The Senate has ordered the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, to prosecute Cpl. Anthony Onoja, for allegedly raping a two-year-old girl in Mararaba, Nasarawa State.
The Senate condemned the act of paedophilia and s3xual abuse in its entirety, and mandated the Senate Committee on Police Affairs to investigate it and report back within one week.
The Senate’s order followed a motion entitled, “Cruelty to Infants”, brought by Sen. Helen Esuene (PDP-Akwa Ibom), on Thursday.
Mrs. Esuene said the Nigeria Police Force had refused to charge the
suspect to court for the alleged s*xual assault of the minor. She noted that under the Child Rights Act, s3xual assault was a criminal offence which attracted life or 14 years imprisonment.
Mrs. Esuene said: “this is not the first time it has been reported in this hallowed chamber of a police officer s3xually abusing an infant girl and offenders often go unpunished.”
She called for urgent action to stem this evil.
Senator Abdul Ningi (PDP-Bauchi) attributed increasing spate of s3xual abuse to the neglect of the people’s cultural values.
“For it to be done by a law enforcement officer, it speaks volumes of the negative changes we are having in Africa.”
“As long as we don’t go back to appreciate our culture and history, we will continue to witness these abnormalities which now place us half way between humans and animals,” Ningi said.
Senator Barnabas Gemade (PDP-Benue) said: “it is only the implementation and enforcement of the law that keeps an organisation running.”
“Due to the absence of law enforcement, a policeman can afford to do this kind of thing. There is more protection for a criminal in Nigeria than the innocent,” Gemade said.
The Senate President, Senator David Mark, cautioned against dismissing the issue as a mental case, saying “even if we tie him to a stake and kill him, it is not enough punishment”.