Ekiti to confiscate guest houses, hotels used for rape

Ekiti State Government has unveiled a plan to confiscate private houses, hotel accommodations, and related places used for the rape.

A statement by Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice Olawale Fapohunda said the Ministry of Justice had issued several warnings to hotel owners and other places of leisure that they risk confiscation of their facilities if such places are used for such offense.

In another development, the police in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, has begun an investigation into the alleged rape of a girl by a security operative attached to the office of the wife of Ekiti State Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi.

According to the statement, the alleged rape occurred on Monday, July 5, 2021, in Abuja.

Fapohunda said the matter, which has been reported at Criminal Investigation Department (CID), FCT Command, was undergoing investigation, adding that further action will be determined by the outcome of the probe.

Fapohunda said the ministry is presently prosecuting 121 cases of rape in various courts across the state.

“This number is particularly disturbing considering this statistic only relates to victims or their relatives who are willing to support the ministry in the prosecution of these cases. Adding unwilling victims to this number is even more alarming.

“It is for this reason that the Ekiti State Ministry of Justice is today announcing additional measures to curb sexual violence in the state, as follows:

“Hindering prosecution has now been proposed to be an offense in the Ekiti State Criminal Law Bill, 2021, that is now before the Ekiti State House of Assembly. Under this heading, it will be a criminal offence for any person to seek to hinder or unlawfully influence the office of the Attorney-General to discontinue certain criminal matters including rape, sexual assault and child defilement. The punishment prescribed is 5 years imprisonment on conviction. Persons in the habit of writing letters of discontinuance in rape matters are specifically invited to take note.

“Legal Protection of Gender-Based Violence Whistleblowers: The Ministry of Justice has proposed an amendment to Gender-Based Violence Prohibition Law 2020 (as amended). The amendment seeks to protect persons who report cases of rape, sexual, and child defilement. By the provisions of the proposed amendment such persons will be included in the Whistleblowers’ Protection Programme of the Ekiti State Ministry of Justice.”

He added: “The Ministry of Justice is currently working on a legislative proposal that will allow the government to revoke the Certificate of Occupancy of such properties with a view to converting them to rehabilitation centers for ex-convicts.

“When implemented it is hoped that these additional measures would reverse the trend of sexual violence in Ekiti State.”

The commissioner stated that the attention of the Ekiti State Ministry of Justice has been drawn to a complaint of rape against security personnel deployed to the state Government House and attached to the convoy of the Governor’s wife.

“The incident is alleged to have taken place on Monday, July 5, 2021, in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

“The case is now being handled by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), FCT Command Headquarters of the Nigeria Police Force. The state government will cooperate fully with the police investigation team to ensure the matter is investigated thoroughly. The victim is receiving extensive psycho-social and legal support to cope with the trauma and seek justice, and her identity is protected.

“The Ministry of Justice will continue to aggressively pursue the Dr. Kayode Fayemi administration’s Zero Tolerance policy for all forms of sexual violence. The government requires the support of our citizens to speak up and speak out on sexual violence in the state. This is our collective responsibility, Fapohunda said.

THE NATION

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