With support from the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) Programme, the Adamawa state government has launched a Sexual Offender Database (SOD). This is the second state in the North to establish the database after Kwara state. The database was launched on 1 March 2022 and contains 15 reported cases of rape and defilement.
The database is a digital dashboard of both the sexual offender register and the service provider register. The sexual offender register contains the data of reported, arraigned and convicted sexual offenders; while the service provider register provides information on organisations that provide support services to victims of sexual violence across different sectors.
The establishment of the SOD is a significant milestone towards complying with sections 3(4) and 42(1) of the Adamawa State Violence Against Prohibition Law 2018, which requires a SOD to be maintained and accessible to the public. The objective is to protect the rights and interest of survivors by ensuring that perpetrators of sexual offences are named and shamed, deter others from committing sexual offences, track and monitor cases of sexual offences from reporting to conclusion and link survivors to help they may need. This will bring about prosecution of more sexual offences and access to various services by the survivors.
Prior to the launch, a dedicated team of human resources (drawn from relevant government ministries, known as the High Level Multi-Agency Team) was formed and trained to manage, process, give feedback, analyse, and update the content of the database; while the Service Providers Accountability Resource Committee - who provide services ranging from medical, psychosocial, provision of shelter - shared data for the SOD and provide the required services for survivors.
“These are all major pluses: the VAPP Law is passed, four High Courts have been designated to handle SGBV cases, and today we launch the Sexual Offender Database. I am optimistic that with these initiatives, survivors will have real access to justice.”
Yusuf Amos Sunday, Adamawa State Coordinator, Clear view integrity Foundation and Chairman SPARC