Uwa Vera Omozuwa  – pretty young lady, 22, undergrad – raped and killed. Her ordeals reopen the many wounds inflicted on the hearts of many and reinforces the blemishes on the moral fabrics of the society.  

When a woman is raped, the rapist did not just force his way in to steal some pleasure – he bruised the gates of her private region, inflicted physical pain and torture and then transcend beyond that to cause irreparable emotional trauma; he shattered her soul and spirit; embarrassed her, degraded her, dehumanised her and gave her dark memories, among other damage too many to mention.

When the rapist proceeds to kill her, he now elevates his demonic soul to rank on the same plane with the devil. This makes him a bona-fide prince of hades/hell, who deserves the severest of punishment beginning from castration by the hot sword of the law.

Our women must be safe, live safely and feel safe. Among all the safety measures advised including decent dressing and keeping good company, one thing must be borne in mind – There’s absolutely no excuse for raping any woman. Our men need to know that if a lady puts on a highly attractive dress, you don’t rape her. That’s cowardly, disgraceful and shameful. You show might be stepping up to woo her. If you win, you win. If you lose, you lose. You could try again next time. But you must accept NO when you hear it.

Rapists must be treated like armed robbers. We need a Special Anti-Raping Squad (SARAS). A Squad that will function not like many members of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) who frequently intimidate our young men, extort them and search their bodies and phones without warrant while robbers host gun-parties in neighbourhoods. We need a team of officers highly trained, determined and well financed to focus on the project of combating rape.

What we need is dedicated enforcement of the law against rape. Ordinarily, the law takes rape seriously. This can be gleaned from established principles. For instance, the position of the law affirmed by the Supreme Court is that the slightest penetration of the vagina by an unruly penis without consent amounts to rape. It is therefore immaterial that the victim was found to still be a virgin after the incident. More so, the apex Court has affirmed that no rapist deserves a light sentencing upon conviction.

In addition to the usual sex education, our children, especially the males, must be taught that under no circumstance should they force their way into any woman. Every habit capable of maturing to an act of rape must be abandoned and strictly condemned.

The law enforcement agents must swing into action and demonstrate to the public that justice is alive. In Uwa’s case for instance, the University of Benin must support the pursuit of her case to a logical conclusion. Condolence and advisory letters are not enough. The State and Federal Government must stand up to the cause and other rape incidents in the country. It does not matter how long it takes. Those who defile the root of existence must be shown that there’s no hiding place. 

Stephen Azubuike
Author: Stephen Azubuike
Stephen is a lawyer with expertise in Commercial Dispute Resolution and Technology Law practice. He is a Partner at Infusion Lawyers. He has successfully argued cases from the High Courts of various jurisdictions to the Appellate Courts on behalf of financial institutions, other corporate bodies and multinationals. He has advised a number of both established and startup tech companies. He tweets @siazubuike.
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