Ekiti State Government has given out a directive to hotel owners and announced measures to ensure the protection of young girls from sexual abuse and exploitation in hotels in the State.

The State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Olawale Fapohunda made this known in a statement signed by him on Tuesday, as he gave out a directive to hotel owners in the state to prevent young girls from being abused and exploited in their hotels.

According to him, recent investigations by security agencies in the State revealed that young girls including students of secondary schools were sexually exploited in some hotels across the State.

He hereby advised hotel owners that it is every hotel’s legal responsibility to ensure that their premises are not used for the sexual exploitation of minors and that failure to carry out this duty of care could result in criminal liability.

“Section 219 of the Criminal Code Law of Ekiti State specifically criminalizes sexual abuse and exploitation of young girls in hotels and similar premises.

“The Ekiti State Child Rights Law, 2012 and the Ekiti State Gender Based Violence (Prohibition) Law, 2019, also criminalize sexual abuse and exploitation of young girls.

“Hotel Owners are reminded of the Age Requirement Policy for accommodation of guests in hotels in Ekiti State. For the avoidance of doubt, guests must be 18 years or older with a valid identification to reserve or check into a guest room.

“Their parents or legal guardians must accompany guests under the age of 18. The hotel must at all times reserve the right to ask questions and check photo identification”, he said.

He however enjoined every hotel in the State to immediately place the Age Requirement Policy in a conspicuous place in the reception area of their hotels.

The Attorney General also announced some measures which according to him were to ensure the protection of young girls from sexual abuse and exploitation in hotels in Ekiti State.

“Naming and shaming Hotels whose premises are used for the sexual abuse and exploitation of young girls. The names of Hotel owners as well as the full details of the hotels will be posted and announced on all government communication platforms including electronic and print media as well as social media.

“The Ministry of Justice will henceforth institute civil proceedings on behalf of child victims with a view to seeking compensation from offending hotels. This measure is in addition to the criminal prosecution of the Hotel owner in furtherance of Section 219 of the Criminal Code Law of Ekiti State.

“The measures herein stated are without prejudice to the power of the Government of Ekiti State to revoke the licenses of offending Hotels.

“These measures take effect immediately,” he said.