The Sokoto State Hisbah Commission has decried the rampant cases of sexual assaults in the state, saying it recorded 606 cases of rape last year.
Hisbah Commandant, Dr Adamu Bello Kasarawa, who disclosed this on Sunday in Sokoto said the 2019 figure was up from 296 cases recorded in the year 2018. This, he said, represented a 100 percent rise.
He revealed that “January 2020 alone, we have about 31 cases,” noting that there is rise in cases of illegal camping of young girls, sexual exploitation, and sodomy.
“You find this issue of rape of young girls and teenagers between the age of 5 – 16,” he pointed out.
The Hisbah Commandant said the offenders cut across all the calibre of people in the society including politicians, traditional rulers, Imams, businessmen, and women.
He blamed some of the parents, adding that the issue of poverty had made sexual exploitation more rampant across the state.
The Hisbah Commandant described interference with the legal process as the major challenge in prosecuting rape cases, stressing the need to tackle favouritism, and compromise.
“The interference is a serious issue. The politicians are interfering with the legal process to prosecute and pass judgement against them,” he lamented.
He advised: “I think anything that has to do with rape, politicians should step aside. The issue of interest should not be there.”
Dr. Kasawara urged the state government to empower the Hisbah Commission to tackle the menace and other social vices in the state by providing the necessary facilities, vehicles, operation vans, security gadgets, training and funding.
“Presently, we are just like volunteers; the Commission is owned by the government but no cash backing, that is our serious problem. But we are still trying our best to see that we maintain the services,” he stated.
He added: “By the time Hisbah is empowered and on daily basis prosecute cases of rape in the state, I am very sure people would stop committing that offence; because by the time we set examples with 1,2,3, 4 who have committed the offence and jailed, people will go back to their senses.”