By Raheem Ibrahim
LAGOS -No fewer than 113 rapists were under prosecution in Lagos High courts just as Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola laments the rising cases of rape in the state.
The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ade Ipaye disclosed this 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.
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.
According to him, “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”.
He stressed further, “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.”
In his comment, Governor Fashola u
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 their 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.