CRITICAL ANALYSIS ON THE CONCEPT OF RAPE IN NIGERIA

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ABSTRACT

This study sought to critically analyze the concept of rape in Nigeria. This study employed a doctrinal method. Rape is a destructive crime on the victim across the globe. The victims are devastated physically, psychologically and emotionally. The trauma of rape leaves the victims with scars throughout their lifetime and makes it impossible for them to relate with other people and the opposite sex. The work analysed evolutionary psychological perspective on why people rape and with the emergence of permissibility and adoption of same sex relationships and marriage in some jurisdictions across the world, it is evident that a man can rape a man, a woman can rape a man and a woman can also rape another. Other developed countries have constantly amended their laws on rape, unfortunately under the criminal justice dispensation in Nigeria, the legal framework on the crime of rape needs urgent and necessary reviews both substantively and procedurally as canvassed in this study. The Nigerian Criminal and Penal code should be compared with other provisions of the world and reviewed so that the ambiguity in our laws can be clear and direct like other foreign jurisdictions. It is recommended that the concept of rape particularly in terms of prosecution should be urgently revisited and amended in order to ensure justice for the victims and meet up emerging trends of rape in the Nigeria. It is concluded in this work that except the laws on rape are reviewed, victims will continue to have their rights to justice breached due to the lacunae in the law while the perpetrators of this heinous crime will continue to live above justice and commit more of this crime.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the study

Rape has always been with mankind. However, in recent times, the incidence of rape has increased in Nigeria. Early law on rape was enacted with a view to protecting virgins from rape, abduction and forced marriage. It was also the intention of the law makers to protect the interest of a father in the virginity of his daughter or the interest of a husband in his wife’s fidelity.[1] The laws were made to protect women mostly virgins and wives, this shaped the common law definition of rape which is maintained in some jurisdictions like Nigeria. However, there is a progression in the offence of rape, it is evident in recent years that men are also victims of rape and should be protected by the law. Also, they are other evolving sexual practices which can be used by a person intending to have forceful sexual connection with another, for instance, the penetration of the penis into the anus or the mouth, or the penetration of any other part of the body into the vagina. This has steered many countries to update their laws on rape. Many Nigerian women who have been raped suffer in silence without reporting the incident to law enforcement agencies.[2] The culture of silence aggravates this problem partly from humiliation and intimidation of victims by the police as well as the embarrassment of.