The Nigerian senate has introduced a bill that aims to prevent the sexual harassment of university students. The proposed legislation follows a BBC investigation that uncovered alleged sexual misconduct by lecturers in Nigeria and Ghana.
The senate’s deputy president said he hoped the BBC’s investigation would help energize support for the bill. Senator Ovie Omo-Agege said that he regarded sexual harassment in universities as unacceptable.
Former Senate President and Governor of Kwara State, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has also called for the prosecution of university lecturers exposed in the documentary on his twitter handle.
If the bill were to become law it would be illegal for lecturers to make any sexual advances towards students. And under the proposed law, which was read in the senate on Wednesday, teaching staff could face up to 14 years in jail for having sexual relationships with their students.
The anti-sexual harassment bill was originally introduced in 2016 but didn’t pass both houses of parliament.
Critics rejected the bill because it did not cover sexual harassment in the workplace and included a defense for consent. But now the defense for consent has been removed from the latest bill.