Gov Udom Emmanuel has signed the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Bill 2020, forwarded from the State House of Assembly, into law.  Emmanuel, watched by some members of the State Executive Council, assented to the bill at Government House, Uyo, recently.

The governor said that the law provides for the prosecution of rapists and attracts life imprisonment against persons found guilty, adding that the law also stipulates 14 years imprisonment against individuals convicted of sexual-based violence across genders in the state.

Emmanuel, who spoke through the attorney-general and commissioner for justice, Mr Uwemedimo Nwoko, as well as the commissioner for agriculture and women affairs, Dr Glory Edet, stated that the law forbids the perpetration of sexual-based violence on individuals either at private or public environments, while also prescribing punishments and maximum protection of persons against violent crimes, explaining that those standing trials on acts of rape and perpetration of other violent crimes against persons would meet the waterloo.

He said that the new law takes effect from June this year as a sledgehammer for rapists and perpetrators of gender-based violence, maintaining that the law has clearly spelt out punishments for gender-based offences to teach defaulters a lesson.

DEATH PENALTY FOR RAPE IN AKWA IBOM

The state chief executive officer said the law allows for the implementation of a lot of stiffer punishments for violators of the Child’s Right and perpetrators of violence against citizens of both genders, remarking that previous laws only meted violators of crime against the female gender, with few years of punishment, emphasising that in the new law prescription of life sentence against rape and 14 years imprisonment on related offences would discourage the spate of violence in the state.

He hinted that sensitization and awareness campaign on the provisions of the new law would be carried out to enlighten the people of Akwa Ibom against involvement in acts of violence against persons, advising parents and caregivers to exercise responsibilities of infusing basic morals at the family level to curb incidents of misbehaviour in the society.

“…very soon we will flag off sensitization campaign to let people know the different parts of the law and what it entails so that defaulters will know the punishment awaiting them and I believe every rational person should be happy with this law, Edet hinted.