Sex-for-grade Scandal: HURIWA Blames ASUU, Calls for Strong Legal Framework to Check Menace





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A leading pro-democracy and civil Rights advocacy group – Human Rights
Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has demanded concrete steps by
the Academic Staff Union of Universities and the National Association
of Nigerian Students (NANS) to tackle the incidents of sexual
violations of admission seekers and students.
HURIWA said that the cases of sexual violations of students and
seekers of admissions into public universities are widespread, however
maintained that in 2016, The Senate passed the Sexual Harassment in
Tertiary Education Institution Bill, which provides for a five-year
jail term for a lecturer convicted for sexually harassing male or
female students. The bill was sponsored by Senator OvieOmoAgege who is
now the Deputy President of the Senate.
HURIWA  recalled that the bill also proposed a fine of N5million in
the alternative just as it also made provisions for lecturers and
educators who may be falsely accused by their students to initiate
processes by which students could be punished for false accusation.
HURIWA  recalled that regrettably there was no concurrence by the
House of Representatives so the Bill did not see the light of day even
as the Academic Staff Union of Universities in Nigeria (ASUU) also
kicked against the Bill because according to it, “in all intents and
purposes, the Bill undermines University autonomy.
Conversely, HURIWA has also proposed the introduction of a legislation
to stipulate the chemical castration of rapists convicted for
violating the dignity of children even as the Rights group has sent
the proposal for the new law to the Federal Attorney General and
Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami; Minister of Women Affairs Mrs.
Pauline Tallen; Senate President Ahmed Lawan and Speaker of the
Federal House of Representatives Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila. HURIWA
disclosed that a bill is already drafted which would be sponsored by a
member of the Federal Hpuse of Representatives from Anambra state who
had indicated his interest to so do.
HURIWA stated thus: “In Nigeria rape is unlawful carnal knowledge of a
female by a male. It could be non-consensual sex with an adult female
or carnal knowledge of a female child or minor. On the other hand
Chemical castration is the use of anaphrodisiac drugs to lower sexual
drive. It does not involve removing a person’s testicles like surgical
castration but only the use of drugs delivered by injection to render
the testicles irrelevant. According to the American Journal of
Criminal Law, 1990, chemical castration “reduces the production and
effects of testosterone, thus diminishing the compulsive sexual
fantasy. Formerly inconsistent and commanding urges can be voluntarily
controlled.”

On Jurisdictions with Chemical Castration Law, the Rights group stated
that: Chemical castration is legal in 8 States of USA although not all
States make the treatment mandatory. In 1996 California became the
first US State to legalize it by requiring mandatory treatment for
repeat sex offenders but discretionary injections for first time
offenders. Florida and Texas followed suit but in the latter State,
the offender must be at least 21 years of age.  In Iowa, chemical
castration is allowed in all cases of serious sex offences.  In
Louisiana, judges can sentence convicted rapists to chemical
castration. The State of Alabama law passed in 2019 requires, as a
condition of parole, that convicted sex offender of a child under the
age of 13 undergo the treatment which will continue until a court
rules otherwise.”
“In Canada, the courts cannot order offenders to undergo chemical
castration – they can only impose psychiatric treatment, which can
include the use of anti-libido medication. In 2006, the Canadian Court
of Appeal ruled it constitutional for the National Parole Board to
require that recidivist sex offenders, if found to be long-term
offenders, be chemically castrated as conditions of release.”
The Rights group which also condemned the university authorities in
Nigeria for failing to rein the rampaging group of bullies in the
guise of lecturers who have continued to rape female students in
exchange for grades and admission said sexual harassment of females
and males in schools have reached an epidemic dimension demanding
comprehensive national panacea.
HURIWA recalled that universities in Nigeria caught global attention
not because of academic breakthroughs that earned them some laurels
but because of the alleged sexual violations and harassments of
students and prospective students by randy lecturers.

HURIWA recalled that the media focus on the nation’s universities was
triggered by the release by BBC African Eye of video allegedly showing
academics propositioning undercover female reporters.
Wearing a secret camera, a reporter, Kiki Mordi, had allegedly visited
Dr. Boniface Igbeneghu, a lecturer of the Department of European
Languages and Integrated Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Lagos
(UNILAG), posing as a 17-year-old admission seeker. The clip went on
to show the lecturer allegedly making sexual overtures to the
reporter.
HURIWA  citing the BBC stated that a lecturer at the institution’s
faculty of science who pleaded anonymity informed reporters that many
of his colleagues had become jittery, fearing that their sexual
escapades might be blown open. The lecturer noted that the advent of
social media had made it more difficult for randy lecturers to hide.
HURIWA recalled that    last Thursday, at Bayero University Kano,
Ghanaian investigative reporter, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, had told
participants during a workshop on journalism “On Monday, October 7,
the BBC African Eye will show another film on Nigeria. The lecturers
seated here today might not be happy about this. The film is about sex
for real and some Nigerian universities are featured in the film.”
Barely hours after the video went public; reactions took the online
world by storm. Thousands vented their indignation on Twitter, with
many hinting that the revelation is only a tip of the iceberg.
The Foursquare Gospel Church issued a swift denunciation thereafter,
asking Igbeneghu, said to be one of its pastors, to “step down from
all ministerial assignments.”
HURIWA  said there was the need to put in place sustainable regime of
legal frameworks to confront the hydraheded monster of sexual
harassment of female students and admission seekers by lecturers.
HURIWA has called on the Deputy Senate President to re-sponsor his
bill against the menace.

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