PASSAGE OF VAPP IN KANO STATE: AN INEVITABLE NECESSITY
♥Written By Emmanuel Gabari
An entity or enclave where a particular law is lacking, on the equal measure, there is always absence of sin. This illustration is not unconnected with the lack of passage of Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPP) in Kano state which undoubtedly has given the perpetrators of the heinous crime against humanity the field day to continue the dastard act unabated.
Recall that in 2015, the country signed Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPP) into law, which safeguards the rights of victims of violence, in addition to basic fundamental human rights guaranteed by the Nigerian Constitution.
The fact that this act is yet to be codified and passed into law in Kano State however remains a thing of mystery, even when serial abusers of minors and women were on the rise during the autumn of last year (2020) in the state.
For instance, in June last year, the Kano Police Command reported that it has recorded 42 rape cases between the month of January to May. Detailing the statistical analysis of the rape cases, the State’s PPRO, DSP Abdullahi Haruna disclosed to newsmen during an interview with NAN that 33.3% of the rape cases were committed in uncompleted buildings, 17.7 % at farmlands,15.6 % in shops, 15.6% at suspects’ houses, while 6.5 and 2.9% were committed in markets and victims’ houses respectively.
Aside the predominantly known issue of rape of minors in the State that the passage of VAPP would have tackled to a standstill, issue of domestic violence towards women or housewives in Kano state is another disturbing issue.
Violence against women and girls in the State comes in different nomenclatures which includes physical, sexual and psychological abuses, forced anal sex, verbal abuses and in most cases women are coerced into having forceful sexual intercourse few weeks after child delivery which usually leaves mental scars and dents in their memories.
Of all these abuses against minors and women, the passage of VAPP would no doubt make the victims of these abuses heave heavy sighs of relieve, while on the other hand, it would have been nightmarish to the perpetrators of the crime because the act made provision for life imprisonment for rape offenders.
It also provided 14 years imprisonment for offenders age 14 and below. In other cases, a minimum of 12 years imprisonment without an option of fine for other age groups, or person who perpetrated the act.
At this juncture, the duty of protecting both minors and women from gamut of abuses is the duty of all and sundry. It is incumbent upon all the stakeholders; the media, the traditional and religious leaders, the Ulamas, civil society organisations, international organisations like ipas, ROLAC, coalitions like CPAK and other relevant bodies to keep the striving in persuading those in authority to pass the VAPP Act into law in Kano, so as to save the helpless and harmless victims of these abuses from the claws of their unrepentant abusers. In reiteration, ”if there is no law, then there is no sin.”
Amb Emmanuel Gabari