Rapists will be castrated and child rapists put to death in harsh new laws being brought in by a regional governor in Nigeria. Any man who rapes a person aged over 14 will have their penis surgically castrated and be handed a life sentence, but they will be executed for raping a child under the age of 14. While women will have their fallopian tubes removed for raping a child, and a life sentence for raping a person over the age of 14. In the region of Kaduna, in north-western Nigeria, a state of emergency was declared as cases of rape soared during the coronavirus lockdown.
After an outcry from women's groups, Kaduna Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai signed the law into effect today, meaning Africa's most densely populated country has the strictest law against rape. Before today, the maximum sentence for rape in Nigeria was 21 years, and life in jail for raping a child, reports Daily Star Online. The Governor said the extreme new law was necessary to protect children.
Nigerian Police said rape numbers surged in April after a nationwide coronavirus lockdown was enforced. According to UNICEF, the African nation has long faced a sexual violence crisis and one in four young women and girls is sexually abused before they turn 18. The legislation follows mass protests after Uwaila Omozuwa, a 22-year-old student, was raped and bludgeoned to death while she studied in her local church.
She was found lying half-naked in a pool of blood at the church where she had been a member of the choir for many years. Edo Police Command spokesman Chidi Nwabuzor said: "The item used in the assault, which was a fire extinguisher, was recovered. Immediately the operatives... screened the fingerprints, which led to our suspect."
Uwaila's sister, Judith, said she "wanted to be a minister and preach the word of God" and "that she was murdered where she always found peace is just devastating."