Senate passes sexual harassment bill. Offenders to get 14yrs in jail

The Senate on Tuesday read for the third time and passed a bill seeking to stop sexual abuse of female students in the nation’s tertiary institutions.

The Bill titled : “A Bill for an Act to prevent, prohibit and redress sexual harassment of students in tertiary educational institutions and for matters connected therewith, Bill, 2020” was sponsored by the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie-Omo Agege (Delta Central) and co-sponsored by 105 other Senators.

The bill which has 27 clauses, proposes up to 14 years jail term, with a minimum of 5 years, without an option of fine for any educator who commits sexual offences in tertiary institutions.

The bill 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.

Other forms of sexual harassment identified in the bill are 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.

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