Sponsor of the Sexual Offences Bill, Senator Chris Anyanwu, has said that special registers will be opened for rapists and other sexual abuse offenders across the country whenever the bill is finally signed into law.
The bill, which passed for second reading last week, enjoys the support of most of the senators who advocate stiffer punishments for rapists and paedophiles, in order to serve as deterrents and to curb the criminal act.
Anyanwu, who led the debate on the bill on Monday, told our correspondent that novel ideas had been injected into the bill to ensure sanity in relationships.
She said, “Some of the things that we have inserted in this new law are very novel. For instance, if someone had been established to be a serial rapist or a paedophile, we will register him in a register of rapists and paedophiles so that such a person cannot be employed in a school, in a church or anywhere that young and harmless children will fall victim to his crime.
“Some of these things are compulsive things being carried out by people who have developed mental problems and they can’t help themselves and where we have to treat them as it is being done in other part of the world, we should put them away from where they will not do the society any more harm.”
The senator also said the bill had a provision to protect witnesses and victims of sexual abuse.
She said, “In some places where these crimes were committed by powerful individuals or even very strong men in a neighbourhood, coming forward to accuse him and to be a witness, exposes him to danger and so, people keep mum; they can’t talk, witnesses are afraid to come forward.
“This law now makes it possible for witnesses as well as victims to be protected. The victim is not exposed to ridicule and ostracism in their environment. That is, people will not know a person that had fallen victim. That is why, with this bill, we encourage people to come forward with information and they are protected even when they are identified, their identity will be protected.”