Legal luminary, Mallam Yusuf Olaolu Ali (SAN), has called for a compulsory psychiatric test for convicts of rape and sundry sexual offences just as he called for a proactive and stringent punishment to curb the rising cases of sexual abuse of minors in Nigeria.
Ali, in a speech entitled: “Defilement of Children, Roles of Parents, Guardians and Society” delivered in Ado Ekiti, contended that rapists and such were not mentally okay, saying “anyone with full sanity will not likely defile a child moreover his own child.”
In the speech he delivered at the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) 2017 FIDA Ekiti annual week, with the theme: “The Roles of Stakeholders in the 21st Century Childcare” decried the level of sexual abuse of minors as well as rape, and held that “Nigerians have gone beyond being shocked about our level of immorality; we are very religious but we are godless.”
At the Ekiti FIDA week declared open by the state’s Chief Judge, Justice Ayodeji Daramola, represented by Justice Toyin Abodunde, Ali said: “There should be a proactive and stringent punishment enforcement for these child defilers. Even though the offence of child defilement is in itself punishable with life imprisonment, other offences such as indecent assault, sodomy, etc. carry lesser punishment.”
“It is not just expedient to ensure maximum punishment, it is also imperative to enforce this punishment in a very firm and decisive manner. The police authorities should courageously investigate and recommend for prosecution the alleged offenders.”
“The judiciary should not shy away from handing out maximum punishment, when the occasion demands, to sex offenders. This will serve as a deterrent to other aberrant members of the public. Judges should dispense justice without interference from the other arms of government and efforts should be made to ensure that cases are resolved quickly.”
“An ineffective judiciary will promote child abuse despite the enactments of several laws prohibiting it. The use of juvenile courts should be revived especially to try offenders. It is strongly suggested that apart from the punishments provided in the laws, the convicted offenders must be made to undergo compulsory psychiatric rehabilitation.”
Chairman of FIDA in Ekiti State, Mrs. Olufunke Anoma, said 20 people had been jailed in the last one year in the state for sundry sexual offences and violation of other gender-related laws in the state.