Reports from the Jigawa State Ministry of Justice have indicated that rape is on the rise in the state.
This is despite having in place two stringent laws against rape in the state.
- I support power shift to strengthen federation, not confederation – Masari
- How NNPC drove N1.6tr methanol and gas plants, other projects in 2021
The latest figure from the ministry indicated that out of the 196 case diaries on various offences received by the ministry between January to December 2021, rape cases topped with 90 case files, followed by 31 cases of sodomy.
Other top crimes are 27 culpable homicide cases, 20 robbery cases, 18 abduction/kidnap cases, cheating/fatal accidents recorded 3 cases each, while offences of incest and act of gross indecency recorded the least with two case files each.
Governor Badaru Abubakar had on February 21, 2021, signed into law, the Violent Against Persons Protection (VAPP) Law passed by the Jigawa State House of Assembly.
The law, among others, has made provision for life imprisonment against anybody convicted of raping persons under the age of 14 years.
Similarly, the governor, only on December 22, signed into law the newly enacted Child’s Protection Bill passed by the Assembly, which made the death sentence the penalty for anybody convicted of raping girls under the age of 10 years.
The State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Dr Musa Adamu Aliyu, while briefing reporters on the activities of his ministry in the last 12 months, however, confirmed that there was a slight improvement in the dispensation of justice.
The Attorney-General, who admitted that the state had yet to record any conviction under the laws, was optimistic that it would soon get convictions with the renewed determination of the judiciary in the state to speed rape cases.
He disclosed that a total of 84 suspects were prosecuted before eight High Courts in the five emirate council headquarters of Dutse, Hadejia, Gumel, Kazaure and Ringim.
Out of the figure, 34 convictions were secured, while 49 other cases were still pending.
He noted that 498 criminal cases were recorded out of which 112 were disposed of, 8 struck out and 415 cases are still pending.
Aliyu described the year 2021 as a year of pride to the ministry as it succeeded in getting two controversial Bills, namely Child Rights Act, and Violence Against Person Prohibition Bill passed and assented to by the state governor.
He said the ministry’s Department for Legal Drafting worked hard in collaboration with other stakeholders to domesticate the bills to ensure it goes in line with spiritual disciplines and good cultural values of the Jigawa state people.
Aliyu called on all stakeholders to discharge their shared responsibility with sacrifice and dedication to ensure speedy dispensation of justice on cases.