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Senate mulls five years jail term for sexual predators in schools

The Senate on Wednesday revisited the sexual harassment bill which was sponsored by Senator Ovie Omo-Agege (APC, Delta Central) and passed by the 8th Senate.

The Bill which was introduced by the 8th Senate in October 2016 seeks a five-year jail term and five million naira fine for lecturers convicted for sexually harassing male or female students.

According to the bill, 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.”

The bill prescribes 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.”

The bill, however, suffered a major setback as it was not given Presidential assent after its passage by the 8th Senate.

Some lawmakers, who were against its passage, had argued that it should be more inclusive and not discriminatory or targeted only at university lecturers.

The reintroduced bill is sponsored by the Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege.

The seven bills that scaled first reading include: Federal Polytechnic Daura Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019, sponsored by Senator Babba Kaita Ahmad (APC, Katsina North); Modibo Adama University of Technology Bill, 2019, by Senator Aishatu Ahmed Dahiru (Adamawa Central); National Rice Development Council Bill, 2019, sponsored by Senator Muhammad Enagi Bima (APC, Niger South), and National Health Insurance Commission Bill, 2019, sponsored by Senator Yahaya Oloriegbe (APC, Kwara Central).

Others are: National Institute for Business Studies Nnewi, Anambra State Bill, 2019, by Senator Ifeanyi Patrick Ubah (YPP, Anambra South), and Federal College of Education Monguno, Borno State Bill, 2019, sponsored by Senator Abubakar Kyari (APC, Borno North).

Sunday Olatunji
Dele Fashomi, seasoned journalist and communication teacher, is a holder of Master of Arts degree in Communication and Language Arts from the University of Ibadan in 1992/93. Earlier, he had bagged a Bachelor degree from the same university in 1984, after which he proceeded to the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos, in 1990, for a postgraduate diploma in Journalism. He had done many courses in communication, including the EU-BBC Editing Course in 2002. Mr. Fashomi combines effectively the practice, research and teaching of communication. And to date, he has published two academic works in communication: Issues in Communication Technology and Policy (2010) and Economic and Social Issues in Advertising and PR (2013). He had his first break in the Nigerian media in Concord Newspapers in 1990 and today, he has over two and half decades experience earned in several newspapers. He has been part of many start-ups, such as The Republic (1987), The Comet (1999), The Anchor 2001 - 2002; Sun Newspapers (2003); Westerner newsmagazine (2005 - 2010) as Editor; National Life (2011) as Sunday Editor, and Newswatch Newspapers (2012- 2016) as Daily Editor. Dele Fashomi is now the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of Newstide247.com newspaper online, which he started in July 2015. He is also into biography writing, with many books in his trail, some of which he wrote alone and one he co- authored with his mentor, Mr Dare Babarinsa, entitled:  Olabiyi Durojaiye - DARE TO BE DiFFERENT. He also guided and collaborated with Pa Olatunji Odusanya in writing his autobiography - AGAINST ALL ODDS. There are many other books in the works under his pen.
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