Rape is defined as forcefully having carnal knowledge of a person of the opposite sex, without the person's consent and is completed upon penetration. The upsurge in the cases of rape in Nigeria since the beginning of the year has been quite alarming and requiring government's urgent attention to stem its tide. Most especially, ever since the open confession of Busola Dakolo of having been sexually molested by her then family pastor, who is now COZA Senior Pastor, the women folk, who have been the most victims, have now had the courage to speak out.
State governments in the country have been making different laws to arrest this situation. First, Ekiti State House of Assembly has passed a law that will enable the state to publish the details of whoever is found guilty of rape and the state government has since published more than two identities of rapists in the state, a welcome development, you must say.
Now, Kano State House of Assembly passed into law a bill that proposed castration for rapists in the state. By this law, whoever is found guilty of rape will have his scrotum blown like that of a ram and won't be able to father a child again as a result. This is sending a strong warning and raising the red flag against acts of rape in the state. The women folk are the beneficiaries of this law though.
There is no doubt about the warning being sounded by the state government as it reveals the stance of the political leadership with regards to the matter. What is very frightening about the law is the fact that it seems to have been taken too far. It is tantamount to sentencing rapists to death by castration. No one is in support of mild punishments for the offenders, but going this far may be a little too far and this will affect the implementation process of the law.
It is better to have a lower punishment for rape offenders and have them really and truly punished than making a higher and outrageous punishment that may not be implemented or selectively applied in the long run. For instance, when you look critically at our legal system and the corruption in the judicial system of the country, it will be very difficult for a politician or an influential personality accused of rape to be punished. This only shows that the law isn't something to be happy about, because it will only be meant for the poverty-stricken rapists, who can't afford legal fees.
The act of rape is dastardly and often leaves an eternal scar on the emotion of victims and if offenders are made to suffer for their misdeeds eternally, it is a welcome idea and a good one at that. But, how will this be implemented in the long run? What if the accused isn't guilty as charged, but cannot afford the services of a competent lawyer? What if the convicted is a female person?What if a state governor, member HoA, Senator, Councilor, LG Chairman, MD of a company, Minister or so is accused? Will these caliber of people be castrated too?
Punishment and even stiffer punishment should be given to rapists, but this should be realistic, especially as it touches on implementation. The Kano Assembly actually did well, but they weren't realistic enough in their consideration of punishment for the offence.
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