No fewer than 35 minors were raped in Jigawa state from January to April this year, the state police commissioner, Mr. Usman Sule Gonna has said.
Gonna, who made this known on Tuesday after an expanded state security meeting at the Sir Ahmadu Bello Hall in Dutse said rape cases topped the list of criminal activities being perpetuated in the state.
He lamented that all the 35 rape survivors were found to be toddlers, saying some were as young as three years old, while advising parents to be extra vigilant on the movements of their wards to prevent them from potential pedophiles.
It would be recalled that recently, the Jigawa State Governor Alhaji Muhammed Badaru Abubakar signed to law the violence against persons prohibition bill with effect from Wednesday, 24th February 2021.
The signing of the law has brought to an end the controversy against the bill which some view as anti Islamic. The assented bill stipulate death penality for rapists and kidnappers.
The state commissioner of Justice, Barrister Musa Adamu Aliyu had disclosed that Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law stipulates death penalty for rapists and compensation of not less than N500,000 to the convict.
The Justice commissioner explained that the law is designed to give maximum protection to the vulnerable group in the society.
According to him “the act was domesticated and ensured it is inline with the Shari’a law and also does not contradict with the cultural belief and practices of the people of the state before its signing to law”.
He noted that the law has prescribed death sentence to rapists, abductors and Kidnappers with other three optional punishment, depending on the circumstances and judge discretion .
“If the rapist infected the victim with HIV the Judge has no option than to pass death sentence particularly if the accused person has knowledge of his HIV status.”
“The law also stipulated 16 year as age of consent, while any illegal sexual intercourse through the vagina, anus or mouth of either a boy or girl fall in the category of rape and the offender would be treated as such in accordance with the law”.
Gonna said the meeting enabled the stakeholders to deliberate and proffer solutions to security challenges at various quarters of the state.
He said, “contrary to today’s assumption that kidnappings and banditry is in the increase especially in some states it is not so in Jigawa as we have only recorded 10 kidnappings within the last four months”, he said.
He said rape and other criminal activities such as culpable homicide and sodomy have taken the front burner in incidences across the state.
The commissioner of police however said the lingering judicial strike action embarked upon by the union has made the police detention cells to be congested with criminals waiting for trials at the courts.
“I have complained to the state commissioner of Justice to intervene on how to decongest the cells and he assured me that soon Judges would be assigned to dispense justice to some of the criminals kept in the cells”, he said.