Nigeria Senate revisits sexual harrassment prohibition bill

Three years after the passage of the sexual harassment prohibition bill, Nigerian Senate Wednesday revisited the bill for legislative action.

Clerk of the Nigerian Senate Nelson Ayewoh re-read the bill sponsored by the deputy Senate president Ovie Omo-Agege during Wednesday’s plenary.

The Bukola Saraki-led 8th Nigerian Senate passed the bill in May 2016 to sentence lecturers caught sexually harassing students to a five-year jail term.

The Sexual Harassment in Tertiary Education Institution Prohibition Bill, however, was not signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.

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The reintroduction of the bill was triggered by a recent video documentary by BBC AfricaEye where lecturers of top universities in West Africa were captured allegedly demanding sex in exchange for marks from female students.

Saraki had appealed to President Buhari and the 9th Senate to “revisit this Bill so that we can implement the institutional reforms necessary to safeguard our children in educational institutions in the country.”

The former senate president also urged the institutions to conduct robust investigations on the accused and all other reports and complaints regarding sexual harassment.

A lecturer and former sub-dean of faculty of art at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Boniface Igbeneghu was caught on camera sexually harassing an undercover reporter who posed as a 17-year-old girl seeking admission into the institution.

UNILAG has since suspended Igbenegu indefinitely.

Also, Yaw Gyampo, a professor of political science, and Paul Butakor, a lecturer at the college of education in the University of Ghana were captured in a 53-minute video documentary released by the BBC Africa Eye on Monday where they allegedly made sexual advances at female students.

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