The Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Province of the Niger, Diocese of Niger West has called on the Federal Government and the Nigerian judiciary to treat rapists as criminals.

The diocese in the Bishop’s Charge delivered by the Bishop of Niger West, Rt. Rev. Johnson Ekwe, to the 1st session of the 4th Synod at St Peter’s Church Aguleri specifically, called on the Nigerian judges to be hard on rapists.

“The Federal Government and the Nigerian judiciary, particularly, Nigerian judges should come hard on rapists and treat them like criminals.”

The diocese described rape as a conscious process of intimidation where perpetrators keep women and children especially in a state of constant fear.

“Rape devalues the victim, it is a crime which stigmatizes the emotions, a crime of insult, oppression and revenge that needs to be punished because rapists are criminals and all crimes and their beneficiaries must be punished.

“Rape and other forms of sexual harassment need the urgent and serious attention of family, institutions, civil society groups, government and the international community if we really want to ensure a violence-free society for all.

“We use this opportunity to call on the judiciary to intensify efforts in removing the delay in prosecuting rapists. We believe that the law must no longer be lenient with rapists at all levels to deter perpetrators.”