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Lagos vows to challenge Sexual Offences Bill in court

By Wahab Abdulah

Lagos—Lagos State government yesterday vowed to seek legal redress to compel the Federal Government to repeal offensive sections of the controversial Sexual Offences Bill 2014, if President Muhammadu Buhari eventually assent the bill.

Expressing the state government’s opposition to the controversial Bill awaiting President assent, the state solicitor general,   Mr Lawal Pedro, SAN, said there are certain provisions in the bill which are considered “offensive, obnoxious, inconsistent and likely to increase the incidences of sexual abuse in Nigeria.”

The controversial bill is among the 46 bills hurriedly passed by the last National Assembly awaiting President’s assent.

At a press conference at the ministry of justice, Pedro who was joined by members of the state Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) , said the state which has been championing the fight against sexual violence opposed the bill because “it seeks to introduce a strange defence based on the innocent act of a child (referred to as deceit) and belief of the perpetrator that a child is above 18 years when he committed the act of defiling the child”.

Giving a scenario, Pedro disclosed the National Assembly is incompetent to legislate on general laws such as sexual offences in a federation, except   for the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The solicitor general said the state government would soon register its opposition through a memorandum containing “our thoughts and suggested amendments that should be considered before assent is given to the Sexual Offences Bill, 2014”.

 


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