Is It Beyond Pardon?

October 9, 2009

If your landlord/ lady sexually harasses you, would you quit?

By Bridget Amaraegbu
This week, Bridget Amaraegbu takes a look at the incessant cases of sexual harassment perpetuated by some unscrupulous landlords and landladies against their tenants. The question on her mind is: would you quit your abode if faced with such a problem? Find out what the stars have to say.

Beyond-AmakaI’ll not quit but…— Vivien Onukwufor, Lawyer

I’ll not quitimmediately because there must have been a tenancy agreement signed between myself and my landlord. And you will agree with me that no tenancy agreement anywhere will stipulate that a landlord should have so much authority on his/her tenant to the extent of sexually harassing him or her.

As soon as my landlord begins to play such games around me, I’ll simply get my lawyer to call him to order and possibly review the tenancy agreement, incase he has forgotten the rules stipulated in there. He has to also be reminded of the implications of his action because most Nigerians don’t easily remember totally the penalties some of the things they do.

And if they’re not sensitised on the implications of certain unlawful things they do, there may never be sanity in the system. Again, it may not just be enough to remind people of the implications and penalties of their actions but these penalties should be implemented.

If they’re not implemented, certain percentage of our people may never take correction.Take this scenario for example, anybody who is going to rent a house is no doubt looking for safety, and right now, instead of achieving that purpose, my landlord turns around to be the one harassing me, which means that the purpose for which I rented the house is almost defeated.

I strongly believe that if these landlords are made to realise the consequences of breaching an agreement, like tenancy agreement, and if they also know that such a breach can lead someone to prison, many of them will be more careful with the way they handle their tenants. My lawyer is equally supposed to get both of us to reach an agreement that will stop him from any further harassment.

I’m saying this because I know that my safety in that house is no longer guaranteed with such landlord. So, he should be made to understand that he’ll be held responsible for any danger that befalls me from  that moment. Some people can even go as far as arranging robbers to come and attack or rape that tenant because of an issue like this. So, you can see why it’s necessary to hold this man responsible for any further danger.

If he refuses to listen after I must have taken this necessary step, then I may have to take the case to court, which is why most of our people easily succumb to defeat. Our people generally do not have so much time to face the court. So, instead of taking any further venture into the case, they’ll just quit.

I know you really want to know what I’ll do as a lawyer. Sometimes, it may just be better to quit because the level of insecurity in that house will continue to increase on daily basis. so, I may also quit.Going to court may not necessarily be the solution because your chances of winning the case is just 50 percent. Another thing you should understand is that no matter how the court will look at this case, the court has no powers to impose a willing tenant on an unwilling landlord.

Even the court will not want to be held responsible for any further harm. So, once there’s this case of an unwilling landlord, the court can ask the landlord to give the tenant more time to pack out of his house.

There’s still something else I can do, other than calling my lawyer, which is getting very close to his wife if he’s married. That way, he may be scared that I’ll report the matter to her, which I may likely do if he continues to trouble my life. I’m taking this as a last resort because of the consequences that could arise with sensitive matters like this. First, it will create problems in his home and also for me because it’s very possible for his wife not to believe what I’m saying. So, you have to be very careful.

Lastly, if we can always remember to commit our troubles to God, then we would not have any problem at all because God is pleased solving problems like this. So commit this landlord to God and the matter is over.

Move out— Ladi Gombe

Honestly, if I’m harassed in any way, I’ll just quit.
What do I stand to gain if I succumb to his sexual desire? Nothing. So, the best thing is to move out of his house, and if I still have some outstanding rent left there, I’ll bring in someone else to occupy the left over.

Some people will argue that it’s difficult to get a new place but the truth is that if you have your money at hand, you can always get an accommodation in a decent environment. So quit and be free.

Quit— Spyderman, Musician

I’ll quit. My dear, there’ll be no need to stay back and argue with her over anything, and don’t forget that sex is not always a one off thing. Once you start, you’re likely to continue. So, don’t think it will just be a one day game.

Another reason why I’ll quit is that I consider such situation a kind of blackmail, which I don’t want to take from anybody. I should be able to make my choice on whom to share my body with. I don’t care what it will cost me.

Dialogue first— Rymzo, Musician

I don’t really have to quit. There could still be a way out. May be, I should just have a word with her, especially if she’s married.It will be nice to make her understand the implications of what she’s trying to get herself involved in, and that could also cause her to have a rethink. But if she doesn’t, then I’ll quit.

Leave, ‘cos’ my safety is not guaranteed— Emmanuel Ogah, civil servant

First of all, I’ll try to do whatever I can to change her mind from such adulterous act. Even if she’s not married,  she’s not my wife and it’s even worse if she’s married. I’ll ask myself what I’ll be doing in bed with another man’s wife when I know the consequences of doing so?

At any cost, I’ll be willing to quit if she’s not willing to let me stay in peace because my safety in that house is no longer guaranteed. So, just quit.

Quit? Yes but at my convenience —  Florence Okoh, Stylist

My dear I no go lie you-o. This one na serious case. I’m saying this because I’m one person that something like this has happened to. The man, who’s my landlord till date, did it to me, and I was so shocked when he mentioned it, and I’ll tell you why. My landlord is like an in-law to me because my uncle is married to a woman who’s related to him.

So, we all live like we’re related. In fact, I go to his house to eat food whenever I want and his wife is my very close friend. So, I couldn’t understand where he got that inspiration from.

It got to a point where he forced his way into my room and wanted it by force, and I couldn’t shout because I was trying not to destroy his home. So, what I did was to pamper him and promised to give him what he wanted the next day.

The next time he raised the issue, I asked him to sign a three year- rent receipt for me and he’d have what he’s asking for, which he refused to do. And from that day, he started avoiding me. Today, what he does is to tell people that I’m a prostitute. But even at that, I didn’t quit until when I want to.