Since 2015, when a new law was introduced, about 40 rape suspects have been charged, in a country of some 200 million people, according to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (Naptip), which has a sex offenders’ list on its website.
The new law broadened the scope under which sexual offences can be penalised in Nigeria and removed the time limit of two months during which rape cases had to be tried before they became ineligible to be heard in a court.
Surgical castration of convicted rapists has been mooted in Nigeria for a while, especially as cases spiked during the recent coronavirus lockdown.
There was widespread outrage in July following the murder of a 22-year-old university student who her family say was brutally raped and bludgeoned to death.
It was one of several shocking cases within a week that led to street protests, an online petition
signed by thousands and a Twitter hashtag #WeAreTired
any Nigerians called for tougher laws, such as the death penalty.
“We feel that the new law will go a long way to curbing rising cases of rapes in our state,” Kaduna lawmaker Shehu Yunusa told the BBC.”If the Kaduna governor signs [this] into law, the next rapist caught in Kaduna might become the first person to be castrated under this new law,” he said.