Governor Emmaneul Udom has signed theViolence Against Persons Prohibition Law , VAPPL, 2020, which empowers judges to hand down life imprisonment to anyone convicted of rape in Akwa Ibom state.
The state's commissioner for agriculture and women affairs, Glory Edet who spoke after the Governor assented the bill, said it is aimed at discouraging the spate of violence in the society.
“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 gender. 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.”
The commissioner also disclosed that sensitisation and awareness campaign on the new law will soon be initiated.
Uwemedimo Nwoko, the state attorney-general and commissioner for justice further revealed that the law also provides 14 years imprisonment for perpetrators of gender-based violence and any kind of sexual offence other than rape.