If the bill currently in the works in the Senate eventually becomes law, any person convicted of raping a girl below the age of 18 will be liable to life imprisonment.
In the same vein,
Also, conviction for child pornography and administration of substance with the intention to overpower another person for sexual activities will result in five years and 10 years imprisonment respectively.
The bill which scaled second reading in the Senate yesterday [Nov, 20] was sponsored by Senator Chris Anyanwu.
While presenting a lead debate on the bill, Anyanwu said the need to evolve the bill had become imperative in view of the rampant cases of rape and the attendant trauma for victims in the country.
Hardly any day passes without reports in the media of one form of abhorrent sexual crime or the other, ranging from rape, defilement of children, animism among others; children and young people of this country, both male and female, today face a growing danger as they are being routinely targeted by sexual predators and pedophiles who take advantage of their vulnerability and innocence, etching on their psyche scars that last a lifetime. What is most disturbing is that a growing number of these crimes are happening in schools and religious environments.
She listed cases of sexual abuse to include gang-rape, sexual tourism, sexual harassment, deliberate transmission of HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases, culture or religious sexual offences, non-disclosure of conviction of sexual offences and administration of substance to stupefy.
Speaking on the bill, Senator Atai Aidoko Ali (Kogi), who said sexual offences were ambiguous, reasoned that the passage of the bill would be of great benefit to voiceless Nigerians.
But Senator Ita Enang argued that the bill was defective on two grounds and therefore could only be appropriate for residents of Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
But Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the session disagreed with Enang, citing a Supreme Court judgment which he said ruled that Senate laws would supersede existing laws in the states.