A bill to that effect titled: “Sexual Harassment in Tertiary Institutions Bill 2016,” co-sponsored by the senators, passed first reading in the senate yesterday. The bill was sponsored by Senator Ovie Omo- Agege with 45 others.
It seeks for enactment of an Act to Make Provisions for the Prohibition of Sexual Harassment of Students by Educators in Tertiary Educational Institutions in Nigeria and for Matters Connected Therewith, 2016.
Omo-Agege who briefed newsmen after the passage of the bill to second reading said that the major intension of the bill, was to restore morality, discipline and sanity between male educators and female students in higher institutions in the country.
He explained that the bill when passed, would serve as the needed legal framework of domesticating the honour code existing between lecturers and students in tertiary institutions in United States of America into our own penal code here.
He proposed the bill after careful and detailed research on the menace of sexual harassment of female students by male lecturers in our Universities and other tertiary institutions.
He said the need for such law was imperative, so as to stop the trend of turning the institutions from citadel of knowledge to prostitution centers.
“After careful and detailed research on the menace over the years, our position as proposed in this bill , is that since the female students being negatively influenced by male lecturers into sexual relationship are not capable of giving voluntary consent to that arrangement, there is need for potent law to stop the immorality”, he said.
The senators added in the proposed Act that penalty for the Offences listed shall be 5-year jail term for any convicted person.
“Any person who commits any of the acts specified in section 4 of this Act is guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be sentenced to imprisonment of up to 5 years but not less than 2 years without any option of fine.” [myad]