By Henry Umoru & Joseph Erunke
ABUJA-SIX months after it was introduced on the floor of the Senate , the bill seeking to stop sexual abuse of female students in the nation’s tertiary institutions was passed Thursday, by the Red Chamber.
The bill, christened: ” 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.
In the alternative, 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.
Shortly, after the passage of the bill, its sponsor, Omo -Agege, while addressing newsmen, expressed satisfaction with the action of the upper legislative chamber.
He explained that the menace of sexual harassment, especially in the nation’s ivory towers has been there for a long time, regretting that past administrations had not done enough to check the menace.