A Bill which seeks to include males in the definition of rape has passed its second reading. For the longest time, the term ‘Male rape’ was not recognized by law.
Rape by its very definition in the Nigerian constitution stipulated that only women can get rape.
But as society has evolved, it has become evident that this is a poor definition as male rape is a thing that actually happens in society.
The is new bill also seeks to remove the statute of limitation in cases of defilement.
The bill was sponsored by Senator Oluremi Tinubu who in her argument for the bill expressed alarm at the current state of affairs which limits victims of defilement to two months to bring a case against their violator.
She said: “This is untenable in a country where investigations often take longer than two months”
“Considering the shortage of police personnel, relative to our population as prescribed by international standards, the two months limitation is unlikely to be met at all.
“With the development and innovation in forensic technology and the accessibility or otherwise of such infrastructure in Nigeria, rushed investigations with a view to commencing prosecutions within a two month period leave a possibility of a huge margin for error.”
The bill also seeks an amendment to section 221 of the criminal code which provides that “where a person has or attempts carnal knowledge of a girl being of or above the age of thirteen and under the age sixteen, an ‘idiot or imbecile’, he shall be liable to imprisonment for a period of two years provided that the prosecution is commenced within two months after the offence is committed.”
On the case of male rape, Oluremi Tinubu said the definition under the law needs to be reviewed as the law as it is perpetuates the erroneous belief that women do not need to obtain consent before engaging in sexual acts with a man.
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