Nigerians on sex offenders’ list risk travel ban

Nigerians who are on the Federal Government’s Sexual Offenders Register, which is domiciled with the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, may be denied visas and travels to other countries as part of withdrawn privileges.

Five persons are already on the list; the five being male convicts jailed in 2019 by various courts for incest and rape, including a reverend in Ekiti State.

Our correspondent had exclusively reported in the first week of December that the names on the list are Friday Elijah, who was convicted of incest and lived on Usapa Road, Bwari, Abuja; Shehu Abubakar, guilty of incest; Asateru Gabriel, classified as a reverend and convicted of rape; Emeka Akile, convicted of rape and living on Airport Road, Lugbe, Abuja; and Ade Adegboyega, who lived in Lekki, Lagos State and was convicted of rape.

NAPTIP’s Director of Public Enlightenment, Mr Orakwue Arinze, in an interview with our correspondent, said, “The register will let Nigerians know those who are paedophiles and abusers. I cannot speak for embassies, but I know that no country will like to have a molester, a paedophile or a rapist walk into their country. It is a minimum standard that is applicable in all countries. I know that even people who indulge in electoral malpractices are being denied travel authorisation in some countries, not to talk of convicted paedophiles, molesters and abusers.

“This is not peculiar to Nigeria. Sex offenders’ register is in operation in other parts of the world. So, if you can guess what happens to the convicts in those countries, then I don’t know why anyone will give clearance to sex offenders from other countries to journey into their country.

“The idea is for it to serve as a deterrent and there is no exception.

On November 25, the Federal Government had inaugurated the Sexual Offenders Register, saying it would contain the names and pictures of those convicted for sexual abuse cases, including rape.

The Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, had done the inauguration, while urging Nigerians to report cases of sexual harassments and abuses to the police for prompt action.

The NAPTIP Director-General, Julie Okah-Donli, had noted that anyone arrested for rape would have their information displayed on the register.

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