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The amendment to the Penal Code establishes that rapists who abuse minors under 14 years old will face castration of their genitals and the removal of the Fallopian tubes in the case of men and women respectively.
Nigeria's Kaduna state reformed a law to punish rape convicts with surgical removal of their genitals as the country faces a rape crisis worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The amendment to the Penal Code establishes that rapists who abuse minors under 14 years old will face the castration of their genitals and the removal of the Fallopian tubes in the case of men and women, respectively. This, in addition to life imprisonment.
On September 16, 2020, Kaduna's governor Nasir El-Rufai enacted the law that aims at radically preventing sex offenders from committing such crimes.
"Death sentences are often commuted in Nigeria to prison sentences, leaving open a chance that a convicted child rapist maybe eventually released after serving several years. Castration removes the possibility of reoffending," said the governor's spokesperson Muyiwa Adekeye via Twitter.
Malam Nasir @elrufai has signed the Kaduna State Penal Code (Amendment) Law 2020 which provides stiff penalties upon conviction for the rape of a child, including surgical castration for male convicts and bilateral salpingectomy for female convicts pic.twitter.com/m86UXi4dEg
The previous law only carried a maximum penalty of 21 years in prison for the rape of an adult and life imprisonment for the rape of a child.
Following a series of scandals and an increment of events, Nigeria's rape crisis has worsened amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In June, all 36 states declared an emergency over rape and other types of violence against women and children.
During the announcement, the country's Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu reported that between January and May 2020, there were registred 717 rapes, and the situation would turn even more critical because of the lockdown measures.
Although Nigeria already has a legal framework to address gender violence through the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act, only 15 out of the 36 states have adopted the legislation that difficulties the conviction of abusers. In this sense, Kaduna's state law reform paves the way to a more severe and preventive gender violence approach nationwide.