In the aftermath of the very public and very damaging #SexForGrades scandal, the Nigerian senate has proposed a prison sentence for people found guilty.
In a new bill called “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” sponsored by the Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege, it was proposed that people found guilty would be liable to serve 14 years in prison.
The bill in question defined sexual harassment to include, 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.
Also added to the definition was 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.
“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” Senator Omo-Agege said
For students who falsely accuse lecturers of sexual assault, expulsion is the punishment proposed by the bill. Arguing this, Omo-Agege 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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