HURIWA Canvasses Office Of Chief Rape Prosecutor For Nigeria

By Emmanuel Onwubiko

Worried that the conventional method of prosecuting rape cases across Nigeria has failed to rein in the spate of violent sexual violations of teenagers and infants in Nigeria by male adult pedophiles, a civil society group-HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA [HURIWA] has asked the Wife of the President Mrs. Patience Good luck Jonathan and the national hierarchy of the Nigeria's National Human Rights Commission [NHRC] to initiate legislative advocacy to compel the Executive Council of the Federation headed by President Good luck Jonathan to prepare and send an executive bill for the creation of a national office of chief public prosecutor of rape cases at both the federal and state jurisdiction.

HURIWA has also criticized the Senate of the Federal Republic for doing nothing to stop one of its own from consummating a marriage between him and a suspected 13-year-old child bride from Egypt even when national outcry and protests raged against the alleged violation of the relevant sections of the National Child Rights Act of 2003 by the action of this Zamfara state-born legislator.

The group also carpeted the National Assembly for delaying the passage of many progressive legislations to check the rampant cases of sexual violence against Nigerian women which have been submitted to the National Assembly for many years now without passage. The National anti-Child trafficking body [NAPTIP] has also been described as a toothless bulldog that barks without biting which is why cases of sexual violation of innocent girls in Nigeria have continued unabated.

Besides, the Rights group has also called for the introduction of a provision in the extant anti-rape laws to make violent sexual attacks of Nigerian Children by adults rapists a capital offence punishable by death through lethal injection after conviction in the competent courts of law including the final confirmation of such far-reaching sentences by the nation's Supreme Court.

HURIWA believes that an effective regime of enforcement of strict anti-rape laws is capable of minimizing the unprecedented rate of sexual violations of minors by the many adult male pedophiles embolden by the lackadaisical attitudes of the law enforcement officials towards the prosecution of rape cases.

In a statement jointly endorsed by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Director of Media Miss. Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA specifically condemned the recent killing in the most gruesome of fashions of the eight year old female elementary school pupil of Christian Victory Nursery School [sent on errand by her grand father Mr. Enobong Wilson] in Ikot Ekang, Etinan local government area of Akwa Ibom state by a gang of dare-devil rapists and the alleged killing by unknown rapists of a 50 year old Benin-Republic-born Abeokuta, Ogun state resident in the past few days just as it called on the office of the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian National Human Rights Commission to liaise and indeed actively partner with the wife of the President of Nigeria and wives of the governors of the 36 states of the Federation and the wife of the minister of the Federal Capital Territory to work out an effective template for waging national anti-rape crusade in close collaboration with all functional and credible registered civil society and Non-Governmental organizations all over the federation so as to bring into fruition the early passage by the National Assembly [and domestication by state houses of assembly] of an effective body of legislation with strong judicial sanctions for convicted rapists.

HURIWA also tasked the various religious and traditional leaders to work actively with faith based and community based organizations in their respective domains to begin active advocacy against the rampant cases of child rape and to fashion out transparent measures of reporting rape cases to the law enforcement authorities and monitor closely the prosecution and delivery of verdicts by competent courts of law on these anti-rape trials. HURIWA stated that the traditional rulers and police commands across the country have contributed significantly to the sharp increase in rape cases because these group of persons are always in the forefront of those advocating out of courts settlement of rape cases which often involve their subjects.

The Police, HURIWA, stated are also willing tools in perpetuating a regime of injustice against rape victims because the operatives are not sufficiently trained, equipped and supervised by their superiors in the various police commands to ensure that rape cases filed in courts are concluded without cutting corners or reaching unethical and unprofessional compromises with these perpetual rapists who are ever so willing to pay their ways out of these court appearances.

HURIWA said the only way to fastrack cases of rape that litter the court rooms across the country is for the Nigerian state to create the office of National anti-rape prosecutor and state anti-rape prosecutor in the 36 states of the federation and the FCT to be manned by a law expert from the human rights community who will actively monitor and set up mechanisms for ensuring that violent sex offenders are arrested by law enforcement officials, diligently and efficiently investigated and prosecuted in the competent courts of law and punished for this heinous crime.

"We hereby appeal to the first lady and the wives of the thirty six states governors together with the Nigeria's national human rights commission to begin the national campaign for the successful amendment of all relevant anti-rape laws to make violent sexual offences as capital offences to serve as effective deterrent and save our little girls from this menace. We must take action before Nigeria overtakes India as the World's most notorious rape friendly nation".