Adamawa State Governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, has signed into law the VAPP bill recently passed by the State House of Assembly aimed at addressing the increasing rate of violence against women and girls in the state.
Barr Afraimu Jingi, the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice made the disclosure in Yola saying that the bill was sponsored by RoLAC, FIDA with support from the EU and British Council.
The Violence against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law is to particularly take care of prosecution of rape cases which is on the rise in the state in recent years.
The Attorney General added that “Offenders of rape if found guilty will face life Improvement as punishment except when the offender is less than 14 years of age” stressing that such underage offenders will be sentenced to between 12 to 21 years Imprisonment.
He further explained that “the punishment as stipulated in the new law is to stop the increasing rate of rape or bring it to the barest minimum in the state.”
In addition, according to Jingi, “VAPP Law would prohibit all forms of violence against persons; provide maximum protection, remedies for victims and stiff punishment for offenders.”
He also said that “the VAPP Bill, which Governor Fintiri assented to on August 30, has 47 sections that include the provisions for compensation of victims.”
Others are the appointment of Protection Officers at the local sexual offender, database/register as well as registration and access to service providers
Jingi explained that Governor Finitri enumerated kidnapping, rape, abandonment of children and spouse and other dependents without sustenance, forced isolation and separation from family and friends and harmful widowhood among others, as the most common forms of violence.
He called on all persons to exploit the VAPP Law by monitoring and promptly reporting all cases of violence against persons to the appropriate authorities.
Speaking to our reporter, a legal practitioner, Barr. Kowoabo Takoni, commended the state governor for assenting to the law, saying that the punishment will deter others who would want to commit such crime.
She noted that “the VAPP law will also give relief for survivors of the attack and will also provide an avenue where the convict can be reformed and become a better citizen while in the correctional facility.”