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Saturday, February 22, 2020

Sexual Predators in Tertiary Institutions to Face 14-year Jail Term – Senate

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  • Prescribes expulsion for students who falsely accuse educators of sexual harassment

 

The Senate on Wednesday, debated the Sexual Harassment Bill, which proposed up to 14 years jail term, with a minimum of 5 years without an option of fine, for any educator who commits sexual offences in tertiary institutions.

The bill, which scaled second reading on the floor of the Senate, was sponsored by the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege.

A statement signed by the Special Assistant (Press) to the President of the Senate, Ezrel Tabiowo, defined sexual offences as including: sexual intercourse 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.

Also, 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 debate, Senator Omo-Agege, stated: “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.

“Sexual harassment must be defined in tertiary educational institutions as statutory rape, with strict liability for offenders to be prosecuted easily.

The senator also stressed that the bill prescribes expulsion for students who falsely accuse educators of sexual harassment.

He 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.”

 

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