Inspector-general of police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu has said 717 rape cases were recorded within five months in 2020.
Speaking with journalists after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, and Pauline Tallen, minister of women affairs, at the presidential villa on Monday, Adamu said 799 suspects have been arrested so far.
Over the past weeks, the issue of rape has become a focal point of discussions in Nigeria, with calls for stricter sanctions against perpetrators.
The IGP said while 631 cases have been taken to court, 52 are under investigation and will soon be concluded.
“The law enforcement agents have been dealing with these cases. In most cases, members of the public are not aware of the actions that the law enforcement agents have been taking,” he said.
“The Nigeria Police so far from January-May 2020, we have recorded about 717 rape incidents that were reported across the country; about 799 suspects have been arrested, 631 cases conclusively investigated and charged to court and 52 cases are left and under investigation.
“The police and other security agencies and other non-governmental organisations have been collaborating, to see to it that these cases of rape and gender-based violence are dealt with.
“The NGOs and CSOs that have the capacity to deal with this kind of offences, have been cooperating with law enforcement agencies in capacity building, management of victims of rape and similar offences and procedures for collecting evidence towards successful prosecution.
“The government has taken the matter to another level now because of the scourge we have noticed.”
While describing rape as a wicked offence, Adamu asked citizens to report any crime related to gender-based violence.
“There are a lot of causes. Some are doing it for ritual purposes; some are doing it because they are within the family and they see the victims and have the urge to go into it and do it. But such people should not be allowed to go scot-free,” he said.
“I am just to inform you that government is doing something about it and you can see me with the minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed and [minister of] women affairs development, Pauline Tallen.
“From now onward, national partnership with every stakeholder is what we are going into now and not only within the country but within the sub-region.”