“We believe that Mr Bello el-Rufai’s conduct by written speech posted online committed crimes prohibited under Cybercrimes (Prohibition) Act, 2015 and the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act, 2015.”
A coalition of 67 women groups has demanded the prosecution of Bello el-Rufai, son of Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna, for threatening violence and gang-rape of a woman on Twitter.
The demand by the group of activists came barely 48 hours after a public apology was tendered by Bello.
The coalition made the call in a petition to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister for Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN).
Executive Director of Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre, Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, and Convener of Women in Politics Forum, Ebere Ifendu, jointly signed the petition on behalf of the 67 groups.
It reads, “We write to request you to use your position as the chief law officer of Nigeria to direct immediate action to investigate and prosecute one Mr Bello el-Rufai (who incidentally is the son of the incumbent governor of Kaduna State), over threats of sexual violence and gang-rape he made against the mother of another Nigerian online via series of tweets last week.
“According to the information we obtained from the internet and which we verily believe was posted by Mr Bello el-Rufai and which he has not disavowed so far, he bullied and intimidated a man who reportedly called him "daddy’s boy" in the course of online interactions between them by offering a series of threats and making grossly offensive statements.
“With due respect, we believe that Mr Bello el-Rufai’s conduct by written speech posted online committed crimes prohibited under Cybercrimes (Prohibition) Act, 2015 and the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act, 2015.
“Furthermore, against the backdrop of incessant and brazen acts of gender-based violence perpetrated by highly placed public officials even in the public sphere, we dare say that there is no better time than now for the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to take effective steps to affirm unequivocally before the whole world that Nigeria is a state governed by the rule of law and assure Nigerian citizens that they can expect that laws enacted by the legislature will be upheld through prosecution, where there is clear evidence of breach; that no-one is above the law; and that all Nigerians regardless of gender, ethnicity and age will be made secure in their person and property through effective enforcement of the law designed to protect them.”