The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu on Monday, held a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on the rising cases of sexual violence in the country.
The meeting held at the President’s office, State House, Abuja.
Addressing journalists after the meeting, the Police boss identified the coronavirus lockdown as a major factor responsible for the increase in cases of sexual-based violence particularly rape.
The Police IG was flanked by the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen and the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, while addressing newsmen after Monday’s meeting with the President.
He disclosed that within five months, 717 rape incidents had been recorded by the police, 799 rape suspects arrested, 631 of the cases investigated and charged to court, while investigations are ongoing on 52 of the cases.
Mohammed boasted that no rapist will go unpunished.
“We are here to brief you on sexual and gender-based violence and the action that the government has been taking, particularly the Nigeria Police.
“It has come to the public knowledge now that because of the COVID-19 restrictions, we have surged in cases of rape and gender-based violence. These are cases that are now coming up but we want to let members of the public know that, rape and gender-based violence have been there.
“The law enforcement agents have been dealing with these cases, in most cases, members of the public are not aware of the actions that the law enforcement agents have been taking.
“The Nigeria police so far from January to May 2020, we have recorded about 717 rape incidents that were reported across the country, about 799 suspects have been arrested, 631 cases conclusively investigated and charged to court and 52 cases are left and under investigation.
“The police and other security agencies and other Non-Governmental Organizations have been collaborating, to see to it that these cases of rape and gender-based violence are dealt with. The NGOs and CSOs (Civil Society Organizations) that have the capacity to deal with this kind of offenses, have been cooperating with law enforcement agencies in capacity building, management of victims of rape and similar offenses and procedures for collecting evidence, towards successful prosecution,” he said.
IGP Adamu however called on victims and other members of the public to ensure that all cases of sexual violence, abuse, or rape are reported so law enforcement agencies can move in and ensure offenders are brought to justice.
He said, “Keeping it without reporting it will give room for the perpetrators to continue to commit the offenses. It is a very wicked offense, it is a very serious offense, it is very wicked of an individual to engage in rape or defilement.
“And there are a lot of causes, some are doing it for ritual purposes, some are doing it because they are within the family and they see the victims and have the urge to go into it and do it. But such people should not be allowed to go scotch free.
“I am just to inform you that the government is doing something about it and you can see me with the Ministers of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed and Women Affairs Development, Pauline Tallen.
He added that government will continue to collaborate with all relevant stakeholders including international organizations to ensure the negative trend is arrested.
“From now onward, a national partnership with every stakeholder is what we are going into. It will not only be within the country but within the sub-region. We have to partner with organizations that are involved in this.”