The Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act 2015 was signed into law on 23rd May 2015, by former president, Goodluck Jonathan.NAPTIP was mandated to administer the provisions of the Act, by virtue of Section 44 of the Act. The main thrust of the law is to eliminate violence in private and public life, prohibit all forms of violence against persons to provide maximum protection and effective remedies for victims and punishment of offenders and for other related matters.
Jurisdiction – Only the High Court of the FCT, Abuja has the sole jurisdiction to hear and grant any application brought under the Act by virtue of Section 27 of the Act.The rights of victims of violence are safeguarded under Section 38 of the Act in addition to the rights guaranteed under Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
These rights include the right to receive necessary materials, comprehensive medical, psychological, social, and legal assistance through governmental Agencies or non-governmental agencies providing such assistance.
Section 47 of the Act clearly stipulates that the Act applies only in the FCT.
Section 45 of the Act makes consequential amendments to the Criminal Code, Penal Code, and Criminal Procedure Code to the effect that any provision of the Act shall supersede any other provision on similar offenses in the Criminal Code, Penal Code, and Criminal Procedure Code.
SOME PENALTIES UNDER THE VAPP ACT
RAPE – LIFE IMPRISONMENT: Where the offender is less than 14 years -: 14 years imprisonment. In all other cases -: To a minimum of 12 years imprisonment without an option of fine. Section 1 (2) of the Act.
RAPE BY A GROUP OF PERSONS -: Offenders are liable jointly to a minimum of 20 years imprisonment without an option of fine. Section 1 (2) of the Act.
WILFULLY CAUSING OR INFLICTING PHYSICAL INJURY-: Imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding 5 years or a fine not exceeding N100,000.00 or both. Section 2 (1) of the Act.
ATTEMPT TO COMMIT ACTS OF VIOLENCE-: Imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding 3 years or to a fine not exceeding N200,000.00 or both. Section 2 (2)
INCITING, AIDING, OR COUNSELLING ANOTHER person TO COMMIT ACTS OF VIOLENCE-: Imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or to a fine not exceeding N200,000.00 or both. Section 2 (3)
RECEIVING OR ASSISTING ANOTHER IN COMMITTING AN OFFENSE OF VIOLENCE-: A term of imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or a fine not exceeding N200,000.00 or both. Section 2 (4)
COERCING ANOTHER TO ENGAGE IN ACTS DETRIMENTAL TO THE OTHER PERSON’S PHYSICAL OR PSYCHOLOGICAL WELL BEING-: 3 years imprisonment. Section 3
WILFULLY PLACING A PERSON IN FEAR OF PHYSICAL INJURY-: 2 years imprisonment or to a fine not exceeding N200,000.00 or both. Section 4
COMPELLING ANOTHER BY FORCE/THREAT TO ENGAGE IN ANY CONDUCT OR ACT, SEXUAL TO THE DETRIMENT OF VICTIM’S PHYSICAL OR PSYCHOLOGICAL WELL BEING Section 5