Incest, rape,: PGI advocates judicial commission of Enquiry




Worried by the alarming rate of incest and rape, especially rape of minors, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Proactive Gender Initiative (PGI), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to set up a Judicial Commission of Enquiry into the increasing cases of sexual harassment and other sex crimes in the country.


The National Coordinator of PGI, Barr. Esther Uzoma, made the call, Wednesday in Abuja, against the backdrop of the rapes and murders of Vera Uwaila Omozuwa, 22-year-old microbiology student of the University of Benin in a church in Benin City, and Barakat Bello, 18-year-old student of the Federal College of Animal and Production Technology Moore Plantation, Apata, Ibadan.


According to her, “It has become urgent and imperative that the president, Muhammadu Buhari, sets up a judicial commission of inquiry into the increasing cases of sexual and gender based violence especially rape and incest to find a way out of this monstrosity.
“The incidence of rape and incest are spreading like wild fire and until there is a concerted and strong federal intervention, this ill-wind that is not blowing anybody any good will persist.
“As a gender based organisation, we are near-saturated by the number of defilements by supposed fathers, uncles, brothers and male relatives and friends of minors, and grown-ups by those that ought to protect them.”


A judicial commission, she said,  would look at the existing laws, address the lacunas, if any, and make recommendations to strengthen the fight against sexual and gender based violence.
Uzoma noted that it was also important for state governments to not only domesticate the Violence Against People Prohibition Act (VAPP Act) and the Child Rights Act, but to enforce the Acts to stem the incidences of rape and incest.


“It is regrettable that years after, most states are yet to domesticate either the VAPP and or Child Rights Act. But it is more germane if the Acts are enforced by states that have domesticated them. Today, some states have the Sex Offenders Register, others need to follow suit so that those who commit these crimes face the full weight of the law and live in the infamy of their crimes,” she stated.

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