From AbdulGafar Alabelewe, Kaduna
With the assent of Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufa’i to the amended Kaduna State Penal Code Law 2020, convicted rapists of minors in Kaduna State are to be castrated and executed.
The promulgation of the castration and death sentence laws for rapists was precipitated by a number of events. In July when Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu put the national rape figure at 717 in five months, the Kaduna State government said it recorded 485 rape cases in the same five months.
Commissioner for Human Services and Social Development Hafsat Mohammed Baba told reporters on July 12 that the 485 cases were only those recorded at the sexual abuse referral centre in the state and excluded those recorded by the security agencies.
The commissioner lamented that not only girls were being raped, saying that, even boys were not spared, saying: “Every day, from morning to evening, I receive one complain or the other. I am handling a case where a father sleeps with his three daughters, aged three, five and eight. All the time I keep on blaming parents when their little children are raped.”
She added: “Sometimes even when the parents of a rape victim wants justice, they are frustrated when they are asked to provide this and that at the police station. A child is raped and they will ask the parents of the victim to be bringing food to the culprit who is in the cell. That is not fair.”
One of the prominent rape cases in Kaduna was that of a 13-year-old girl allegedly gang-raped by four men, the suspects reportedly drugged their victim before raping and dumping her in a car parked outside her home in the Kaduna State capital.
A group of women, advocating for justice for rape victims, staged a peaceful protest to the Kaduna Government House in July demanding capital punishment for rapists.
El-Rufa’i disclosed that the state was considering castration for convicted rapists.
“We are considering an amendment to the law to include surgical removal of the tools of rape against any person convicted. In addition to life imprisonment or 21 years imprisonment, anyone convicted of rape will have his organ surgically removed so that even after he finishes his term, he will not be able to rape anyone again.
“So long as the tool exists, there is the likelihood that he may go back to do it again. Most of the perpetrators are young people, so even after 21 years, they can come back and continue.
“This measure is necessary as most cases of rape fail to get convicted because the witnesses disappear or their parents and the communities cover-up due to the stigma surrounding rape.
“We have made it clear that we will protect the faces and identities of the victims and survivals of rape. So, there is no problem testifying in court. You will testify behind the screen, so nobody will know who you are or your face,” he said.
While the bill was still in the Assembly, wife of the Governor, Hajia Ummi Garba El-Rufa’i, who had been taking campaign against rape to nooks and crannies of the State, took gory photographs of children, who were victims rape to the public hearing of the amended law.
The legislative arm on Thursday last week passed the amended law, replacing the State Penal Code (No.5), law of 2017, which recommended 21 years jail term and life imprisonment for rapists of adults and minors respectively.
The new law, which was thereafter signed into law by El-Rufa’i, provides that punishments for rapists should be surgical castration and bilateral salpingectomy for male and female convicts of child rape, and death.
Under the new law tagged, ‘Kaduna State Penal Code (Amendment) Law 2020’, the punishment for the rape of a person older than 14 years will include surgical castration or removal of fallopian tubes, but the death penalty shall not apply.
The new legal documents read:
- Whoever commits rape of a child below the age of fourteen (14) years shall on conviction, be punished with Surgical Castration and death.
- Whoever has sexual intercourse with a male child below the age of fourteen years shall be punished with surgical castration and death.
- Where a female adult is convicted for the offence of rape of a child, the Court shall punish the accused with Bilateral Salpingectomy and death.
- Where the victim is above fourteen years, the Court shall on conviction sentence the accused with a punishment of surgical castration and life imprisonment.
- Where the convict is a child, the Court shall order as appropriate under the Children and Young Person Law Cap 26 Laws of Kaduna State 1991.
- Where the victim is a child, the Court shall in addition to the conviction, order that the convict be listed in the Sex Offenders Register to be published by the Attorney General.
- Where the Court is trying the offence of rape involving a child below the age of fourteen years, corroboration of a medical report shall be necessary.”