Yesterday, the 7th of July, the S*xual Harassment Bill was passed by the Senate. The bill contains laws that prosecute lecturers and educators who s*xually prey and harass students in tertiary institutions.
The bill was introduced by the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters. Its first major sponsor was the Committee Chairman, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, All Progressives Congress, APC, Ekiti Central.
It is titled “A Bill for an Act to Prevent, Prohibit and Redress S*xual Harassment of Students in Tertiary Educational Institutions and for other matters connected therewith 2019”. The bill was later coined “S*xual Harassment Bill.”
Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, and by 105 other Senators were also sponsors of the bill.
The S*xual Harassment bill criminalizes any act of neglect or failure of administrative heads of tertiary educational institutions to address complaints of s*xual harassment within a specific period after the initial report.
In the same vein, the bill creates a strict liability of offense on the educators by removing mutual consent as a defense in the prosecution of s*xual harassment cases in tertiary institutions. According to the bill, a deviation from the fiduciary relationship that exists between educators and students is punishable by law.
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To this end, any person who commits the offenses of s*xual harassment of students shall receive up to 14 years imprisonment. There’s also a fine of N5million or both. Some of the offenses listed by the bill include:
- S*xual intercourse with a student
- Demands for s*x from a student or a prospective student
- Intimidating or creating a hostile or offensive environment for the student by soliciting for s*x or making s*xual advances,
- Grabbing, hugging, kissing, rubbing, stroking, touching, pinching the br*asts hair or lips or hips or buttocks or any other sensual part of the body of a student
- Sending by hand or courier or electronic or any other means n*ked or s*xually explicit pictures or videos or s*x related objects to a student
- Whistling or winking at a student
- Screaming, exclaiming, joking, or making s*xually complimentary or uncomplimentary remarks about a student’s physique
- Stalking a student.
- Students found to be falsely accusing a lecturer will face expulsion.
Meanwhile, the bill is in its final stages awaits signing and passing into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
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