Mrs Adenike Ibitara, a human rights activist has disagreed with the National Conference’s recommendation of death penalty for persons guilty of raping minors.
Speaking with NAN on Wednesday in Ibadan, the activist, who is also the Head, Human Rights Unit, Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC), explained that death sentence can not stop rape crime since it has not been able to stop armed robbery which the law also prescribed death punishment for.
Ibitara, who noted that instead of focusing on punishment for the offence, the weak processes of convicting offenders should be strengthened as most rapists get away with the crime because it is still very difficult to prove a rape case in the country.
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“Victims are rarely interested in pursuing the case, probably because of the stigmatisation attached and the monetary involvement of settling medical bills” she said. “Before the crime is reported, evidences are erased as the victim must have had her bath, and again, family members hardly support the crime being reported to the police. At the end, rapists get away scot-free and it is who you apprehend that you will sentence”.
The activist, however, urged government to improve medical investigation in order to help solve rape cases.
“The DNA of the semen sample and other related evidences can be resolved through medical investigation, but unfortunately, we still have a long way to go on this” Ibitara said.
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