will apply to the federal high court
“The senate committee on judiciary, human rights and legal matters to which this bill was referred, having considered same, recommends as follows; that the senate pass the criminal code act CAP C38 LFN 2004 (amendment) bill 2020.”
The bill is expected to be sent to the House of Representatives for concurrence.