From Jonas Ike, Abuja
The House of Representatives is to legislate against the scourge of rape and other sexual offences against children in Nigeria.
This followed a motion of urgent public importance sponsored by Hon. Shina Peller on the matter on the floor of the House in Abuja.
Debating the motion, Peller noted that gender-based violence, such as rape and other forms of sexual abuses, have assumed serious dimension in Nigeria and advocated for stringent measures.
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He disclosed that in Nigeria, the prevalence of rape cases is estimated at 80%, with the children and even babies not being spared while the prevalence of incidents of rape among adolescent females is between 11 and 55%.
The lawmaker further said that the United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF) has observed that one in four Nigerian girls must have experienced sexual violence before the age of eighteen.
Consequently, the House unanimously adopted the motion when the Speaker Hon.Femi Gbajabiamila put the matter to a voice vote.
The House therefore the urged Federal Government to establish rehabilitation and re-integration programmes for victims of rape and other sexual offences in every state of the federation;
It also called on the Attorney-General of the Federation AGF and Minister of Justice to prepare a National Policy Framework to guide the implementation of the Sexual Offences Act that will provide further certainty to the law regarding the age at which a person can consent to sexual activity.
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