2nd December, 2014
The Lagos State Government says it is currently prosecuting suspected 113 rapists at the High Court in the state, even as Governor Babatunde Fashola laments rising cases of rape in the state.
This was disclosed by the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ade Ipaye on Monday at the signing of the bill on Lagos State Infrastructure and Asset Management into law and the Signing of Executive Order to Establish Sex Offenders Register at the State House, Ikeja, Lagos, southwest Nigeria.
According to Ipaye, four local governments-Alimosho, Kosofe, Agege and Oshodi-Isolo have been identified as the councils with the highest cases of sexual and gender-based violence, in the state.
“We have monitored 113 sexual violence cases currently at the High Court. The team is working actively to ensure prompt prosecution of these cases. 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,” he said.
Ipaye added: “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.”
Speaking, Fashola urged all those people in such local governments where cases of sexual violence were on the increase to change their ways as a society and as a community because if they do not, the state government will not hesitate to come after them.
He also charged operators of the private sector, especially banks, to desist from the habit of asking women they employ to go and bring deposits that are impossible to come by in order to keep their jobs.
“This is the time when women must rise up and say no to those kinds of jobs. If they would not send men on that type of mission, then you must not go. Some of them are mission impossible targets and so that is where vulnerability comes. Why give a woman a big job where she has to put her dignity on the line in order to do it?” he asked.
He maintained that for him, the laws of the states would not mature in the fullest sense without the enforcement capacity and that this is the time when Nigeria must have local and state policing under the control of the territory in which the offence is taking place to deal with.
According to the Governor, if the only reason why the nation embraces state police is to protect the women and children, then it is for a very good reason.
He tasked the electorate to use their votes to get what they want from the parliamentarians.
He said now is the time for the voters, especially the women, to extract the commitment from their parliamentarians that they would support a police formation that helps to protect their rights.