Some High Court judges in the Southwest want all those found culpable in the Ese Oruru saga to be punished to serve as a deterrent to others and stem the tide of child molestation in the country.
They also demand for life jail for anybody convicted of rape which they regretted has continued to rise.
The justices made the call on Thursday in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, at a training workshop on Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Law organized by a Non-Governmental Organization, New Initiative for Social Development (NISD) with support from the British High Commission.
A judge of the Oyo State High Court, Justice Aderonke Aderemi, expressed regret on the circumstances that led to the purported marriage of Ese to Yunusa without the consent of her parents which has left the teenage girl pregnant.
Aderemi called for a review of the nation’s statute books to give more teeth to the law to punish the offenders.
She stressed that the there is the urgent need to review upward, the punishment meant for culprits of this “weighty” crime so as to stem the trend in the country
Aderemi said: “Penalty for rape is too mild, those found guilty of rape should be face life sentence because it is when those sentences are more stringent that such incidences will reduce.
“We need to review our laws” to give room for life sentence for such crime to in a bid to serve as deterrent to other culprits
Justice Akin Oladimeji of the Osun State High Court said culture and religion have not helped the cause of women in Nigeria and other African countries identifying them as parts of triggers of violence against women which he said has become more rampant than the violence against men.
He argued that some culture and religion specifically made men to be lords over women which made it easy for them to batter women.
Oladimeji noted that, “in most cases, culture and religious knowledge always teach women in such circumstances to accept the situation as their own fate.
He suggested that there should be increased public enlightenment by the media, adding that Clerics and religious leaders leaders should be urged to preach against the act at their various religious gathering
Oladimeji said: “There is also the need for more education and not just going to school but real public enlightenment because this thing is not just about the learned, we have professors who do batter their wives”
Justice Titilayo Adesola -Ikpatt of the Ondo State High Court called for the establishment of a special desk and a special court to handle cases of abuse of women “because of the slow nature of the regular court.”
The Chief Judge of Ondo State, Justice Olasehinde Kumuyi, called for a summit of all stakeholders including the media, civil society organizations, the Police, the Judiciary to come together and tackle the menace.