The decision of an upper Shari’ah court sitting in Tudun Wada, Zaria, to sentence three rapists to one year imprisonment with an option of N7,000 fine has led to serious controversy.
The judge of the court in Zaria identified as Malam Iliyasu Muhammad Umar, during the ruling stated that the prosecution led by Sergeant Adamu Yahaya, convinced the court, therefore the three suspects will serve one-year jail term or pay N7,000 fine with 20 strokes of the cane.
While he presented his case at the court, the Prosecutor, Yahaya also said that the offence committed by the suspects contravenes sections 222 and 117 of the Penal Code.
Meanwhile, a deep investigation has it that the trio of Hassan Suleiman, Ibrahim Usman and Adamu Audu, lured their victims of between nine and ten years while on the way to school, while Hassan Suleiman and Ibrahim Usman used to intercept the 9-year-old girl on her way to school and rape her in the process.
However, a lot of residents of Zaria and human rights activists have condemned the decision of the judge, especially that he did not support his decision with any provision of Islamic jurisprudence, as Shari’ah is the status of the court.
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Kaduna State Commissioner for Women Affairs identified as Hafsat Mohammed Baba, when contacted said the new law being used in the state says thus:
“Section 31; (1) No person shall have sexual intercourse with a child. (2) A person who contravenes the provision of subsection (1) of this section commits an offence of rape and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for life. (3) Where a person is charged with an offence under this section, it is immaterial that:
“(a) the offender believed the person to be of or above the age of eighteen years or age of puberty; or (b) the sexual intercourse was with the consent of the child. (4) “Notwithstanding any enactment or rules of law to the contrary, reliable medical, scientific or other physical electronic evidence of rape shall be sufficient to secure a conviction under this section; consequently, the prosecution and the court may dispense with the oral testimony of a parent or of the child victim.”
She further stated that her ministry would follow up the case to ensure justice is served to the maximum, adding that the verdict of the court would only encourage rapists in the state.