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House of Representatives: Castration of convicted rapists not panacea for rape

The House of Representatives by majority decision on Thursday rejected a proposal to castrate rapists as a means of stemming rising cases of rape in the country.

Hon James Faleke had recommended that persons found guilty of rape should be castrated but the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, however, asked what would happen to an older female who rapes a younger male.

Speaker Gbajabiamila’s poser appeared to have made the majority of the Honourable members to reject the castration option as a deterrent.

They were debating a motion on the increased sexual violence against women particularly the rape and murder of two girls in Oyo and Edo states recently.

Barakat Bello, an 18-year-old girl, was reportedly raped at her father’s home in Ibadan, while Vera Omozuwa, a student of the University of Benin (UNIBEN), was raped while reading inside a parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG).

Debating the motion brought forward by Rotimi Agunsoye from Lagos, the lawmakers condemned the increasing cases of rape in the country which they described as the most common form of violence against women.

They identified “weak institutions, poor enforcement, poverty and unacceptable social practices” as part of the reasons for sexual violence against women.

They said in addition to the rape cases, Nigerian women also suffer harassment and brutality in the hands of security agencies.

Although the lawmakers voted against castration of rapists as an amendment to the motion, the lawmakers called for stiffer penalties against persons found guilty of rape.

They also asked the federal government to launch a more effective campaign against rape and other forms of sexual violence against women.

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