Niger state government laments rising spate of rape, sodomy in Minna

The Niger State government has lamented the increasing spate of rape and sodomy in Minna, the state capital, and its environs.

The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Niger, Nasara Dan Mallam, described the situation as alarming when he visited the Commissioner of Police in the state, Austin Agbonlahor, to deliberate on ways to curb the societal menace.

Mallam said, as critical stakeholders in the administration of criminal justice in the state, he needed to have a dialogue with the police to devise strategies that could assist in reducing crime to the barest minimum.

He urged the police to focus on crime prevention and detection, particularly cases of rape and sodomy which, he said, were assuming a dangerous dimension in the state.

Mallam said: “The ministry, under my leadership, has initiated a gender-related unit that will tackle family-related cases within the ambit of the law. The gender unit of the ministry will partner the state police command to ensure speedy prosecution of such cases.”

The Attorney-General emphasised the need for the police legal department and the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in the Ministry of Justice to work together towards ensuring speedy prosecution of criminal cases in the state.

Responding, Agbonlahor described as worrisome, the rising cases of rape and sodomy, adding that it posed a serious threat to the state.

Agbonlahor blamed parents who asked their children to hawk on the streets, thereby exposing them to various hazards, including sexual predators.

“You can imagine a five-year-old child hawking on the streets which is child labour and child abuse.

“Rape cases are of serious concern and worrisome to the command. A situation where a 57-year-old man will rape a five to eight-year-old girl, you begin to ask what the man is up to,” he said.

The police boss gave the assurance that his command would partner the ministry of justice to support the proposed ‘police and the ministry dialogue’.

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