Pedophile register bill scales second reading in Reps

OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives has passed for second reading, a bill that seeks to provide for imprisonment, registration and monitoring of sex offenders against minors.

The bill sponsored by Ochiglegor Idagbo (PDP, Cross River), is entitled ‘A bill for an act to provide for the imprisonment, Registration, and monitoring of persons that have been convicted of sexual assault against children under 18years; the notification of law enforcement agencies, owners of schools, child care services providers, social workers, employers and the general public as a caution against recurrence of sexual offenses and to maintain a resister of sexual offenders in a designated registry.’

Speaking on the bill, Idagbo said that studies have shown that sex predators are serial offenders and that unless the records of convicts are kept, more people would continue to fall victim of the act.

According to Idagbo, “history has taught us that people that commit such offenses are likely to continue to commit the act, the trauma victims of such dastardly act, especially minors go through is huge, to curb this, a proactive approach is required.

“Most Minors who are victim of this act, most times are unable to speak out, which allow abusers to continue to abuse victims.”

He narrated the case of an Uber driver in Lagos, that for days defiled and continued to abuse a minor that he usually drove to school. According to him, further investigations revealed that the man was a convicted sex offender.

Supporting the passage of the bill, Chika Adamu (APC, Niger) said “in the past, when someone commits a crime like abusing a minor, it is referred to as a taboo, but unfortunately, today, people with money can wriggle free from law.

“With a database like this, it would help employers to know the type of individuals they are employing.”

He however posited that “it not only men that sexually assault girls and women, women also do assault boys and men.”

Also supporting the motion, Jimoh Olajide (APC, Lagos) described the act of sexually assaulting a minor as “barbaric and heinous crime” and added that “unfortunately, it has become habitual mannerism, but this bill will help in preventing the recurrence of this crime.”

The bill was put to voice vote, and the members voted unanimously in support of the bill.

The Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, accordingly referred the bill to the Committee on Human Rights.

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