According to one of the 46 bills passed by the Senate on Wednesday, anyone found guilty of rape, child sex tourism or deliberate passage of HIV/AIDS to innocent citizens, and other sexual offences, will face life imprisonment.
The Sexual Offences Bill which was sponsored by Senator Chris Anyanwu, among others, prescribes life imprisonment for gang rape, 10 years for incest, another 10 years imprisonment for child pornography or more and a fine of N2 million as well as 14 years jail term for sexual offences.
Presenting the report in the chamber yesterday, Chairman of the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Umaru Dahiru, said the bill seeks to redefine and consolidate existing laws on sexual offences.
Sponsor of the bill and Chairman, Senate Committee on Defence, Navy, Senator Anyanwu who represents Imo East, expressed happiness on the passage of the bill, which had been pending in the Senate since 2013.
Senator Anyanwu said the Sexual Offences law “seeks to make a comprehensive legislation on sexual offences by criminalising certain acts such as sexual tourism, child pornography and cultural and religious sexual offences in our criminal jurisprudence.
For witnesses, too, he said: “The new law also provides for effective witness protection programme to protect victims and witnesses in trial for sexual offences.
“It also provides for compulsory documentation, supervision of sexual offenders and medical treatment for victims, which is in line with the global trend and finally, and most importantly, it provides for adequate and stringent punishments to perpetrators.”
The new sexual offences law also criminalises people who deliberately lace drinks with drugs to sexually abuse victims, prostitution of persons with mental disabilities, among others.