Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, National President, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), on Monday, advocated the review of existing laws on sexual harassment in tertiary institutions.
He made the call at a hearing in Abuja on “Sexual Harassment of Students in Tertiary Educational Institution Prohibition Bill”, organised by Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters chaired by Sen. Bamidele Opeyemi.
Ogunyemi declared that ASUU was not in support of sexual harassment in any form.
He said since there were laws that addressed the menace, there was no point wasting time on another law.
“Are there laws that would address this same problem. I think the answer is yes. We have the Act of 2015″, NAN quoted him as saying.
“We should reconcile this bill with that act to cover our new areas of concern. Are we also going to formulate a separate law to address corruption in universities?
“If we find laws that are deficient, what does it cost to review it? This bill has failed to take cognisance of various extant legislations that currently deal with sexual offences.
”I see confusion between sexual harassment and abuse. The autonomy law of 2007, legislated by the National Assembly already made provisions for us to address all of these.
“We talk of the institutional procedures; these
procedures are irreconcilable with prosecution. There are aspects that are criminal; immediately such instance happens, we know where to go.”
Ogunyemi added that universities are “currently handling problems like this and we should not discredit our custodians of knowledge”.