The alarming rate of rape in Nigeria




Rape is a very serious sexual assault both under Nigerian law and other jurisdictions. The reason is that the issue of sexual intercourse is strictly a personal thing and should be done on the volition of the individual that wish to indulge in it. In other words, consent is paramount in sexual intercourse. Thus, when carnal knowledge is undertaken without a person’s consent, it amounts to a crime. The offence of rape is heinous because apart from constituting an invasion of the most intimate privacy of the victim, it usually has devastating effects on victims and their families, respectively.

The offence of rape is one of the growing evils in Nigeria. There were times when a Nigerian only got to read about rape on foreign papers, but today it has become prevalent in Nigeria.

The sad truth is that rape is only talked about mutedly,mostly when it is committed by or against a person.

The offence of rape in Nigeria is enshrined in both the penal and criminal codes. But this discussion will be based on the position of the Penal Code. Section 282 of the penal code defines rape thus:

A man is said to commit rape, who has sexual intercourse with a woman in any of

the following circumstances: Against her will; without her consent; with her consent, when her consent has been obtained by putting her in fear of death been obtained by putting her in fear of death or hurt; with her consent, when the man knows that he is not her husband and that her consent is given because believes he is another man to whom she is, or believes herself to be lawfully married; with her consent when she is under the age of 14 years or of unsound mind.

What you need to know about rape

Breaking of hymen or ejaculation is not necessary to proof rape as in the case of Captain Jackson Vs Nigerian Army; mere penetration of a man’s penis into the prosecutrix’s vigina is sufficient to establish the offence of rape; a woman cannot rape a man; a man cannot rape his wife!(except if she has not attained the age of puberty or a court has given a separation order); misrepresentation as to wealth or position cannot vitiate consent; where a woman consents to have sexual intercourse with a man and on the process she asks him to stop, if he continues, he has committed rape because at that time she has withdrawn consent; where a woman consents to sexual intercourse with the use of condoms if the man refuses to use same he has committed rape; a prostitute can be raped!

Punishment

Section 283 of the Penal Code punishes the offence of rape with life imprisonment or a lesser term and with fine.

Rape is evil

Justice Mohammad Tanko (CJN) in the case of SHU’AIBU ISAH V STATE (2016) opined that “a rapist is worst than an animal he has no moral rectitude! He has no respect for purity and sanctity of a girl who is respected by her parents and the society.”

Causes of rape

Indecent dressing; going to lonely places at late hours; poor legislations on rape; use of drugs or alcohol by girls

Treatment of rape victims

Immediately report any case of rape to the nearest police station, and take the victim to a hospital for tests and medications, love them, show them care and concern and above all do not gossip about them!

Conclusion

Rape is one of the fast growing evils in the human society. It affects all persons in one way or the other thus, it is a joint fight!!! Don’t do it!! Don’t allow it to be done to another!! Don’t allow it go unpunished!! Remember! The next time it might be you or someone you love.

Peri writes from Faculty of Law, University of Maiduguri

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