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HomeEducationSexual Harassment:39 Lecturers implicated in cases against Female Students 

Sexual Harassment:39 Lecturers implicated in cases against Female Students 

Sexual Harassment:39 Lecturers implicated in cases against Female Students

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An analysis of a media report has revealed that no fewer than 39 lecturers in the nation’s tertiary institutions have been indicted and dismissed over sexual misconduct in the past five years.

Over the years, sexual harassment has been a recurring menace in Nigeria’s higher educational institutions with a survey conducted in 2018 by the World Bank Group’s Women revealing that 70 per cent of female graduates from tertiary institutions in the country were sexually harassed in school, with the main perpetrators being classmates and lecturers.

Even though the Senate had in 2021, passed a bill stipulating 21 years imprisonment for randy lecturers, most of the lecturers indicted and found guilty after the bill was passed were simply sacked.

Recall that in April 2018, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, announced the indefinite suspension of a professor of Accounting, Richard Oladele, over sexual harassment.

In 2021, the university also dismissed three lecturers from the Departments of English Language, International Relations and Accounting over sexual harassment.

In February 2020, the institution also announced the suspension of a lecturer at the Centre for Distance Learning, Monday Omo-Etan, for sexually molesting a 19-year-old female student.

Also in 2019, Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, announced the suspension of an associate professor, Monday Igbafen, over allegations bordering on sexual harassment of female students.

The don, who was the chairman of the AAU branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities at the time, had accused the vice-chancellor of the institution of trying to frame him.

The senior lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at the university, in a letter written to the school by his lawyers, Osahon Irebhude & Co, demanded a written apology from the school.

In July 2023, the VC of UNIABUJA, Na’allah, said two lecturers were dismissed following allegations of sexual harassment.

In August, the management of the University of Calabar suspended the embattled Dean, Faculty of Law, Prof. Cyril Ndifon, over allegations of sexual harassment. Ndifon is currently being held by security operatives.

On September 7, 2023, the University of Lagos suspended a lecturer, Kadri Babalola, who was accused of raping a 21-year-old student.

Similarly, in October 2023, the Federal College of Forestry, Plateau state announced the suspension of four lecturers over allegations bordering sexual harassment of female students.

Speaking with our correspondents on the matter, the Director of Programmes, Reform Education Nigeria, Ayodamola Oluwatoyin, urged President Bola Tinubu to sign the sexual harassment bill into law.

Oluwatoyin said, “The President signing the bill will be a game-changer. We need to make schools safe for our students. The most unfortunate part of the issue is that some of these students even when harassed are scared to come out in the open for fear of victimisation and other issues.”

Former Programme Manager, Gender Justice at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Foundation, Nafisa Atiku-Adejuwon, urged institutions to prevent survivors from being further victimised into silence and provide safe anonymous pathways for them to report such incidents.

Atiku-Adejuwon also called for the building of a system of trust between university management and the student population.

She added, “The response system has to be survivour-centred and holistic; mental and physical health concerns must be taken seriously. The response system shouldn’t be created to make the university look good; it should be to take care of the survivors.”

 

Punch.

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