Fashola signs executive order to establish sex offenders’ register


Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, on Monday signed an Executive Order to provide for compulsory reporting of actual and suspected child abuse and establish a sex offenders’ register in the state, stating that the case of child and women abuse would only disappear by the collective actions of all stakeholders.

The Governor who spoke at the Banquet Hall of the Lagos House, Ikeja before a gathering of several women rights groups and non- governmental organisations, added that the government believes that it was not enough to just sign an executive order but to ensure that that the stakeholders also take ownership of the new provision.

He stressed that the Office of the Attorney General in the state has done a lot of work and has identified some areas in the state where there are prevalence of incidents of abuse against women and children.

He urged all those people in such local governments 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.

Fashola 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 the local and state policing under the control of the territory in which the offence is taking place to deal with.

Earlier, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Ade Ipaye while giving a background on the new executive order said the cosmopolitan nature of Lagos and its population density indicate that the government must be very attentive and firm in dealing with incidents of rape, defilement, child abuse or sexual assault lest they spread more rapidly within the communities.

He explained that it is also imperative for the state government to take action against the crimes so as to ensure the safety of all residents and visitors adding that towards this end, the Justice Ministry now has a specialised group in the Directorate of Public Prosecutions to handle the issuance of legal advice for cases of gender and sexual based violence.

Fashola later signed the banner pledge to say “No to Rape” at the event which was also graced by members of the State Executive Council, including the Deputy Governor, Hon (Mrs) Adejoke Orelope- Adefulire; Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs Sola Oworu; Information and Strategy, Mr Lateef Ibirogba, and Chairman, the House of Assembly Committee on Works and Infrastructure, Hon Rotimi Olowo.

Other prominent women groups and members present at the event were the Gender and Development Action led by Mrs Chinwo Onyiuke, Partner for Justice led by Mrs Itoro Eze-Anaba, Accountability and Voice initiatives led by Mrs Oghorgor Olabisi and the Police led by CSP Monday Agbonikah.