By Hassan Zaggi
In the past five months –January to May, 799 rape suspects have been arrested while 717 rape cases recorded.
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, disclosed this while responding to questions from journalists at the Presidential Villa, Monday, after a brief meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
He further disclosed that out of the number, 632 have been investigated and charged to court within the period. 52 cases are still under investigation.
It would be recalled that, in the past few weeks, Nigeria recorded a high number of rape incidents and gender-based violence in different parts of the country.
The IGP, however, linked the increase of the rape cases to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.
The IGP further explained that Federal Government is taking the issue of rape and gender-based violence seriously and appealed to Nigerians to promptly report rape incidents to the police.
“We are here to brief you on sexual and gender-based violence and the action that the government has been taking, particularly the Nigeria Police.
“It has come to the public knowledge now that because of the COVID-19 restrictions, we have surge in cases of rape and gender-based violence.
“These are cases that are now coming up but we want to let members of the public know that, rape and gender based violence has been there.
“The law enforcement agents have been dealing with this cases, in most cases, members of the public are not aware of the actions that the law enforcement agents have been taking,” he said
IGP Adamu disclosed that: “The Nigeria police so far from January-May 2020 recorded about 717 rape incidents that were reported across the country, about 799 suspects have been arrested, 631 cases conclusively investigated and charged to court and 52 cases are left and under investigation.
“The police and other security agencies and other non-governmental Organisations have been collaborating, to see to it that these cases of rape and gender based violence are dealt with.
“The NGOs and CSOs that have the capacity to deal with this kind of offenses have been cooperating with law enforcement agencies in capacity building, management of victims of rape and similar offenses and procedures for collecting evidence, towards successful prosecution.
The government has taken the matter to another level now because of the scourge we have noticed.
“I will call on every Nigerian that has or comes across any victim of sexual offenses or rape or gender based violence, to quickly report to law enforcement agents. “Because, keeping it without reporting it will give room for the perpetrators to continue to commit the offenses.
It is a very wicked offense, it is very serious offense, it is very wicked of an individual to engage in rape or defilement.
“And there are a lot of causes, some are doing it for ritual purposes, some are doing it because they are within the family and they see the victims and have the urge to go into it and do it. But such people should not be allowed to go scot free.
“From now onward, national partnership with every stakeholder is what we are going into now and not only within the country but within the sub-region.”