The House of Representatives on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to set up special courts to try rape cases and other sexual and gender-based violence.
The House resolution was sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by Rep. Unyime Idem (PDP/Akwa Ibom) at Tuesday’s plenary.
Moving the motion earlier, Rep. Idem recalled that in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the pandemic of rape and gender violation increased simultaneously in the country.
According to him, the police had reported a surging record of rape and gender based violence crimes between January and May with more than 717 rape cases formally reported, an average of 143 cases per month and around five cases per day.
The House member described rape as a gross violation of the human rights of the victim which include right to dignity, right to life and right to sexuality.
“The victims of rape should not be stigmatized by the society, but rather they should be encouraged to speak up and speak out when they fall victim of the act.
“The Federal Government should without delay launch a national campaign against rape and gender-based violence, the campaign which should include advocacy, public sensitisation and social mobilisation.
“Also the campaign is necessary not only to raise the level of awareness about rape and gender-based violence but to ensure that Nigerians own the fight against the abhorrent and repulsive criminal acts,” the lawmaker argued.
Passing the resolution, the House in strong terms condemned the act of rape and all other sexual gender-based violence in the country and urged the Federal Government to ensure accelerated court hearing and prosecution of rape and other sexual based violence cases.
House Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, ruling on the motion mandated the House Committee on Women Affairs and Social Development, Federal Judiciary and Human Rights to ensure implementation.
He mandated the committees to liaise with the relevant government agencies and ensure compliance with the House resolution, and report back within two weeks.