The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, on Thursday plenary, proposed a free medical and compulsory health care for rape victims in the State.
The house made the proposal following a bill presented by the Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Felicia Bassey.
Buttressing her points, Hon. Bassey, said the bill when passed will facilitate access to medical services by rape victims and also aid in the validation of rape cases.
She added that the free medical treatment proposed in the bill will encourage rape victims to speak up and seek needed help, as it will be easy for victims to make security reports at the police station.
In their separate contributions, the legislators spoke in favour of the bill as it will help to curb cases of false accusation.
Speaking, the leader of the House, Rt. Hon. Udo Kierian said the law will help to tackle the issue of false accusation as the medical reports will help to verify truth amongst parties involved.
The member representing Ibesikpo Asutan State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Uko maintained that the issue of false accusation can not be underated in rape cases and as such, medical verification is necessary to ascertain such incidents.
Ukanafun lawmaker, Dr. Charity Ido added that with the law in existence, the Act Against Sexual Violence will be strengthened as it will enable victims access medical care and facilitate evidence for police report.
She was also of the view that the law will promote sensitization of the masses and the fear of accessing medical services reduced.
According to members’ contributions, the medical reports of victims aided by the free medical treatment and care proposed in the bill will enhance speedy delivery of justice on rape cases.
However, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey committed the bill to the joint committee on Women Affairs and Social Welfare and Health for consideration and to report to the House within one month.
Other matters considered by the House include a bill on Akwa Ibom State Fiscal Responsibility, 2020 sponsored by Rt. Hon. Uduak Odudoh of Ikot Abasi/Eastern Obolo which passed through a second reading and committed to the House Committee on Appropriation and Finance to Report to the House within a month.