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Nigerian governor signs law approving death sentence for rapists

The Governor of Jigawa State, Muhammad Badaru, has assented to a bill stipulating stiffer punishment for rapists.

The new Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law stipulates the death penalty for rape convicts who infect their victims with HIV/AIDS.

PREMIUM TIMES had reported how the state House of Assembly passed the bill last Wednesday and transmitted it to the governor for assent.

While assenting to the bill, Wednesday, Mr Badaru commended the state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Musa Aliyu, and the state’s Council of Ulamas for their collaboration leading to the passage of the bill.

The governor said he assented to the bill after consultation with the Council of Ulamas who assured him that no section of the law is in conflict with Islam and the culture of the people of Jigawa State.

The law, expected to be gazetted soon, also stipulates that the Sharia law will take precedence if any matter in the new law contradicts Islamic teachings.

The chairman, Jigawa council of Ulamas, Bashir-Ahmad, said the new law “was scrutinised and vetted by the religious body to ensure its conformity with Islam”.

The official commended the governor for his trust in the council “that made him to task the members to work on the new law before his final assent”.

The new law

The new law also stipulates that rape victim(s) would be compensated with not less than N500,000, while the court would order rape offenders “to be subjected to public shame through radio announcements”.

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Also the law says the use of chemical, biological or any harmful substance that causes lifetime deformity to a rape victim will attract life imprisonment without an option of fine.

The bill is an adaptation of a similar bill passed by the National Assembly and adopted by some state Houses of Assembly. The bill also proscribes certain conducts that are injurious to the society.

It also seeks to offer “higher protection to the vulnerable in the society”.

The bill was unanimously passed by the 30 members of the legislative house representing the 27 council areas of the state.

Nigerians recently called for stiffer punishment for convicted rapists as sexual assault cases rose steadily across the nation.

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