During its plenary on Wednesday, November 6, the Senate in a crucial motion sponsored by the deputy president of the red chamber, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, deliberated on the proper punishment for lecturers who demand physical gratification from students in institutions.
The proposed bill, which has now passed its second phase at the Senate, came with 27 clauses and was tagged: 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.
The bill is seeking a 14-year jail term for offending lecturers with a minimum of five years, which comes without an option of fine as a deterrent, Channels TV reports.
The bill deals with offence ranging from actual gratification with students, demand for it, harassment, and threat from lecturers.
Making a case for the purpose of the bill, Omo-Agege said:
“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.”
However, the deputy Senate president added that the bill prescribes expulsion as punishment for wrongly accusing lecturers of committing any of the listed related offences.
“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.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that not less than eight lecturers of the Akwa Ibom state University had been sacked after they were accused of harassing female students.
The lecturers sack was approved by the institution’s management and disclosed by the vice chancellor, Eno Ibanga.