Reps oppose castration as punishment for sex offenders

The House of Representatives has rejected a motion seeking to legalise castration as a punishment for persons convicted of rape to discourage the practice.

During Thursday’s plenary, Rotimi Agunsoye from Lagos State, in a motion, bemoaned the rising cases of sexual assaults in the country.

Recall that Barakat Bello, an 18-year-old girl, was recently raped and murdered by her attackers at her father’s home in Ibadan, Oyo state.

Barakat’s death had come while dusts generated by the death of Vera Omozuwa, a 100-level student of the University of Benin (UNIBEN), after she was raped and brutalised while reading inside a parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), had yet to die down.

Contributing to the motion, James Faleke from Lagos State, suggested stiffer punishments such as castration for offenders to combat rape in the country.

While debating on Faleke’s suggestion, the lawmakers condemned the ballooning cases of rape in the country, adding that it remains the most common form of violence against women.

The lawmakers also blamed “weak institutions, poor enforcement, poverty and unacceptable social practices” for the rising cases of sexual violence against women in the country.

They, however, voted against castration as punishment against persons found guilty of rape.

Suggesting the way forward, the lawmakers called on the federal government to introduce campaigns to sensitise the public against rape and other forms of sexual violence against women.

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