The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu stated this on Monday when he addressed State House Correspondents after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock Villa in Abuja.
The IGP said it had been observed that the lockdown, occasioned by the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, had given birth to a rise in rape and other gender-based violent cases across the country, even though they had always been there as criminal activities.
Adamu said the briefing on the activities of the police in curtailing the crime became necessary because many members of the public were not aware of such efforts.
The IGP noted that some men raped for various reasons, including ritual purposes.
He advised the public to collaborate with security agencies to combat the menace and other forms of gender-based violence in the country.
Adamu added: “It has become public knowledge because of the COVID-19 restrictions. We have a surge in cases of rape and gender-based violence…
“The Nigeria Police, so far, from January to May 2020, we 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 other cases are left and under investigation.
“It is a very wicked offence, it is very serious offence. It is very wicked of an individual to engage in rape or defilement.
“There are a lot of causes. Some are doing it for ritual purposes, some are doing it because they are within the family and they see the victims and have the urge to go into it and do it. But such people should not be allowed to go scot-free.”
Adamu, who was accompanied by the Minister of Women Development, Dame Pauline Tallen, and her Information and Culture counterpart, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, also said the Federal Government had started building a more serious response mechanism to crimes to reduce their numbers.