Amid sex-for-grades scandal, bill to stop sexual harassment reappears in Senate

An anti-sexual harassment bill has been reintroduced in the Senate for consideration.

The Deputy President of the Senate, Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege [NAN]

The bill was read during plenary on Tuesday, October 8, 2019, amid the sex for grades scandal.

Lecturers from the University of Ghana (UG) and the University of Lagos (UNILAG), were caught up in the investigations carried out by BBC Africa Eye.

Sponsored by Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege (Delta Central - APC) during the Eighth Senate, the bill seeks to halt the sexual abuse of female students in tertiary institutions across the country.

Six months after the bill was first introduced in the Senate, it suffered a major setback in the House of Representatives as it was not harmonised for subsequent assent.

When the bill was passed, it 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 sexually abused by lecturers or educators are found to be false by any competent court.

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 may be falsely accused by their students to seek redress.

In the event that the lecturer is falsely accused by his student, the bill provides that he may seek redress. After the lecturer has been acquitted by a court, he can turn the heat on the student who shall be expelled or suspended at the discretion of the institution.

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