The Senate is proposing 14-year jail term for sexual predators among lecturers in Nigerian tertiary institutions.
The bill sponsored by the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege and Senate Leader, Abdullahi Yahaya, respectively scaled through the second reading on Wednesday, November 6, 2019.
The sexual harassment 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, states that the bill proposes up to 14 years jail term with a minimum of five years for any lecturer, who commits sexual offences in tertiary institutions.
The proposed legislation defines 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.
The bill also recognises other forms of sexual harassment to include; 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.
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 added that in tertiary institutions, sexual harassment must be defined as statutory rape with strict liability for offenders to be prosecuted easily, Channels TV reports.
However, the senator emphasised that any student, who falsely accuses educators of sexual harassment must be expelled.