Dr. Kayode Fayemi, governor of Ekiti state, has signed a bill protecting children from sexual violence into law.
The bill entitled “Compulsory Treatment and Care for Child Victims of Sexual Violence Law, 2020” was recently passed by the state house of assembly.
Fayemi said his administration has zero tolerance to all forms of sexual violence against women and children in the state, directing the ministry of justice to reaffirm the policy of opposing bail and rejecting plea bargain proposals from perpetrators of rape.
The governor said there should be a national consensus on the issue of rape in the country.
“Today, I’m proud to sign a law that affirms one of the important policies of my administration. That is our policy of zero tolerance of all forms of sexual violence against women and children,” he said.
“The ‘Compulsory Treatment and Care for Child Victims of Sexual Violence Bill, 2020’ reaffirms our commitment not only to prompt medical care for child victims of sexual violence but also supports our resolve to achieve the effective prosecution of sex offenders.
“It is my view that there is a need for a national consensus on the issue. I will be engaging the Nigeria Governors’ Forum at our next meeting to determine what emergency measures can be put in place to address this crisis more effectively and on a national basis.
“Meanwhile, I will urge the house of assembly to engage civil society and the private sector with a view to identifying urgent interventions in ending violence against women and girls that can be implemented without delay.”
The governor said they are going to “modernise” the state’s sex offenders register
to ensure it is effective in combating sexual violence.
“I have directed the ministry of justice to consider additional measures to make the register permanently accessible to the public,” he said.
“The ministry of justice is further directed to reaffirm state policy of opposing bail and rejecting plea bargain proposals from perpetrators of rape and child defilement.
The state government’s policy of ensuring that convicted sex offenders do not benefit from my power of prerogative of mercy remain in force.”
Fayemi also directed the state’s justice ministry to work on measures to clear the backlog of rape and child defilement cases in the courts.