Ekiti State Government has opened a black book, called the Sexual Offenders Register, where a blacklist of convicted sexual offenders would be compiled.
The State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Olawale Fapohunda, disclosed this while receiving the Gender-based Violence Prohibition Law (GBVL) management committee in his office.
The team was led by the Wife of the Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, in her capacity as the chairperson of the committee; and Commissioner for Women Affairs, Social Development and Gender Empowerment, Mrs. Fola Richie-Adewusi.
As part of efforts to strengthen the new Law, the delegation also paid similar advocacy visits to the Vice Chancellor, Ekiti State University, Prof. Oladipo Aina; state command’s Commissioner of Police, Mr. Sotonye Wakama; and Chief Judge, Justice Ayodeji Daramola.
Judging by the emotional and psychological trauma experienced by rape victims, the commissioner said the sexual offender register would ensure that perpetrators were ostracised from the society.
Fapohunda was optimistic that the step would serve as deterrent to men who find pleasure in assaulting women and young girls.
Erelu Bisi Fayemi had urged the commissioner to assign GBV-related cases to lawyers adequately trained for the purpose and who are sensitive to gender issues.
She also called for the retention of such lawyers for a reasonable period of time as prosecuting GBV counsel before they are transferred to other departments of the ministry.
To give legal teeth to the GBVL, the governor’s wife requested the commissioner to ensure that gender-related cases were prosecuted under the new law.
Commending the committee for the efforts put into the GBVL, Fapohunda said that the ministry would ensure that cases related to the new Law were handled with despatch.
Fapohunda told the visitors that the ministry was proposing a Bill on rights of persons with disability, especially women and children, adding that works on the Equal Opportunities Bill had reached an advance stage.
The commissioner said that the ministry was poised to raise the profile of justice in the state.
The Governor of the state, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, had on November 25, 2011, signed into law the gender-based violence bill, which was initiated and promoted by his wife.
Other active players in the sponsorship of the bill were the state ministry of women affairs, social development and gender empowerment, office of the special adviser to the governor on planning and Millennium Development Goals, as well as the state chapter of International Federation of Women Lawyers.
The new Law was in response to gross abuses affecting individuals or groups disproportionately because of their sex across the state.
It seeks to protect the human rights and fundamental freedom of women, children and a minority of men against physical, economic, mental or sexual harm or suffering.
Threats of such acts, coercion and other deprivations of liberty within the public or private spheres are also punishable under the GBVL. .
It frowns on harmful traditional practices, such as female genital mutilation and widowhood rites, imposition of dress codes under any guise, child marriage and criminalising pregnancy outside marriage.
Last modified: July 2, 2013