The Enugu State House of Assembly has passed the state’s Criminal Code Amendment Bill, House Bill No. 12, 2020.
The amended bill, sponsored by Mr Chima Obieze, Ezeagu Constituency, at the plenary on Wednesday in Enugu said that it was not in doubt that some of the provisions of the laws relating to the administration of criminal justice system were not in tune with modern realties and practicability.
Obieze said the Law required necessary amendments to make them more practicable and to avoid defeating the aims for which they were originally enacted.
The lawmaker, who is also the House Committee Chairman on Works, Housing and Urban Development, said Section 200 of the Criminal Code Cap 30 Laws of Enugu State of Nigeria 2004 permits them to reproduce the provisions of the said section.
“Any person who has unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under the age of 11 years is guilty of felony, and is liable to life imprisonment.6
“Prosecution for either of the offences defined in this section must begin within two months after the offence is committed.
“A person cannot be convicted of either of the offences defined in this section upon the uncorroborated testimony of one witness.
“Again, it is now a sad reality that not only the girl-child can be abused but also the boy-child. We therefore amend further to hold that the section deals with both the boy-child and the girl child,” nhe said.
“I have said earlier but let me reiterated, we owe our daughters, sisters, wives, sons, and mothers a duty to ensure they grow without any intimidation.
“We can achieve this if we put in place laws and structures that protect them from both physical and sexual abuse from birth till they get to the age of consent and choices.”
Obieze said that he dedicates this New Law to every girl-child out there who was making efforts amid all challenges, difficulties and ugly situations to turn out a better woman.
The member representing Enugu North Constituency, Mr Ibenaku Onoh, said the Assembly had backed the call for holistic reform of Nigerian Police Force, following the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad( SARS).
Onoh argued that the need to reform the police arose from the agitations and cries of Nigerians who had suffered injustice, brutality, intimidation and harassment from the law enforcers.
The lawmaker noted that the recent protest had once again brought to the fore the issue of state policing, pointing out that the abuses and brutalities would reduce drastically if the police were control by the state governments.
While commending the efforts of the police force in providing security to Nigerians, especially residents of Enugu State, he, however, urged the authorities to fish out and deal with those giving the force a bad name.
Contributing, the Speaker of the House, Chief Edward Ubosi, applauded protesters in the state for embarking on a non-violent demonstration to register their displeasure over police brutality.
Ubosi then urged the Federal Government to listen to the masses demanding for the reform of the police to avoid future protests and agitations in the country.
The Assembly adjourned its plenary to October 27.