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Rape suspects to face life imprisonment in Akwa Ibom

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As Governor Udom of Akwa Ibom signs the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law, VAPPL, 2020 , person(s) guilty of rape in the state may face up to life imprisonment .

This law will ensure that henceforth, judges in the state can sentence rape convicts to life imprisonment.

The Dean of Commissioners and Commissioner for Agriculture and Women Affairs, Dr. Glory Edet, while speaking after the bill was assented to by the Governor, describes VAPPL as a sledgehammer for rapists and perpetrators of gender-based violence, maintaining that the Law has clearly spelled out punishment for such offenses.

In her statement, she said: “I think this is one of the best things that has happened to protect the female gender and as the Commissioner overseeing women matters, I believe the women of Akwa Ibom, the children, and even our men are happy because this law will really teach defaulters a lesson. This law allows for the implementation of a lot of things we were praying for and prescribes stiffer punishment for violators of the Child’s Right Act, perpetrators of violence against citizens of both genders. Before now violators of the female gender had some years to spend in prison but VAPPL recommends life imprisonment to really deal with the offenders and discourage the spate of violence in our society.”

Furthermore, she noted that sensitization and awareness campaigns on the new law will soon kick start.

In a related development, while also speaking at the event, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the state, Barr. Uwemedimo Nwoko said the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Law (VAPPL) 2020, provides a penalty of a life sentence for rapists.

He revealed that the law also provides 14 years imprisonment for perpetrators of gender-based violence and any kind of sexual offense other than rape.

Meanwhile, the state government seeks to commence electrification of 265 communities yet to be linked to the national grid.

The Commissioner for Information Mr. Charles Udoh disclosed the government’s intention to link all communities in the state to the national grid.
According to him, to achieve this, the state Executive Council has mandated the Bureau of Rural Development and Cooperative to commence electrification of 265 villages that are without electricity to facilitate the actualization of Power For-All Initiative by the state government at the end of 2021.

In his words, he said: “You are aware that there are 2274 gazetted villages in Akwa Ibom State, from that number it was reported that 265 villages spread across 27 Local Government Areas in the State are without electricity, so in pursuance of the dream to achieve power for all initiative by 2021, Exco has approved the commencement of the electrification projects in those villages. However, the electrification of the 265 villages will be done in phases base on budgetary provisions and through direct labour.”

Reported by: Fatimah Oyesanmi

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