By Sola Ogundipe
AFTER a 13-year sojourn in the National Assembly, the Violence Against Persons’ Prohibition, VAPP, Bill 2014, was finally passed yesterday by the Nigerian Senate.
It took the Senate exactly 22 minutes to pass all 46 clauses contained in the bill.
The approval gives legal teeth to enact a law to eliminate, or reduce to a minimum, cases of sexual, domestic and indeed all forms of gender-based violence in the country.
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who took charge of proceedings for at the day’s plenary, described the passage as “an achievement.”
His words: “It is the primary responsibility of the executive to protect the lives and property of its citizens, especially against violence, while ours (the legislature) is to enact laws to support such responsibility.”
A clause-to-clause consideration of the bil, which started on April 14, suffered initial hiccup following observations that Clause 1 of the bill had issues with the term of imprisonment for under-aged sexual offenders.