Rapists in Nigeria now risk life imprisonment

It was made known that the Senate on Wednesday passed into law the Sexual Offences Bill which prescribes life imprisonment for anyone found guilty of sexual offences like rape and child sex tourism, among others.

Some of the offences listed in the bill included, rape, child sex tourism and people who deliberately infect others with HIV/AIDS.

Chairman of the Committee on Navy, Senator Chris Anyanwu, sponsored the bill which is expected to pass concurrence in the House of Representatives on Thursday.

The bill also prescribes 10 years for incest; 10 years imprisonment for child pornography or a fine of N2m, while those who engage in sex abuse will go to jail for 14 years.

The Chairman, Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Umaru Dahiru, said the bill seeks to redefine and consolidate existing laws on sexual offences.

Anyanwu expressed happiness on the passage of the bill which has been pending in the senate since 2013.

Specifically, she said, the new sexual offences law has criminalised people who deliberately lace drinks with drugs with intent to stupefy and sexually abuse persons with mental disabilities, among others.

Meanwhile, the senate was thrown into rowdy session on Wednesday following the passage of 46 Bills into law in less than ten minutes that they were introduced by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Senator Ita Enang.

Enang said the 46 bills had been recently passed by the House of Representatives and transmitted to the senate for concurrence.

He said the senate had said that enough resources had already been expended in processing the bills by the 7th National Assembly, hence there was the need to pass the bills and forward them to the President for his assent.



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