The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) with the support of the European union, rule of law and accountability program is facilitating the development of the Sex Offender Register in Nigeria.
The Senior Programme Officer, MacArthur Foundation, Mrs Amina Salihu made this announcement while addressing the issue of accountability, democracy and good governance in Nigeria at the celebration of Wole Soyinka 85th year birthday organised by the Wole Soyinka Center of Investigative Journalism held recently in Lagos.
According to Salihu, there is now an urgent need to protect women, most especially against the violation of bodily integrity in Nigeria.
“In 2015, the violence against person prohibition Acts law was passed after 14 years. This law contains sections that protect the abuse and violence against bodily integrity in Nigeria.
“That law becomes necessary but a insufficient condition to address the issues of women rights”,she said.
She decried the fact that women voices has been diminished due to culture. Thereby, positing that the Sex Offender Register will serve as a way to give voice to victims, most especially women.
Salihu also stated that the law has provided the opportunity to demand accountability around the intersection of gender violence and corruption.
“With the high rate of proliferation on the report of rape against both female and male in the society, unfortunately there is a culture of silence around this crime.
“This crime is a violation of bodily integrity which has led to truncating victims’ future because of trauma and death for others.
While speaking with the newsmen, she said, the Section 1, sub section 4 of the Act established that NAPTIP should have an Sex Offender Register.
She also included that the Sex Offender Register will be digitalised and linked to the NAPTIP website with three sets of data.
“The database will include the offenders biometrics, those who have been convicted with their details of court proceedings, violators who have been arraigned and others offenders reported by the media.
“For the register to be effective, NAPTIP will work together with different agencies such as the police, Ministry of Women Affairs, Civil Defence, NIMC, Human Right Commission and the National Bureau of Statistics. The register will also be disability friendly so as to carry everyone alone”, Salihu explained.
She further explained that the register will serve as a database for citizens to check up and be aware of the personality of the people they relate or want to relate with.
“The goal is not to have so many names but to discouraged the act. The register is a corrective measure against gender violence.
“Sexual Violence is a crime and to protect the right of the citizens is the true meaning of a nation” Salihu noted.