THE application of death penalty to rapists would go a long way to serve as a deterrent to the menace, the Senate said yesterday after expressing concern over the rising wave of rape and defilement of minors in the country.
Besides resolving on death penalty for offenders, the lawmakers underscored the necessity to review relevant laws as well as open registers for rape offenders across the land.
The resolution followed the adoption of a motion on increasing cases of rape, sponsored by Senator Rose Oko, the Cross River North senator, who asked the Red Chamber to take the lead by reviewing existing laws to discourage the trend.
Senator Oko called attention to several alleged rape cases, including the one allegedly by the Pastor of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Biodun Fatoyinbo.
He said: “When an abuse of such a situation takes place, let the parents report the issue to the police or you come to the Senate. I learnt that when a rape case takes place, the private part should not be washed. They should go to the hospital and take the sample.
“To abuse a child of six months is evil. No religion will take it. We should make it a death penalty. By the time you kill two people, people would have learnt and they will stop it.”
Senator Dino Melaye agreed that drastic measures should be taken against rapists.
The Kogi West Senator noted that the application of a stiffer penalty would stop the act.
Melaye said: “This issue is not only satanic, it is also wicked. This is one of the satanic manifestations in the country. If we don’t propose stiffer punishment, people will continue to get away with it.
“When you report a case to the police, they treat it as if it is ordinary. Lecturers carry out sex for marks. I want to encourage the sponsor of this motion to go ahead and come up with amendments to deal with this barbaric act.
“There are now cases of male adults defiling small boys. These things must be cured and the Senate must take the lead in ensuring that this doesn’t continue in this country.”
Senator Oluremi Tinubu backed the death penalty proposal.
The Lagos Central lawmaker, who was alarmed about increasing rate of the defilement of minors, urged parents to take steps to educate their children on sexual awareness.
She said: “The issue is very controversial and scary. As a mother, if our children were the ones violated, we know what would have happened. If we look at the society at large, we have not done anything.
“Children are the most vulnerable group. Whoever is involved in acts like these should face death. I think rape of a minor deserves a death sentence. This is what we need to do to stop this madness.
“Most of these acts are done by people close to these minors. This is time we stepped in as a Senate and protect this country.
“Parents too should be given the orientation too on now to raise their children. Poverty is a major cause of this and we need to educate the parents to reduce this.”