The Senate has amended the Criminal Code Act which recommends life imprisonment for kidnappers and deletes the statute of limitations on cases of rape.
Channels TV reports that Section 218 of the Criminal Code Act (amended) removing the statute of limitations implies that the defilement cases can remain open for as long as possible against the earlier limitation of two months.
The Criminal Code Act Cap. C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (SB.02) was sponsored by Senator Oluremi Tinubu, representing Lagos Central Senatorial District, on September 24, 2019.
The Senate on Tuesday, July 16, 2020, also eliminated the gender restrictions in the offence of rape as Section 357 of the Criminal Code Act defines rape as an offence against women.
It acknowledged that the male gender can also be victims.
Chairman of the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matter, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, in his presentation, explained that the aim of criminal law and criminal justice system is not only for punishment but also for deterrence, retribution, restoration and rehabilitation of offenders.
Senator Bamidele further noted that the proposition to delete statute of limitation on the prosecution of offences under section 218 and 221 of the Criminal Code Act, is a welcome development as the statute of limitation, placed on defilement and rape, negates the principles of natural law, equity and good conscience.
He added that Nigerians, at the public hearing, expressed divergent views as regards the proposed amendments in the bill.