While women will have their fallopian tubes removed for raping a child and a life sentence for raping someone over 14.
In the Kaduna region of northwestern Nigeria, a state of emergency was declared as rape cases exploded during the coronavirus lockdown.
After outcry from women’s groups, Kaduna Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai signed the law today, which means Africa’s most densely populated country has the strictest rape law.
Before today, the maximum sentence for rape in Nigeria was 21 years and life in prison for raping a child, reports the Daily Star Online.
The governor said the new extreme law was necessary to protect children.
Nigerian police said the number of rapes increased in April after a nationwide coronavirus lockdown was enforced.
According to UNICEF, the African country has long faced a crisis of sexual violence and one in four young women and girls are sexually abused before they turn 18.
The legislation follows mass protests after Uwaila Omozuwa, a 22-year-old student, was raped and clubbed to death while studying at her local church.
She was found lying half-naked in a pool of blood at the church where she had been a choir member for many years.
Edo Police Command spokesman Chidi Nwabuzor said: “The object used in the assault, which was a fire extinguisher, has been recovered.
“Immediately, the officers… examined the fingerprints, which led to our suspect. ”
Uwaila’s sister, Judith, said that she “wanted to be a minister and preach the word of God” and “that she had been murdered where she had always found peace to be just devastating.”