The Senate on Thursday passed the bill for an Act to prohibit violence against persons with provisions strengthening sanctions against offenders, including life jail for rapists.
The bill, sponsored by Victor Ndoma-Egba, was passed at Thursday’s plenary and it was approved with favourable voice votes.
Speaking at the session, Senate President, David Mark, said the legislation would address some of the evil customs of the society, adding that the law would sufficiently protect the people from the excesses of such devilish people.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the legislation seeks to eliminate violence in private and public life.
It specifically prohibits all forms of violence, ranging from physical, sexual, psychological, domestic, harmful traditional practices and discrimination, against persons.
NAN further reports that its provision provides maximum protection and effective remedies for victims and punishment for offenders.
The proponents of the bill had argued that the right of persons to freedom and security must be guaranteed.
Sections one and two of the legislation have now increased punishment for rape and other forceful sexual activities.
A person convicted under the section, according to the bill, is liable to imprisonment for life.
However, where the victim is less than 14 years of age, the offender shall be liable to a minimum of 14 years imprisonment.
“Where the act described under this section is committed by a group of persons, the offence shall be known as gang rape.
“And on conviction the persons shall be liable jointly and severally to a minimum of 20 years imprisonment without an option of fine.
“The court shall also award appropriate compensation to the victim as it may deem fit in the circumstance,’’ according to the bill.
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