The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, mni, met with President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday at the State House, Abuja.
Speaking to State House correspondents after the closed door meeting, Adamu said he updated the president on sexual and gender-based violence across the country and the efforts of the Police towards addressing the menace.
The IGP stated that law enforcement agents have been dealing with all reported rape incidents and gender-based violence in the country.
Adamu disclosed that the Police had recorded about 717 rape incidents across the country between January and May 2020.
He revealed that 799 suspects have so far been arrested, 631 cases conclusively investigated and charged to court while 52 cases are still under investigation.
“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,’’ he said.
Adamu urged all Nigerians to speak up against cases of rape or any form of molestation, as the Force would continue to deal decisively with such cases promptly.
He said: “I will call on every Nigerian that comes across any victim of sexual offences, rape or gender-based violence to quickly report to law enforcement agents because keeping quiet without reporting it, will give room for the perpetrators to continue to commit the offences.
“It is a very wicked offence, it is wicked of an individual to engage in rape or defilement and there are a lot of reasons for that, some are doing it for ritual purposes and some are doing it because they sit within the family and they see the victims and have the urge to go into it. Such people should not be allowed to go scot free.’’
According to the Police boss, government is going into partnership with all stakeholders within West Africa, to tackle the menace.
“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.
“We have to partner with organizations that are involved in this. We know we have been working seriously with United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and other civil society organizations,” he said.