The Violence Against Persons Prohibition is a legal act enacted to eliminate violence in private and public life, prohibit all forms of violence against persons and provide maximum protection and effective remedies for victims and punishment for offenders.
The act spells that a person commits the offense of rape if he or she intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person with any other part of his or her body or anything else if the other person does not consent to the penetration or the consent is obtained by force or means of threat, intimidation of any kind, fear of harm or by means of harm or by means of false and fraudulent representation as to the nature of the act use of any substance or addictive capable of taking away the will of such person or in the case of a married person by impersonating his or her spouse as such a person convicted of the above offense is liable to Imprisonment for life except if the offender is less than 14 years of age, the offender is liable to a maximum of 14 years Imprisonment without an option of fine.
It further spells that the court shall award appropriate compensation to the victim of the above offense. A person who willfully causes or inflicts physical injury on another person by influencing physical means of any weapon, substance or object, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to Imprisonment for 5 years or a fine not exceeding N100,000.00 or both.
The act further made available a register for convicted sexual offenders accessible to the public. Section 45 of the Act makes consequential amendments to the Criminal Code, Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code to the effect that any provision of the Act shall supersede any other provision on similar offences in the Criminal Code, Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code.
The Violence against person prohibition act went ahead and prohibited an attempt to commit act of violence which offenders shall be liable on conviction to a term of Imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or to a fine not exceeding N200,000,00 or both.
Those who assist another or to their knowledge commits an offence of violence of any such were also not left out by the VAPP act and are liable on conviction to a term of Imprisonment of 3 years or to a fine not exceeding Two hundred thousand or both.
The best part of this act is that it spells out punishment to persons who perform female circumcision or genital multilation or engages another to carry out such acts. other punishable offense spelled by the act are Rape by a group of persons in which offenders are liable to a minimum of 20 years imprisonment without an option of fine. Inciting, aiding or counselling another person to commit acts of violence, offenders are liable to Imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or to a fine not exceeding N200,000.00 or both, among many more.
The Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act was signed into law on 23rd May, 2015 by the Nigerian National Assembly. This law is an important piece of legislation, however the VAPP is only applicable in the FCT, Abuja. This is because even though it was made by the National Assembly, it was only made applicable in the FCT, and only the High Courts of the FCT have the jurisdiction over crimes created in the VAPP. Though Nigerians and other non governmental Organization are calling for the adoption of the Act in all 36 States of Nigeria, this move began when Nigerians noticed how states are recording many cases of rape without the offenders being convicted effectively. A day will not pass by in Nigeria without having a case of rape or any other sort of violence in the country, the move is now taking effect as some states like Ekiti are about to implement the VAPP act.
National Agency for Prohibition Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP) was mandated by the National Assembly to administer the provisions of the Act, by virtue of Section 44 of the Act. The Act strengthens collaboration between Government Agencies and gives room for synergy between them. This can be adduced from the multi-functional structure of the Act which essentially confers responsibilities on NAPTIP, the Police, relevant Ministries and Civil Based Organisations. Being the body charged with the responsibility of administering the Act shall collaborate with relevant stakeholders and faith based organisations. NAPTIP also enlighten the masses on how to seek redress for the violence unleashed on them by their assailants by reporting promptly. The Agency also reunite victims of assault with their families however
In implementing the VAPP Act the NAPTIP presently has about 20 cases pending in various Courts within the FCT and has so far secured 3 convictions.
After the Violence Against Persons prohibition act was signed into law In Nigeria there has been an increasing number of rape and sexual harassment cases on a keen keel. A total number of 150 reported cases of sexual and physical abuse were recorded in just Lagos State for one year period as of April 27, 2016.
The National Bureau of Statistics ranked Katsina highest with (43.3%) when it comes to enduring assault from their spouses. Others states include Kogi – 35.5% Benue – 33.0% Jigawa – 31.9% Yobe – 28.5% Ebonyi – 25.2% Plateau – 24.8% Kano – 24.1% Osun – 23.6% . . . Anambra – 2.4% Lagos – 1.8% this percentage of domestic violence is believed to keep increasing as long as the violence against persons prohibition act will not be adopted at state level.
As at 2004, 60 per cent of children involved in child trafficking from Africa to Europe were Nigerians this number has dolorously increased as offenders are not being convicted in accordance with the VAPP most trials are stalled.
Between 2012 and 2013, about 30 per cent of women in Nigeria experienced one form of domestic violence or another
Findings from a National Survey carried out in 2014 on Violence Against Children in Nigeria confirmed one in four females reported experiencing sexual violence in childhood with approximately 70% reporting more than one incident of sexual violence. In the same study, it was found that 24.8% of females’ ages 18 to 24 years experienced sexual abuse prior to age 18 of which 5.0% sought help, with only 3.5% receiving any services
DPH NEWS in July 2019 reported a rape case in kanduna State, the victim who is a minor was raped by one Shuaibu which as a result the victim sustained a pelvic injury which makes her neither stand nor walk. Since July 2019 to date the offender has not been convicted even if he will he won’t be convicted in accordance with the VAPP because the act has not been adopted in States.
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) on september 19th arrested a 21-year-old house help, Usman Abubakar for allegedly sodomising 10 minors in Sokoto.
Benue Command of the Nigerian Police on 26th October confirmed the arrest of a school teacher, Terseer Maikyo for allegedly raping a JSS 1 student in Ukum Local Government Area of the state. in the same vain Nelson Omanka from Obi Local Government, was also arrested on October 9, for allegedly raping a 12 year-old girl. On 22nd October 2019 DPH News again reported that Lagos based prophet, Elisa Ayoluwa alias White was arrested by police in Lagos for allegedly raping underage children of his members. Ayoluwa is the founder of Zion Prayer and Deliverance Mission in Ikotun. On 18th October a Magistrate’ Court in Ikeja Lagos ordered a 56-year-old man, Akinbomi Ademola, to be remanded in prison for allegedly raping a 14-year-old girl. On 11th October Magistrates’ Court sitting in Kano ordered that a teenager, Babangida Inusa, who allegedly raped his neighbour’s 50-year-old mother, be remanded in Prison pending legal advice. Similarly in the same month of October 2019 a Chief Magistrates Court in Kano on Friday 19th remanded Khalid Abdullahi, 20, behind bars for allegedly molesting a three year old girl, this happened in September 22nd 2019. On September 28th a father was apprehended by NAPTIP in kano for chaining up his daughter for over two years as a result of going contrary to his wish of a forced marriage, DPH News on September 30th reported a case of a father raping his three daughters on every Friday.
With the above recent cases one can’t testify that there’s such act of VAPP in Nigeria, most cases of Violence are happening at state level which Nigerians believe that the states needs to adopt the VAPP as well, The number of rape keeps increasing in Nigeria, a day will not pass by in Nigeria without someone being raped or molested in Nigeria. the devastating part of this is minors in Nigeria are at more risk of being raped or molested in the country. If the the act will be applicable in 36 States of Nigeria and a swift judicial process will be put in place there’s no doubt that the rate of rape in Nigeria will drop.
DPH NEWS REWIND