By Ebitonye Akpodigha
As a way to curb the problems of sexual harassment being faced by some female students in tertiary institutions in Nigeria from their lecturers, the Senate on Thursday passed a bill prohibiting the act.
At the plenary yesterday, the red chamber of the National Assembly said any lecturer found guilty of the offence would spend five years in prison or pay N5 million fine or both.
According to the bill, “An educator shall be guilty of committing an offence of sexual harassment against a student, if he or she has sexual intercourse with a student who is less than 18 years of age, an imbecile or of generally low mental capacity or blind or deaf or otherwise physically challenged.”
Also, the Senate abolished the “consent” defence claim by sexual assault and rape suspects, as contained in the Criminal and Penal Codes.
In the bill, any lecturer that “has sexual intercourse with a student or demands for sex from a student or a prospective student as a condition to giving of a passing grade or the granting of honours and scholarships, or payment of stipend, allowance or other benefits, privileges or considerations.”
Also, it said, “An educator shall be guilty of committing an offence of sexual harassment against a student if he or she solicits sex from or makes sexual advances towards a student when the sexual solicitation or sexual advances result in an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment for the student.
“Or directs or induces another person to commit any act of sexual harassment under this bill, or cooperates in the commission of sexual harassment by another person without which it would not have been committed; grabs or hug or rubs or strokes or touches or pinches the breasts or hair or lips or buttocks or any other sensual part of the body of a student.
“Or displays, gives or sends by hand or courier or electronic or any other means naked or sexually explicit pictures or videos or sex related objects to a student.
“Or whistles or winks at a student or scream or exclaims or jokes or makes sexual complimentary or uncomplimentary remarks about a student’s physique.”
This move will definitely excite many female students in Nigeria, who have had to undergo horror in the hands of their randy lecturers in order to get good grades.
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