Rape suspects in Akwa Ibom State may face up to life imprisonment following the signing of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law , VAPPL, 2020 by Governor Udom Emmanuel.
This law will enable judges to hand down life imprisonment to anyone convicted of rape henceforth in the state.
Speaking after the bill was assented to by the Governor, the Dean of Commissioners and Commissioner for Agriculture and Women Affairs, Dr. Glory Edet, describes VAPPL as a sledge hammer for rapists and perpetrators of gender-based violence , maintaining that the Law has clearly spelt out punishment for such offences.
“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”, she stated.
Dr. Edet noted that sensitization and awareness campaign on the new law will soon kick start.
Also speaking, the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Uwemedimo Nwoko said Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Law (VAPPL) 2020, provides penalty of a life sentence for rapists.
He revealed the law also provides 14 years imprisonment for perpetrators of gender-based violence and any kind of sexual offence other than rape.
Meanwhile, state government is commencing electrification of 265 communities yet to be linked to the national grid.
The Commissioner for Information Mr. Charles Udoh disclosed 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.
“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,” he said.
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