The Senate has instructed its committees on tertiary institutions and judiciary, human rights and legal matters to conduct a full scale investigation into the alleged sexual assault against Ms Monica Osagie by a lecturer at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State.
The Red Chamber said the investigation became necessary in order to ensure that there was transparency and accountability.
The chamber said the probe would also ensure that justice is done to the victim. It therefore tasked the joint panel to invite OAU authorities to explain the steps they have so far taken and the outcome of their internal investigation on the matter.
It is also expected to look at the institutional reviews it has carried out and proposals aimed at nipping the problem in the bud. The Senate urged the House of Representatives to move quickly to concur with its bill on Sexual Harassment in Tertiary Educational Institutions (Prohibition) bill which had been transmitted to the House.
The resolutions followed a motion: “The growing trend of sexual harassment in the higher institutions of learning: the case of Monica Osagie,” sponsored by Biodun Olujimi.
In her lead debate, she observed the growing menace and the growing culture of sexual harassment in the nation’s institutions of higher learning and the psychological, physiological and emotional damage perverts in places of learning were bringing upon “our children in school as a result.”
She noted that it was for this reason in October 2016 the Senate passed the Sexual Harassment in Tertiary Educational Institutions (Prohibition) Bill, and prescribed severe punishment for lecturers and academic staff of universities, who either sexually harass or assault their male or female students.
Olujimi acknowledged “the case of the brave Nigerian and student of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Monica Osagie, who in an audio recording which went viral was able to expose her lecturer demanding for sex in order to increase her grades.
“This has further brought home the point, further justifying the specificity and target of the new bill; and the need to ensure that this perversion is completely kicked out of our places of learning.”
Olujimi said Osagie case “deserves greater scrutiny and attention as it signposts how serious we are as a nation to fully and exhaustively eliminate this perversion from our schools.”