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Sexual harassment: Over 15 reported cases under investigation — ICPC



…Rallies stakeholders on national policy documents to end menace

…As DSP Omo-Agege, Minister of Education pledge support

By Ogaga Ariemu

The Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Prof Bolaji Owasanoye, SAN on Tuesday said the Commission has received over 15 reports of sexual harassment, highlighted efforts to end the menace in educational institutions in Nigeria.

This is as the Commission rallied stakeholders including the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege and civil society, schools and other stakeholders on a workable policy document to end sexual harassment menance in Nigeria.

Owasanoye made this disclosure during a, ‘National Stakeholders Engagement on Sexual Harassment in Educational Institution’ co-convened by ICPC and Gender Mobile Initiative with the support of Ford Foundation.

He stated that adequate policy formulation, implementation, sensitization are required to change the culture of silence over the fear of stigmatization.

The Nigeria’s anti-corruption Czar said that the commission will upscale campaigns, public enlightenments against sexual harassment across the Country.

“It has become quite common for Teaching and non-teaching staff to demand or expect sexual gratification from their students to whom they are supposed to serve as parents. Likewise, senior staff have been found to use their office to demand and at times obtain sexual benefits from their juniors. Recipients of such unwanted attention find that they feel forced to comply with the unlawful and unethical demands otherwise dire consequences and denial of benefits to which they are entitled would follow.

“The culture of silence out of fear of reprisal and stigmatization has allowed sexual harassment thrive in some quarters but with sensitization and appropriate policy implementation, it is hoped that this culture would gradually change.

“The Commission has carried out about seven training and re-training programmes for its officers in Operations, Prosecution and Education and Public Enlightenment Departments. Those officers trained also conducted trainings for their colleagues.

“The Commission has also partnered with some civil society organisations to carry out training for students while the Education and Public Enlightenment Department has taken up the task of including talks on sexual harassment in its different engagements.

“In addition to these, about 17 reports relating to sexual harassment have been received by the Commission, one resulted in a conviction via a plea bargain, one resulted in system study, one criminal case was recently filed in court while some other cases are still ongoing investigation.”

In his remarks as the special guest at the event, Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege represented by his Chief of Staff, Dr Itive Igbuzor vowed to fast-track the enactment of sexual harassment in Tertiary Educational Institudions Prohibition, Prevention and Redressed Bill, 2019.

He stressed that tertiary institutions must be devoid of corruption in the form of sexual harassment.

“Driving the process for the enactment of the law against sexual harassnent. I had the honour and privilege to sponsor the Bill, which had the unanimous support of virtually all Distinguishied Senators of the Federal Republic in the 9th Senate, the Sexual Harassment in Tertiary Educational Institudions Prohibition, Prevention and Redressed Bill, 2019 (Sente Bill (SB) 77) is aimed at combating the menace of sexual harassment in our educational institutions.”

On his part, Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu represented by the Registrar Joint Admissions, Matriculations Board (JAMB), Prof Isa-had Oloyede pledged that the Ministry will ensure implication of the policy document when completed across all schools in Nigeria.

He stated that going forward, employers should provide their staff sexual harassment policy document as a way to prevent its occurrence.

He observed that the term sexual harassment should be reconceptualized to sexual misbehaviour.

“We will do everything to promote this policy document, let me also inform you that this template will be widely circulated as soon as it is finalised. Distribution of the document to all connected agencies of Ministry of Education at no cost. Will enforcement, implementation of this policy document across schools in the Country,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Executive Director, Gender Mobile Initiative, Omawumi Ogunrotimi prayed that the engagement should translate into better approach to ending campus sexual assault and other sexual harassnent in Nigeria.

She said that formulating a workable legal framework will go a long way in ending the menace.

Stakeholders at the event took their time to cross fertilise ideas on the best policy models potent enough to curb sexual harassment in Nigeria’s educational institutions.


Court sentences guard to 9 months in prison for stealing motorcycle, money, cigarettes





A Magistrates’ Court in Jos on Thursday sentenced a 78-year-old guard, Sani Ibrahim, to nine months in prison for stealing cash, a motorbike, and packs of cigarettes.

Shawomi Bokkos, the magistrate, sentenced Ibrahim summarily after he pleaded guilty to the charge.

The convict, however, was given the option of paying a fine of N20,000.

The offender was also ordered to pay the plaintiff N400,000 in compensation or face six months in prison if he failed to do so.

According to Bokkos, the sentence will act as a deterrent to other would-be perpetrators.

Earlier, the prosecution counsel, Inspector Labaran Ahmed, told the court that the case was reported on Nov. 24 at the A Division Police Station Jos by one Douglas Kokelu.

According to Ahmed, the criminal left his duty post without permission, leaving the gate open for his friend to steal the items stated.

The prosecutor stated that the items were worth N694,000.

He said the offence is punishable under the Plateau State Penal Code Law.

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Man arraigned for alleged $63,599 fraud in Lagos



One Abdulh amid Isah has been arraigned before an Ikeja High Court by the over alleged $63,599 fraud.

According to the reports, Isah is facing a three-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretences, stealing and retaining proceeds of criminal conduct.

The defendant,who was brought before Justice Ismail Ijelu, however, pleaded not guilty to all the counts.

The EFCC Prosecutor, Mr Nwandu Ukoha, told the court that the defendant had, in October 2022, obtained $63,590 by false pretences.

He said that the amount stolen by the defendant belongs to one Chinedu Ugokwe.

Mr Ukoha also informed the court that the money was given to Isah to exchange same for the naira equivalent which the defendant failed to do.

The prosecutor also explained that the said amount kept by the accused is suspected to be proceeds of criminal conduct.

According to him, the offences contravene Section 1(1)(2) and (3) of Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act No. 14 of 2006.

He said that the offences also contravened Sections 278(1) (b), (2)(1) and 285(1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State No. 11 of 2011 and Section 17 of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, 2004.

Ukoha urged the court to remand the defendant accordingly, pending the commencement of trial.

He also said that the bail application of the defence counsel should be at the discretion of the court.

The Defence Counsel, Mr Emmanuel Ogbeche, moved a bail application, praying the court to grant the application and requesting that the defendant be remanded in EFCC custody.

Consequently, the judge granted the defendant bail in the sum of N5 million, with two sureties.

He also said that the sureties must present evidence of a reliable source of livelihood and that the defendant be produced at every trial date.

The judge then ordered the remand of the defendant in Ikoyi Correctional Centre, pending the perfection of his bail.

He, thereafter, adjourned the matter till Feb. 1, 2024 for trial.

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ATBU student fatally stabbed while defending girlfriend, police disclose



The Bauchi State Police Command has revealed that the 500-level Geology student of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, who was stabbed and later died in the hospital, was trying to retrieve his girlfriend’s handbag from some assailants when the incident happened.

Recall that the final year Geology student, Joseph Agabaidu, according to multiple sources on the campus, was stabbed by some assailants while trying to steal his mobile phone.

Agabaidu, who hails from Ankpa Local Government Area of Kogi State but is based in Benue State, was said to be the eldest among four children of his family who school at ATBU.

He was said to be returning to his lodge situated around the Yelwan Tudu market in the Yelwa area, a suburb of the Bauchi metropolis, at about 7.00 pm on Saturday, when he was attacked and was rushed to the hospital for medical treatment but could not survive the severe injuries from the knife.

The incident sparked a protest among students of the school who came out in their numbers at the Yelwa Campus to express their anger at the inadequate security in and around the campus and to call for the attention of the management and the government.

Following the protest, the management, in a statement signed by the Deputy Registrar Academic, Fatima Abdullahi, shut down the school and directed students to vacate the campus immediately because the protest carried out by “miscreants” disrupted the peace being enjoyed on the campus.

But the police, in a statement signed and made available to journalists on Wednesday, by its Public Relations Officer, Ahmed Wakil, said that the deceased was with his girlfriend when assailants whose identity and number are still unknown snatched her handbag containing her mobile phone.

Wakil added that when the deceased tried to retrieve his girlfriend’s bag, they stabbed him on the side of his chest but he later died while on admission at the ATBU Teaching Hospital.

He said, “Commissioner of Police Bauchi State Command, CP Auwal Mohammed received in the audience the leadership of two student bodies (NUBAS and SUG ) in his office at the State Command Headquarters.

“Their visits were prompted by the recent incident which occurred on 2nd December 2023 where some unknown persons, numbers not ascertained, snatched a handbag containing a mobile phone belonging to a lady, one Philomena Ahobee (28), a student of Abubakar Tatari Polytechnic, Bauchi.

“As a result of which her boyfriend, Agbaidu Joseph, (28) of Anguwan Ngas who is a student of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, tried to help her to retrieve the handbag containing the phone. The assailant(s) stabbed him on the left side of his chest with a sharp knife.”

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