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Jail term for spousal abandonment, compensation for rape victims… Lalong approves VAPP Act

Jail term for spousal abandonment, compensation for rape victims… Lalong approves VAPP Act
May 19
18:31 2022

Simon Lalong, governor of Plateau, on Thursday, signed the violence against persons prohibition (VAPP) bill into law.

According to a statement by Makut Macham, spokesman to the governor, Lalong signed the bill on Thursday at the government house in Jos, the Plateau state capital.

The VAPP bill was passed into law by former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015 to prevent all forms of violence against persons in public and private life.

The VAPP bill prohibits genital mutilation or female circumcision, forceful ejection of spouses, and harmful widowhood practices.

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It also outlaws abandonment of children, spouses and other dependents without sustenance, as well as provides sanctions for battery and harmful traditional practices.

According to the statement, the Plateau governor said the law was approved as part of efforts to curb violence against women, men and children.

He added that the state government will also provide the necessary support for relevant agencies on the implementation of the law.

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“Among some of the major acts of violence against persons which the Law prohibits and which are to be found in Clauses 3 to 26 of the Bill are offences such as rape which upon conviction attracts the punishment of life imprisonment, and a person who aids, abets or conceals an offender also commits an offence and is liable to imprisonment for a minimum of 12 years imprisonment,” the statement reads.

“Gang Rape also attracts imprisonment for a minimum of 20 years without an option of fine as well as award appropriate compensation to the victim as it may deem fit in the circumstance.

“A marriage partner who forcefully evicts his/her partner from his/her home or refuses him/her access commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than 2 years or to a fine of not less than N300,000 or to both such fine and imprisonment.

“Anyone who incites, aids, or abets another to commit the offence of forceful ejection such as relatives/in-laws who eject widows or persons with disability is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than one year or a fine of not less than N200,000 or both such fine and imprisonment.

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“On the Abandonment of spouse, children and other dependents – Clause 17(1) of the VAAP Law prescribes that any person who abandons a wife/husband, children or other dependents without any means of sustenance commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not less than three years or to fine of not less than N500,000 or to both.

“The law also prohibits Spousal/Partner battery in Clause 20 which states that any person who stalks another commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not less than 2 years or a fine of not less than N500,000 or to both.”

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