The Speaker of Osun House of Assembly, Mr. Timothy Owoeye, on Thursday restated that anyone found guilty of rape in the state would be liable to life imprisonment after conviction.
Owoeye, during plenary, said it was becoming alarming, the growing rate of rape cases in the country and that it was an issue that must be addressed by all.
He said hard times awaited rapists in the state, as Osun would not tolerate rape, saying that the Director of Legal of the House of Assembly henceforth would be present at all rape-related cases in Osun courts.
He said, “Osun is blessed to have enacted a law that imposes stiffer sentences on perpetrators of rape.
“Section 358 of the Criminal Code Cap 34 Vol. 11, Laws of Osun state, 2002 prescribes a life sentence on anyone found guilty of committing rape, while an attempt to commit rape attracts an imprisonment of fourteen years.
“I have taken my time to study the anti-rape laws across the country. I have also met with several groups who are at the fore-front of the campaign against rape.
“While praying to God to repose the soul of victims of rape, I stand with those who are alive and hope that the victims get justice.
“I am well aware of the two recent cases in our state, the one involving a traditional ruler who allegedly raped a 14-year-old girl and a 27 year old man who was arraigned for allegedly raping a 17-year-old girl.
“I want to charge our law enforcement agencies to diligently prosecute cases of rape.
“With too many instances, we must begin to hold people accountable no matter how highly placed.”
In a related development, the assembly has passed the Osun Youth Development Commission establishment bill 2020, which enables youths in the state to participate in government activities.
Owoeye, during the passage of the bill, said when it is assented to by the governor, it would enhance and encourage active participation of youths in policy making, youth-related programmes as well as other important government activities.
He also said the bill, when passed into law, would harness and develop the full potentials of the youths in the state as partners in development and progress.