Senate Laments Lopsided Recruitment Ongoing In FIRS, NDLEA, Others
The Nigerian Senate/File Photo

Following series of sex-for-grade scandals in Nigeria’s tertiary institutions, the Senate on Wednesday debated the Sexual Harassment Bill.

Concise News learnt that the senate also debated another critical bill, President Muhammadu Buhari’s Finance Bill, 2019.

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The Sexual Harassment Bill, sponsored by the Deputy Senate President, Ovie
Omo-Agege , nd President Muhammadu Buhari Finance Bill sponsored by
Senate Leader, Abdullahi Yahaya, scaled second reading on the floor of the
Senate.

The proposed legislation titled “A Bill for an Act to Prevent, Prohibit and Redress Sexual Harassment of Students in Tertiary Educational Institutions and for other matters connected therewith 2019” has 27 clauses.

A statement signed by the Special Assistant (Press) to President of the Senate, Ezrel Tabiowo, says the bill proposes up to 14 years jail term, with a minimum of five years, without an option of fine for any educator who commits sexual offences in tertiary institutions.

According to the bill, sexual offences include: sexual involvement with a student or demands for sex from a student or a prospective student or intimidating or creating a hostile or offensive environment for the student by soliciting for sex or making sexual advances.

Other forms of sexual harassment identified in the bill are grabbing, hugging, kissing, rubbing, stroking, touching, pinching the breasts or hair or lips or hips or buttocks or any other sensual part of the body of a student; or sending by hand or courier or electronic or any other means naked or sexually explicit pictures or videos or sex related objects to a student, and whistling or winking at a student or screaming, exclaiming, joking or making sexually complimentary or uncomplimentary remarks about a student’s physique or stalking a student.

In his lead debate, Senator Omo-Agege, said: “the most effective way to deal with the offence of sexual harassment in our tertiary institutions is to penalise the very impropriety of the act, with or without consent.”

The senator stated that the bill will not be extended to primary, secondary schools, worship centres and work place, adding that it is not necessary because the Criminal and Penal codes already adequately deals with these categories with sufficient clarity.

He however said, “An educator whose character is maligned is at liberty to sue for defamation under the law of defamation which is well-settled in our jurisprudence and needs no duplication in this bill.”