A total of 717 rape cases were recorded in the country between January and May this year, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, has said.
Speaking to State House correspondents in Abuja after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, he also revealed that 799 suspects were arrested while 632 cases have been investigated and charged to court within the period.
Adamu, who was in the company of Minister of Information and Culture and Women Affairs, Lai Mohammed and Paulen Tallen, respectively, said 52 cases are still being investigated.
The police boss pointed out that even though there appears to be a surge in rape incidents and gender-based violence as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, the menace is actually not new to the country.
He remarked that the police had always been dealing with the matter, noting that rape is a serious crime that must be rooted out.
He, therefore, appealed to members of the public to always report the incidents.
The IGP stated: “We are here to brief you on sexual and gender based violence and the action that the government has been taking, particularly the Nigeria Police.
“It has come to the public knowledge now that because of the COVID-19 restrictions, we have surge in cases of rape and gender-based violence. These are cases that are now coming up but we want to let members of the public know that, rape and gender based violence has been there.
“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.
“The Nigeria Police so far from January-May 2020, 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.