Sexual Harrasment Bill: We Cannot Trust Investigative Panel – Students
… Calls For Life Imprisonment
… GSM Helps In Exposing Sexual Violators -Shekarau
Despite the fact that the Sexual Harassment Bill has abolished Mutual Consent As Defence In Sexual Harassment Cases In Tertiary Educational Institutions, some of the students are still of the opinion that they cannot trust the constitution of the proposed investigative panel to be set up by their institutions.
Kolawole also called for stiffer penalties of life imprisonment for offenders.
“There is need for harmonisation of all related laws. We must commend the legislature for passing the bill, we however called for a more comprehensive bill. The bill gives an outline on how to report sexual harrasment amongst other issues.”
“Rape victims suffers low self-esteem and emotional trauma. We must talk about it, we need to continue to do things that will put a stop to all forms of gender based violence including rape.”
Barrister Shekarau also appealed to Police Officers and investigative panel members to be helpful to victims and empathize with them.“Let’s continue to speak out to shame detractors. “.
“Law alone does not change the society, we need a total human behavioural and cultural change.” Prof. Ogunyemi advised.
Another female survivor and students’ representative, Davidah Oyewunmi, Midwife: School of Nursing Yola, encouraged students who have issues with lecturers to feel free to report to the Students Affairs Officer.
This sexual harrasment also happens to males. The law is not particularly attacking anyone. The problem is multifaceted and needs a multi-pronged approach.” Akiyode concluded.
In her response to Kolawole regarding fairness of university’s investigative panel, Akiyode assured them of presence of many very good people in the university system. She however said; “And if students are not very comfortable with the university’s investigative panel, they are free to report to other human rights body outside the campus.” She stated.
Prof. Ogunyemi also said that ASUU has put some structure in place to punish those who violate the laid down ethics. In University of Ibadan for instance, we have gender policies with special committee on gender mainstreaming.Another panelist, a Broadcast Journalist and member, Men Against Rape, Kingsley Obom-Egbulem, pointed out that when a system refuses to regulate itself, that would be done externally and that’s what is happening to our higher institutions now.
‘Lecturers, teachers are meant to be custodians of these students and nothing contrary to that should be tolerated. We can never go wrong in protecting our children.”