May 27, 2016

Nigerian Senate Introduces Bill to curb naughty professors

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If you are familiar with Nigerian Universities or you probably studied in one, you may be familiar with instances involving sexual harassment, where naughty professors take advantage of students and harass them into having sex in exchange for marks. It’s also both ways as some girls will rather give it up rather than study thereby going out of their way to get the attention of the lecturers, but a willing student who decides to play dirty with her professor is different from one who is forced into the relationship.

It’s also common to see these professors boast in the open among their counterparts about their sexual escapades with students young enough to be their daughters, apparently, they have no shame and if you are a professor reading this and you indulge in such act, saying shame on you isn’t enough, we just wish karma catches up with you real quick in a way that hurts. 

Tertiary institutions have not been able to adequately stem this tide and sometimes have been involved in covering up such situations. It’s Nigeria anyway, in a better environment, such lecturer will be sacked and never be allowed to teach ever again. Anyway, we hope they all get what’s coming to them. 

Great news however as the Nigerian Senate seeks to introduce a Bill for an Act to make provision for the prohibition of Sexual Harassment of Students by Educators in Tertiary Institutions and for other related matters, 2016 (S.B. 262). This Bill was sponsored by Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege (Delta Central) and 57 others. The Bill got the nod of distinguished Senators and has scaled through second reading, currently it has been referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters to report back in four weeks.

The proposed law seeks to make it a criminal offence for any educator in a university, polytechnic or any other tertiary educational institution to violate or exploit the student-lecturer fiduciary relationship for sexual pleasures. The Bill if passed imposes stiff penalties on offenders in its overall objective of providing tighter statutory protection for students against sexual hostility and all forms of sexual harassment in tertiary schools.

The bill provides a compulsory five-year jail term for lecturers who sexually harass students. Also, vice chancellors of universities, rectors of polytechnics and other chief executives of institutions of higher learning will go to jail for two years if they fail to act within a week on complaints of sexual harassment made by students.

We believe the time is right for us to stamp out and rid our educational institutions of sexual harassment especially in Institutions of Higher Learning. Moreso, we cannot wait to see naughty professors prosecuted and jailed under the new law when it is introduced.

The bill expressly allows sexually harassed students, their parents or guardians to seek civil remedies in damages against sexual predator lecturers before or after their successful criminal prosecution by the state.