Sexual violence: Lagos Govt opens sex offenders register

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SEX OFFENDERS REGISTER—From left: Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, signing to endorse the campaign establishing the Sex Offenders'  Register, yesterday in Lagos, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, Deputy Governor and Mrs. Itoro Eze-Anaba, Managing Partner, Partnership for Justice (Mirabel Centre), look on.
SEX OFFENDERS REGISTER—From left: Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, signing to endorse the campaign establishing the Sex Offenders’ Register, yesterday in Lagos, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, Deputy Governor and Mrs. Itoro Eze-Anaba, Managing Partner, Partnership for Justice (Mirabel Centre), look on.

Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State , Monday,  identified Alimosho, Kosofe, Agege and Oshodi-Isolo Local Government as the councils with the highest cases of Sexual and Gender Based Violence, SGBV crimes in the state.

The Attorney-general and the Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye however said that the state government was prosecuting no fewer than 113 sexual violence cases across the High Courts in the state.

These were disclosed at the signing of executive order to provides for compulsory reporting of actual or suspected child abuse and establishment of a sex offenders’ register held at the State House, Alausa Secretariat, Ikeja.

Fashola, during his address at the event, with heads of Non-Governmental Organisations, NGOs  in attendance,  including the Managing Partner, Partnership for Justice, Itoro Eze-Anaba, lamented that women and children are the most vulnerable members of the society, saying, “This was why they decided to establish sex offender register and mandated reporting.”

According to him, “I will like to tell those perpetrating the act in these local governments (Alimosho, Kosofe, Agege and Oshodi-Isolo) to desist now because we would be coming after them.”

Explaining the Broken Window theory, the governor said “We will combat these crimes so that they do not become big crimes in the state.”

The governor noted that the state capacity to deal with such criminals was been strengthen by the reforms in the High and the magistrate Courts in the state.

“Also, in order to ensure that criminals are monitored, we have created a crime data register which states everyone who has engaged the criminal justice system of the state, and we have close to a 100, 000 offenders on that register,”

“And very soon, we would start deploying people to the data rooms in the police stations across the state to gather the bio data of offenders including their photographs and others.

Fashola stated that “this was why we have asked everyone to register so that before you employ anyone, you will know his track record.”

The governor emphasized that the number of the Sexual and Gender Based Violence offenders will not reduce without the collective effort of everyone.

“And this is the time for everyone especially women to speak against it. This is the time for us to have a local enforcement unit; either we call it state police or whatever name we wish to call it, to protect the women from frequent abuse from the opposite gender.

“This is the time for women to rise up and challenge employers who sets unimaginable targets for their female employees. These were targets they could not set for men,” he added.

Speaking earlier, Ipaye said “We monitoring one hundred and thirteen 113 sexual violence cases currently at the High Court. The Team is working actively to ensure prompt prosecution of these cases.

Explaining the sex offenders’ register, the Attorney-General said “The major aim of the Sex Offenders Monitoring Programme and the Mandated Reporter policy is to reduce repeat cases by providing names and personal details of convicted sex offenders in the State to a central database.

“The Database will be accessible to individuals and organizations that need information. For example, School proprietors who want to recruit can access this Register as a form of background check.

“The Mandated Reporter policy will make it compulsory for all State School Administrators, Counsellors, Teachers, Social Welfare Officers and any other official of the State Government having any dealings with children to report any suspected or actual child abuse or neglect to the Attorney-General’s office.

“It is envisaged that the Lagos State Sex Offenders Register will be open and maintained by the Lagos State Ministry of Justice in partnership with the Lagos State Judiciary, the Nigerian Prisons and the Nigerian Police,” he added.

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