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Sex for Marks: ‘NANS has received 2,000 petitions from students on sexual harassment’

The National Association of Nigerians Students (NANS) has so far received about 2,000 petitions from students on sexual harassment by lecturers in varied tertiary institutions in the country.

Danielson Akpan, NANS President disclosed this on Monday while making a presentation in Abuja at the public hearing on Sexual Harassment of Students in Tertiary Institutions (Prohibition) Bill, organised by the Senate.

According to Akpan, it became imperative for NANS to constitute the committee to enable it to take a proper record of sexual harassment cases on campuses so as to proffer solution.

He stated that sexual harassment by educators in tertiary institutions has become “more epidemic than coronavirus” and that if not legally tackled, as proposed in the bill, it would degenerate into gross fall of the educational system.

He insisted that instead of accusing students of seduction, it is lecturers who harass students for sexual gratification.

“As of now, NANS has received over 2,000 petitions from Nigerian students on sexual harassment against university lecturers. We constituted a committee to look into the matter to address the challenges students face from lecturers.

“We don’t think it is necessary to place a penalty on false information as contained in the bill because students do not lie and cannot propagate the falsehood that they are being sexually harassed by lecturers,” he stated.

The bill for Act for prevention, prohibition and redressal of sexual harassment of students in tertiary institutions had scaled second reading in Senate hence the public hearing.

The bill is being sponsored by the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege (APC, Delta Central) and 105 other senators.

The bill was initially passed by the 8th Senate but was not given assent before it was later reintroduced in the 9th Senate.

Specifically, the bill seeks to particularly address the rampant cases of sex for marks as being witnessed in tertiary institutions across the country.

The bill, if finally passed into law, recommend five-year jail term and five million naira fine for lecturers convicted for sexual harassment on male or female students.

The bill states that “an educator will be “guilty of committing an offence of sexual harassment against a student if he/she has sexual intercourse with a student who is less than 18 years of age; has sexual intercourse with a student or demands sex from a student or a prospective student as a condition to study in an institution, or as a condition to the giving of a passing grade or the granting of honour and scholarships.”

It further stipulated that “Any person who commits any of the acts specified in Section 4 of this Act is guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be sentenced to imprisonment of up to five years, but not less than two years without any option of a fine.”

 

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