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Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Sexual Harrassment Bill not Targeted at Lecturers - Omo Agege

...Says Constitution Amendment Exercise to Start After Sallah

The Sexual Harassment Bill recently passed by the Senate is not targeted at lecturers in higher institutions of learning but meant to flush out the few bad eggs tarnishing the image of their colleagues, Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege has said.
This comes as Senator Omo-Agege who chairs the Senate Committee on Review of the 1999 Constitution, disclosed that work on altering the constitution would commence in full swing after the Sallah break.
He stated this in Abuja on Tuesday when two groups - Women Education Advocacy and Development Initiative (WEADI) and League of Women Voters of Nigeria (NILOWV) - paid him courtesy visits.
According to a statement signed by his media aide, Yomi Odunuga, the Delta Central lawmaker regretted that few educators are soiling the image of their colleagues, majority of whom he described as '’decent’'.
He commended the Senate President, Senator Ahmad Lawan for providing leadership, while also applauding his colleagues for cosponsoring the bill.
He expressed optimism that given the level of overwhelming support from the Presidency, it would get presidential assent once it receives concurrence from the House of Representatives.
The Bill to Prevent, Prohibit and Redress Sexual Harassment of Students in Tertiary Educational Institutions, 2020, which was passed by the Senate at its sitting on July 7, 2020, prohibits sexual harassment of students in tertiary institutions and prescribes jail term ranging from two to 14 years for various degrees of offences.
Sponsored by the Deputy President of the Senate and co-sponsored by 106 lawmakers, the proposed legislation also prescribes N5million fine for offenders.
When signed into law, any educator who whistles or winks at a student or makes sexually-complimentary or uncomplimentary remarks about a student's physique would be liable to two years imprisonment or a fine of N1million, if found guilty.
Senator Omo-Agege added: "I can also tell you that this bill enjoys the overwhelming support of President Muhammadu Buhari and also the wife of the President, Dr. Aisha Buhari.
"I am also convinced that my colleagues in the House of Representatives are also in a hurry to have this bill passed because they share in our vision to protect our women, our sisters, daughters and young wives who are being daily oppressed and violated in higher institutions of learning.
"We are confident that upon transmission of this bill to the House of Representatives, the leadership and membership of the house will give the requisite concurrence".
Earlier, in her remarks, Executive Director, WEADI,  Pastor Regina Omo-Agege (Ph.D) commended the lawmaker and his colleagues for throwing their weight behind the all-important bill.

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