Senate Revisit Sexual Harassment Bill

Senate Revisit Sexual Harassment Bill

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The Upper Chamber of the National Assembly on Wednesday revisited the Sexual Harassment Bill which was sponsored by Senator Ovie Omo-Agege ( APC, Delta Central) and passed by the eighth Senate.

The Bill which was introduced by the eighth Senate in October 2016 seeks a five -year jail term and five million naira fine for lecturers convicted for sexually harassing male or female students.

This was revealed in a statement signed by Ezrel Tabiowo, Special Assistant on Press to President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan.
According to the Sexual Harassment Bill, an educator will be “ guilty of committing an offence of sexual harassment against a student if he/she has sexual intercourse with a student who is less than 18 years of age; has sexual intercourse with a student or demands sex from a student or a prospective student as a condition to study in an institution, or as a condition to the giving of a passing grade or the granting of honour and scholarships . ”

The bill prescribes that “ 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 five years, but not less than two years without any option of a fine . ”

The bill, however , suffered a major setback as it was not given presidential assent after its passage by the eighth Senate.
Some lawmakers, who were against its passage , had argued that it should be more inclusive and not discriminatory or targeted only at university lecturers .

The reintroduced bill is sponsored by the same Omo -Agege, who is now the Deputy Senate President .

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