“Reject Bail on Rape Cases” – Akwa Ibom Legislature urges Judiciary

Speaker Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey

The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has resolved that Ministry of Justice should consider bail opposition while rejecting plea bargaining proposals in gender-based violence against women related cases.

This was contained in a motion raised by the Deputy Leader of the 7th Assembly, Rt. Hon. Aniefiok Dennis Akpan and cosponsored by Hon. (Barr) Otobong Bob, today at plenary.

The House session presided over by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey also resolved that government agencies, religious leaders, traditional rulers, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), women groups, security agencies, media, elites and other stakeholders should aggressively address these barbaric and heinous crimes.

Also, the House urged all law enforcement agencies, courts and relevant stakeholders in the criminal justice system in the State to consider sexual offences as ‘a first-line priority.’

Later in a press brief with the Deputy Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. (Mrs) Felicia Bassey, she noted that the existing laws on violence against persons and others should be strictly enforced to bring the full weight of the law which is life imprisonment against such perpetrators.

The Deputy Speaker advised women to take the responsibility of raising their children and exposing them to the right information on rape which is on the rise in the society.

In the same vein during the press chat, the Chief Whip of the House, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekpenyong urged the Executive which is the implementors of the laws of the State to ensure its enforcement clamps down on the culprits as well as raid them out of the society.

However, the House commended National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) Akwa Ibom Chapter; International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Nigeria; Family Empowerment and Youth Reorientation Path Initiative (FEYReP); and other organisations which have joined the campaign against the menace in the society.

Meanwhile, the House of Assembly also considered the motion on the need to ‘Establish Customary Court of Appeal in the Akwa Ibom State’ raised by the member representing Ikot Ekpene/Obot Akara State constituency, Rt. Hon. Idongesit Ntekpere. The motion was committed to the House Committee on Judiciary, Justice, Human Rights and Public Petitions to report to the House within one month.

The House also considered motions on the need for the introduction of ‘Marine Patrols in the Riverine Communities of Oku Iboku, Itu Clan, Mbiaso, Uruan and its environs; and ‘Request for Immediate Take-over of the Methodist College, Edem Idim Ibakesi by Akwa Ibom State Government,’ and they were committed to relevant committees to report to the House within a month.


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