Sexual Harassment Bill: Reps propose 5-year jail for lecturers

The House of Representatives yesterday passed for second reading a bill seeking to punish perpetrators of sexual harassment of students in Nigerian institutions.

The debate on the bill, sent to the House for concurrence from the Senate, was suspended in March this year due to disagreement among members over its restriction to higher educational institutions.

The bill, titled: “Sexual Harassment in Tertiary Education Institution Prohibition Bill, 2016, sponsored by Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, APC, Delta Central, prescribed a 5-year jail term for lecturers and educators convicted of sexual harassment of their male or female students.

The bill also recommended expulsion or suspension for students whose claims of being serially abused by lecturers or educators are found to be false by any competent court.

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Similarly, the bill also proposed a fine of N5 million in the event that the accused person is convicted by a competent court of law even as it made provisions for lecturers and educators who maybe falsely accused by their students to seek redress.

“In such instances, an accused lecturer or educator, who is acquitted by a court can turn the heat on the student, who shall be expelled or suspended, as the institution where both belong deems fit.”

Also yesterday, a Bill seeking to establish a National Renal Centre passed second reading in the House of Representatives.

The sponsor of the Bill, Rep. Bede-Eke Uchenna (Imo-PDP), said the bill seeks to establish a centre that would be charged with the responsibility of researching the cure, prevention and management of kidney related diseases.

According to the Uchenna, medical experts have revealed that more people die every day from kidney related diseases than from malaria and HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.

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