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Senate amends Criminal Code, removes gender from rape offences, prescribes life sentence for kidnappers

The Senate on Tuesday passed an amendment to the Criminal Code removing gender for rape offences and increasing the statute of limitation in the period offenders in cases of defilement can be prosecuted.
The Senate, with the amendment, also prescribed life jail sentence for kidnappers as against the current 10 years imprisonment.
The Criminal Code is the criminal law currently in operation in the Southern part of the country while the Northern part operates the Penal Code.
The amendments, sponsored by Senator Oluremi Tinubu, is titled, “A bill for an Act to amend the Criminal Code Act CAP. C.38, Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004.”
It seeks to delete the statute of limitation on defilement, increase punishment for the offence of kidnapping, and remove gender restrictions in the offence of rape and other related matters.
It also eliminates time frame for prosecuting defilement cases by increasing the period from two months to as many years as the victim decide to take up the manner, while also removing gender restrictions on the offence of rape by explaining that both male and female could be raped.

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