Castration for rapists unconstitutional – Lawyer

Tina Amanda

A Human Rights Advocate in Rivers State, Nathaniel Akporuvweku, says the law to castrate rapists recently signed by the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai contravenes the provisions of the Constitution.

In an interview with our correspondent Tina Amanda, Akporuvweku stressed that such law is tantamount to torture, which is against the fundamental rights of any Nigeria.

He noted that in as much as the act of rape and defilement were evil, castration was not an option for punishment.

“This very law that has been passed by the Kaduna State Legislature is inconsistent with the provision of the constitution. It contravenes section 34 of the constitution and section 34 provides that every individual is entitled to respect for the dignity of person, accordingly no person shall be subject to torture, inhumane degrading treatments.

“When a law amounts to torture it is already contravening the position of the constitution. We are not saying that the act of defilement or rape should not be handled seriously by government, rape is one offence we frown against which should not be encouraged in the society, but the extent at which the Kaduna State Governor went is unconstitutional.

“As much as the law has been passed, it will become one of those laws that will be tested in the court and will be declared as unconstitutional, if it is so declared, that law becomes like a toothless dog”

The Legal Practitioner, however, emphasized that it would have been better for the Kaduna State government to pass the Child Rights ACT which takes care of rape and defilement cases rather than castration.

“Kaduna State government should have passed the child right law just as Rivers State did. The child right act takes care of offenders who sexually abuse children or have carnal knowledge of anyone without their consent.

“The law clearly provides for such offences, maximum punishment of life imprisonment is guaranteed by the positions of the law, what can be more than that. Castration is not the way to go”