Ambode backs 25-year jail for rapists, others

Lagos state governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode yesterday threw his weight behind the 25-year jail term for rapists and perpetrators of all forms of domestic violence, saying the time has come to take steps to put a stop to the menace.
Ambode led a symbolic walk against domestic and sexual violence in Alausa, Ikeja, with top government functionaries, including the Deputy Governor, Dr.  Oluranti Adebule, Chief Judge of the state, Justice Olufunmilayo Oke, wife of the governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, Attorney General, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, members of the State Executive Council among others.
Backing the 25 year jail term for rapists, the governor, decked in a red t-shirt with inscriptions including ‘I Say No To Rape’, ‘Stop Domestic Violence’, among others, said it was time to take the fight one step further by amending the Protection against Domestic Violence Law, 2007 and also come up with strict punitive measures that would serve as a deterrent to perpetrators of such act.
“Rape should not be met with light sentencing; the minimum sentence of 25 years is highly recommended.
We need new laws, which will respond adequately to the nature and occurrences of this era.
Domestic Violence is a crime, and should be treated as such.
The Protection Against Domestic Violence Law, 2007, should therefore be amended accordingly,” Ambode said.
Ambode said his administration would not rest on its oars until the menace is totally eradicated.
“A lot of progress has been made in the steps taken to protect the rights of women and the girl child and in the war against the oppression of the female gender.
However, there is still so much to be done.
We need to ask ourselves the hard question: for this cause we honour today, how can we truly ensure we are walking the talk? “What we are tackling today is an almost innate culture which relegates women to the background and forces them to suffer in silence.
In Lagos, we are waging a war against this culture and we will do everything within our power to transform ours to a culture of equality, respect and dignity for all.
It is a journey of radical transformation, and our government is wholly committed to seeing it through.
“We are not just reactive in helping survivors but also taking aggressive steps to prevent future occurrences.
Our aim is to build a system of trust and accountability, where survivors are encouraged to speak out and potential perpetrators are discouraged to commit future acts,” Ambode said.
The governor commended the state judiciary for heeding the call to establish the Sexual Offences Court, just as he also lauded the state House of Assembly for enacting the Protection against Domestic Violence Law, 2007, the Child’s Right Law of Lagos state, 2015 and the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015, noting that all efforts was geared towards providing a solid platform for waging the war against sexual and gender based violence.
In her remarks, the Chief Judge commended Ambode for leading the symbolic walk, saying the development as well as other eff orts geared towards combating the menace eloquently confirmed the commitment of the state government to reduce the menace to the barest minimum, just as she urged victims to come out and seek justice

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