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Reject Plea Bargaining Proposals In Gender-Based Violence Cases - AKHA Urges Justice Ministry

The Akwa Ibom House of Assembly (AKHA) has urged the Ministry of Justice to consider bail opposition, while rejecting plea bargaining proposals in genderbased violence cases.  The House at plenary directed the ministry of justice to vigorously prosecute perpetrators of rape, defilement and other gender-based violence in Akwa Ibom State.  It urged all law enforcement agencies, courts and relevant stakeholders in the criminal justice System in the state to consider sexual offences as a first line priority.  The resolution followed a motion sponsored by the member for Etinan State Constituency, Mr Aniefiok Dennis and co-sponsored by the member for Nsit Ubium State Constituency, Mr Otobong Bob.  In his submission, Dennis while lamenting the upsurge of rape cases in the state, disclosed that no fewer than 56 rape and violence cases against women have been reported in Akwa Ibom State with the prosecution of over 23 culprits in last six months.    He cited depression, dissociation from reality, post traumatic stress disorder, unwanted pregnancy and exposure to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) as some of the dangers faced by rape victims.  The lawmaker called on relevant government agencies, religious leaders, traditional rulers, civil society organizations, women groups, security agencies, the media, elites and other stakeholders to aggressively address what he described as barbaric and heinous crimes.  The speaker, Mr Aniekan Bassey, lauded Gov. Udom Emmanuel for assenting to the violence against persons (prohibition) law recently passed by the 7th Assembly.  He directed the clerk, Mrs Mandu Umoren, to communicate the resolution of the House to the appropriate quarters.  Also at plenary, the House considered motions on "The Need For The Establishment of Customary Court of Appeal in Akwa Ibom State, sponsored by the member for Ikot Ekpene/ Obot Akara State Constituency, Mr Idongesit Ntekpere and "A call for the introduction of marine patrols in Riverian Communities of Oku Iboku, Itu clan, Mbiabo, Uruan and its environs, sponsored by the member for Itu State Constituency, Mr Kufreabasi Edidem.  Similarly, "A Bill for a Law to Establish Akwa Ibom State Residents Registration Agency and for connected purposes, sponsored by the member for Ibiono Ibom State Constituency, Mr Godwin Ekpo, scaled first reading, while "A Bill For a Law To Make Provisions for the administration of criminal Justice and other related matters, sponsored by the member for Etinan State Constituency, Mr Aniefiok Dennis, also scaled first reading and were referred to the House Committee on Rules, Business, Ethics and Priviledges for rescheduling.  Meanwhile, the House has adjourned its plenary to Thursday, June 25, 2020.

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