Edo state has launched a “sexual offender database” and Sexual Assault Referral Centre, aimed at curbing rape and other violence against women.
The database base will keep identities of sexual assault convicts as a deterrence for repeat offence.
It comes as the state seeks more conviction for sexual offenders.
“Seventy percent of sexual offence cases are ongoing or under investigation and we would like to have more convictions so that we send a very strong message and signal that we would not tolerate sexual offender in Edo, in particular, rape,” said Governor Godwin Obaseki at the launch of the centre
“History is being made today as we launch first sexual assault referral centre to immortalise Vivian Ugu who lost her life over a decade, having being sexually abuse,” Obaseki said.
He noted that it would be difficult to reduce crime rate in the society, without appropriate punishment for offenders.
“To achieve this we will commit resources in forensic and ensure that we will not only apprehend but get conviction, especially for Uwaila Omozuwa who was raped and murdered.”
The programme Coordinator, Rule of Law and Anti-corruption Programmer, (ROLAC), Melissa Omene, noted that with the launching of the centre, there will be no hiding place for sexual offenders with the naming and shaming of perpetrators.
ROLAC has help state governments across the country to establish or support 22 SARC to take care of 13,075 clients as at June 2020 and have resulted in increased convictions.
In her speech, the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice and of the state, Prof Yinka Omorogbe said the centre is a one-stop, free clinic for survival of sexual and gender base violence and a safe place where survivors are given require care and support.
The centre has registered 127 victims of sexual offenders, 80% of them below age 18.