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Xenophobic Attacks: Senate Pleads for High Commissioner Over Recall

May 05 2015
  • Passes bill to eliminate violence in public life and prohibitions against rape.

The Nigerian Senate today has appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan to temper justice with mercy regarding the recall of the Nigerian High Commissioner to South Africa and subsequent suspension of the permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs over the mishandling of xenophobic attack incidences in South Africa.

Rising on rule 43 of the Senate, Senator Abdul Ningi (Bauchi Central), drew the attention of the Senate to its earlier resolution of Wednesday, April 22, 2015 titled “Rising incidence of xenophobic attacks in South Africa”, wherein the Senate recalled the high Commissioner and suspended the permanent Secretary over poor handling of diplomacy without recourse to Mr. President and called on the President to tamper justice with mercy on the matter.

This is just as the resurgence of killing spree on the plateau was heard on the floor of the Senate.

Rising on rule 43, Senator Victor Rampyal Lar- Plateau South draw the attention of the Senate to the killing of innocent people by armed military men on Saturday, 2nd May, 2015 in kadarko district, Wase local government area of Plateau State and urged the Senate to look into the matter with a view to identifying the perpetrators.

Subsequently, the Senate resumed constitution of a bill for an act to eliminate violence in private and public life, prohibit all forms of violence, against persons and to provide maximum protection and effective remedies for victims and punishment of offenders 2015 and passed it into law.

The Bill which defines rape as an offence punishable by law when a man or woman intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person with any other part of another person with any other part of his /her body or anything else when the other person does not consent to the penetration or the consent is obtained by force or means of threat or intimidation of any kind or by fear of harm or by means of fraudulent representation as to the nature of the act or the use of any substance or addictive capable of taking away the will of such person or in the case of a married person by his or her spouse.

The bill stipulates that a person convicted of an offence by this law is liable to imprisonment for life except where the offender is less than 14 years of age, the offender shall be liable to a maximum 14 years imprisonment ; in all other cases to a minimum of 12 years imprisonment without an option of fine; and in case of rape by a group of persons, the offenders shall be liable jointly and severally to a minimum of 20 years imprisonment without an option of fine and where the act described by this law 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 any fine.

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