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AKHA Moves Against Plea Bargain In Gender-Based Violence Cases

Directs Ministry Of Justice To Reject Such During Prosecutions

The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has urged the Ministry of Justice to consider bail opposition, while rejecting plea bargaining proposals in gender-based violence cases.


At plenary on Thursday, the House also directed the Ministry of Justice to vigorously prosecute perpetrators of rape, defilement and other gender-based violence in the state.


It urged all law enforcement agencies, courts and relevant stakeholders in the Criminal Justice system in the state to consider sexual offences as “a first line priority”.


The resolution followed a motion sponsored by the member representing Etinan State Constituency, Rt. Hon Aniefiok Dennis, and co-sponsored by the member for Nsit Ubium State Constituency, Hon. Otobong Bob.
In his submission, Rt. Hon. Dennis while lamenting the upsurge of rape cases in the state, revealed that no fewer than 58 rape and violence cases against women have been reported in Akwa Ibom State with the prosecution of over 23 culprits in the last six months.


He cited depression, dissociation from reality, post-traumatic stress disorder, unwanted pregnancy and exposure to sexually transmitted diseases as some of the dangers faced by rape victims.
He urged relevant government agencies, religious leaders, traditional rulers, civil society organizations, women groups, security agencies, the media, elite and other stakeholders to aggressively address what he described as barbaric and heinous crimes.


Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey, while responding, commended Governor Udom Emmanuel for assenting to the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Law recently passed by the 7th Assembly.
He directed the clerk, Mrs Mandu Umoren, to communicate the resolution of the House to the appropriate quarters.


At the plenary, the House also considered motions on ‘The Need for the Establishment of Customary Court of Appeal in Akwa Ibom State’; ‘Call for Introduction of Marine Patrols in Riverine Communities of Oku Iboku, Itu Clan, Mbiabo, Uruan and its Environs’ and ‘Request for Immediate Take-over of Methodist College, Edem Idim Ibakesi by Akwa Ibom State Government’ sponsored by Rt. Hon. Idongesit Ntekpere (Ikot Ekpene/Obot Akara), Hon. Kufreabasi Edidem (Itu) and Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Bassey (Ini) respectively.


Similarly, a bill for a law to establish Akwa Ibom State Residents Registration Agency and for connected purposes and a bill for a law to make Provisions for the Administration of Criminal Justice and for Other Related Matters, sponsored by Hon. Godwin Ekpo (Ibiono Ibom) and Rt. Hon. Aniefiok Dennis (Etinan) respectively, scaled through first reading and were referred to the House Committee on Rules, Business, Ethics and Privileges for rescheduling.


Meanwhile, the House has adjourned its plenary to Thursday, June 25, 2020.

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