Lecturers that engage in sexual relationship with students would henceforth bag a five-year jail term if a bill in the Senate, seeking to completely prohibit any form of sexual relationship between them and their students is passed and assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The bill on Wednesday, passed for first reading in the Senate. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege (Labour-Delta Central) and co-sponsored by 46 other senators, seeks to completely prohibit any form of sexual relationship between lecturers and their students, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
Briefing journalists after plenary, Omo-Agege said the nation’s institutions of higher learning must be sanitised to rid them of lecturers who saw female students as “prize’.
” According to him, when the bill is passed and signed into law, any lecturer found guilty will be liable to a jail term of up to five years but not less than two years with no option of fine.
“When passed into law, it makes 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 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.
“When passed into law, 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.
“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,” Omo- Agege..