The Lagos State governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has signed an executive bill to officially open a register for all sex offenders in the state. The register is expected to complement crime data register which is already in place in the state to make it easier for law enforcement agents to prosecute sexual offences, such as harassment, defilement of children and rape.
Speaking at the brief signing ceremony, Fashola said the executive order establishing the register makes it mandatory for such offences to be reported irrespective of the offender and the way the issue is settled.
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. We will combat these crimes so that they do not become big crimes in the state.”
The governor noted that the state’s capacity to deal with such criminals was being strengthen by the reforms in the high and 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 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. This was why we have asked everyone to register.
So that before you employ anyone, you will know his track record.” The governor pointed out that the number of the Sexual and Gender Based Violence offenders will not reduce without the collective effort of everyone.
He said, “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 their opposite gender.