Sexual harassment attracts 7- year imprisonment - ICPC warns randy lecturers and others

Sexual harassment attracts a sentence of 7 years in prison

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Commission (ICPC) has warned raunchy speakers that sexual harassment carries a seven-year prison sentence.

The secretary of the commission, Mr. Clifford Oparaodu, made the warning during a one-day sensitization workshop on sexual harassment in higher education institutions held at the ICPC headquarters on Wednesday, November 22, 2023.

Oparaodu also urged students of tertiary institutions in Nigeria not to be afraid to report issues of sexual harassment to the Commission.

He noted that one of the main challenges in the fight against sexual harassment in tertiary institutions is the lack of complaints from victims due to fear of stigmatization or further victimization.

“It is pertinent to note that illegal benefits are not always pecuniary and it is disheartening that sexual gratification has become a form of “illegal bidding” in many institutions,” he said.

“Sexual harassment is a form of corruption. Employees have been found to use their positions to demand and receive sexual benefits from other employees and students in exchange for good grades or other favors.

“Ideally, official duties should be performed with integrity, good conscience and diligence, without the expectation of any illegal benefit.

According to him, Section 2 (f) of the ICPC Act states that gratuity includes any service or favor of any kind…” Section 8 of the ICPC Act says: “Any person who corruptly solicits, receives or obtains any property or benefit of any kind to yourself or any other person; is guilty of a crime of official corruption and is punishable by a prison sentence of seven years.

“Unfortunately, due to fear of stigmatization or further victimization, many targets of such demands find themselves forced to succumb in order to avoid dire consequences and the denial of benefits to which they may normally be entitled,” he said.

Oparaodu added that the culture of silence had allowed sexual harassment to thrive, but that the ICPC was working tirelessly to ensure that with awareness raising and implementation of appropriate policies, this culture would gradually change.

He explained that the aim of the workshop was to educate students on how to easily contact the ICPC, report incidents of sexual harassment and collect evidence in a way that would support the commission’s investigations.

Presenting some of the initiatives that the ICPC has undertaken to combat sexual harassment, Mr. Oparaodu stated that the Commission has developed two model policies for basic schools (primary and secondary schools) and tertiary institutions.

“At the end of the Project, earlier this year, the Commission committed to continuing the vision, ensuring that the Model Policies were approved by the relevant authorities, widely disseminated and publicized. It is in line with this commitment that a series of workshops were initiated after the approval of the Policies by the Federal Ministry of Education”, he stated.

“A team has been created within the Commission called the Sexual Harassment and Abuse Response Team (SHART) to coordinate investigation, prosecution of cases and informational activities on Sexual Harassment. saw. Several reports relating to Sexual Harassment have been received and investigated by the Commission and legal proceedings are being taken in some notable and identified cases.”


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