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Kano goes tough against rape menace.

By Abubakar Haruna Muhammad -The Nigerian Voice, Kano
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The case of Abdulmumini Gambo and Auwalu Audu who were accused of raping minors were among the few cases that generated debates in Kano, THE NIGERIAN VOICE OBSERVED.

Gambo, 19, a resident of Kunya village in Minjibir local government area of Kano state was arraigned before a State Magistrate Court sitting at Zungeru road, Sabon Gari, Kano for allegedly defiling a 13-year-old girl.

The accused was said to have lured the girl into his room on March 28, 2014 and forcefully had her carnal knowledge, the court heard.

Also, in May same year, Auwalu Audu, 50, was arraigned before a Chief Magistrate Court 11 at No Man’s Land in the state metropolis for allegedly sexually assaulting his neighbor’s 9-yr-old daughter.

Audu, a resident of Tukuda village in Tudun Wada local government area of the state was alleged to have lured into a room with pretence to send her on errand but he overpowered her and had sex with her.

Also, on November 16, 2015, the Kano state police command arraigned 57 suspected rapists before two state Magistrate Courts for allegedly defiling over 57 teenage girls in the state, which after doctor`s examining the victimes discover that more than 10 of them are HIV positive.

Among the suspected rapists was a 65-year-old father of 15 childrens. The suspects were all arrested within the period of three weeks in a renewed campaign against rape declared by the police in the state, headed by the wife of kano state police commissioner Hajiya Saliha muhd katsina.

It was observed that most of the cases the suspected rapists were elderly persons that are of same age with the grandparents of the victims.

These were few of the high profile cases of rape that became rampant in in the state in few months, not mentioning multiple others that go unreported due to fear of stigmatization from members of the public.

Investigations by our reporter showed that in less than one month, over 20 different cases of rape were recorded in only five Magistrate courts in the state.

Former state Commissioner of Justice kano during kwankwaso`s administration, Maliki Kuliya Umar, disclosed that there were more than 100 reported cases of rape between November and December 2013 in Kano courts.

The 2013 rape cases statistics was official figures of just the reported cases, but quite a number of rape cases remained unknown to the police as the victims’ parents mostly prepared the cases to go unreported due to fear of stigmatization.

The Kano state Penal Code Law of 1991 has prescribed lesser years of imprisonment as punishment for rape or an option of fine to be determined by the court of law.

However, legal practitioners and public analysts believe that the penalty was not stiffer to deter rapists from damaging lives of innocent children, who normally stays with the post-rape trauma for the rest of their lives.

Worried by the excessive cases of rape recorded in the state and the lack of stiffed punishment to dissuade rapists from the act, the Kano state House of Assembly in 2014 amended Section 283 of the Penal Code Law.

The amended law prescribed life imprisonment term for any person found guilty of committing act of rape.

The new amended law read Under Section 283, whoever commits rape shall be punished with imprisonment for life or for any lesser term not below 14 years and shall also be liable to a fine of N200, 000 and in addition there to be required by court to pay compensation to the victim.

The house went further and amended law on lesbianism and sodomy, which are other areas of concern with a new law that prescribed stiffed punishment for such acts.

The amended Section 284 (1) read, Whoever has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man woman or animal shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of 14 years and shall be liable to a fine of N50, 000.

Any woman who has a feeling of love for another woman or girl and went ahead to employ the means of satisfying that passion either through bodily contact or otherwise without her consent in order to derive please is said to have committed lesbianism and shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of 14 years or shall be liable to a fine of N50, 000.

The amended laws were already passed into laws and assented by the immediate past administration in the state.

The state Police Command was not left in the renew fight against rape the Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Musa Katsina on his assumption to office last year launched a war against rape.

The commissioner said the command declared a war against rape menace which ways increasing in the state, to curtail the damage inflicted on young children.

On daily basis innocent children fall victims of these inhuman acts which damaged their lives permanently. As a parent I am worried by the excessive cases of rape across the state he said.

Musa Katsina said while the police were doing their best, parents should remain vigilant and ensure they know the whereabouts of their children at all time.

A parent, Abubakar ISa mukhtar, described the amended law as a positive development that would serve as a reprimand to other members of the society.

The new law is a welcome development, because if rapists are to just serve prison terms, there is every likelihood to continue practicing the act after serving his jail term.

But with life imprisonment, two birds will be kill with a stone, the perpetrators will not come out to commit the act again and others would be afraid to commit similar offence owing to the stiffer punishment that awaits the offenders, he said.

Malam ISMAIL ABDULLAHI, a father of four who reside at SHARADA quarters of the metropolis, said rapists should be condemned to death sentence.

In my view rapists should be sentenced to death if found guilty, instead of the life imprisonment in the amended law, because they are not human as such they don’t deserve any mercy, especially those that defiled underage children.

Any person that can rape a 3-year-old girl don’t deserve to live in the society or in prison custody where government will spend money to feed them, rather they should be senteced to death, he said.