The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has decried the increased rate of sexual harassment cases across tertiary institutions and secondary schools in the country.
Bolaji Owasanoye, the chairman of the commission, stated this in Abuja at a one-day stakeholders’ summit on review of the draft policy on “Sexual Harassment for Educational Institutions.”
The Commission’s boss also warned every stakeholder in various establishments to desist from any form of sexual gratification which can end their career shabbily. He reiterated that the Act that established ICPC empowered it to prosecute in court, anybody culpable of sexual harassment the way it prosecuted the OAU professor, Richard Akindele, who demanded sex from his students.
“The Commission has successfully proved in court that sexual harassment is an abuse of power where the perpetrator abuses his position and advantage to demand and at times obtain sexual gratification from the victim.
“Indeed, the Commission by the case of FRN vs Richard Akindele established that mere demand for gratification is an offence which the Commission can and will prosecute.
“The Commission is by this project improving its ability to respond to myriad cases of sexual harassment via abuse of power, especially with regard to educational institutions most notably tertiary and secondary education institutions.
“This is not to suggest that sexual harassment does not exist in other areas of society but the situation with educational institutions can be rightly described as epidemic,” Owasanoye explained.
By Feranmi Okuku