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Sexual Harassment is corruption, Attracts 7-year-imprisonment, ICPC Warns

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) says sexual harassment is corrupt practices that attracts imprisonment term not less than seven years.

The Secretary to the commission, Mr Clifford Oparaodu, gave the warning in Abuja at a One Day Sensitization Workshop on Sexual Harassment in Tertiary Institutions.

Oparaodu said that ICPC regarded sexual harassment as a corrupt practice; hence there was a need for victims to know their rights and how to seek justice.

He expressed concern that sexual gratification had become a form of “illegal tender” in many institutions.

“Sexual harassment is a form of corruption.

“It is a deviation from the norm for an official to use his/her office or position to demand, receive, obtain or attempt to obtain any form of sexual gratification for him to perform  his duties.

“Ideally, official duties ought to be carried out with integrity, good conscience and diligence without the expectation of any unlawful benefit,” he said

According to him, Section 2 (f) of the ICPC Act states that gratification includes any service or favour of any description …” Section 8 of the ICPC Act says:

“Any person who corruptly asks for, receives or obtains any property or benefit of any kind for himself or any other person; is guilty of an offence of Official corruption and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.

“It is pertinent to note that unlawful benefits are not always pecuniary and it is disheartening that sexual gratification has become a form of “illegal tender” in many institutions.

“Staff members have been found to use their office to demand and receive sexual benefits from other staff and students in exchange for good grades or other favours,” he said.

Oparaodu said that it was unfortunate that due to the fear of stigmatisation or further victimisation, many targets of such demands find themselves forced to succumb.

“This is in order to avoid dire consequences and denial of benefits to which they may ordinarily even be entitled.

“The culture of silence has allowed sexual harassment thrives but ICPC is working relentlessly to ensure that with sensitization and appropriate policy implementation, this culture would gradually change,” he said.

He said that ICPC is determined to put a stop to this, initiated the Sexual Harassment Unit with a focus on prevention of sexual harassment in tertiary and secondary institutions.

Oparaodu said that this was to address the issue of sexual gratification and abuse of office and power by officials.

He explained that the purpose of the workshop was to educate students about how to easily contact the ICPC, report incidents of sexual harassment, and gather evidence in a way that will support the commission’s investigations.

In a paper he presented on “Sexual harassment, an offence against the individual/a crime against society, the

The Deputy Director, Proceed of Crime Department, ICPC, Mr Adenekan Shogunle, in a paper presented, urged participants to regard the fight as a collective one.

Shogunle said that youths should not accept sexual harassment, saying that the menace needed to be stopped to ensure the safety of educational institutions for learning.

“What is essentially a social disorder has become normal in many tertiary institutions.

“Absence of effective grievance remedial mechanisms and prevalent culture of silence, social tolerance has left many female students at the mercy of rabid predators.

“In a bid for justice, survivors are taking matters into their own hands; naming perpetrators and sharing experiences on social media,’’ he said.

The Assistant Director, Legal Unit, in ICPC, Mrs Peace Aroch, in a paper,   said sexual harassment had psychological implications, which had to do with the mental or emotional state of the survivor.

Aroch said people sexually-harassed commonly experienced stress, anxiety, depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

She said that sexual harassment was still being under-reported in spite of its social media posts.

The director said that sexual harassment was still being under-reported because of issues of trust, security, fear and poor financial standing of survivors.

Aroch called on the private and public sectors to establish their workplaces sexual harassment policies.

She said that they could make recourse to ICPC’s sexual harassment policy to prepare their own.

Policy Lead Gender, Mobile Initiative, Sarah Egbo, in a paper urged institution leaders to demonstrate a strong commitment to addressing sexual harassment

Egbo also called for involvement of the entire institution in policy development and implementation; ensure transparency in reporting, investigation and decision making.

She encouraged collaboration with local organisation, law enforcement and other stakeholders for a coordinated response.(NAN)

DEFENCE

Police Nab Suspected Human Trafficker in Kaduna

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The Police Command in Kaduna State, said it’s operatives have arrested one Bulus Danladi, a suspected human trafficker.

The Command’s Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Mansir Hassan, confirmed the arrest on Sunday in Kaduna.

Hassan said “On March 1, at about 0900hrs a complain was lodged by Mrs Jummai Danjuma and two others in Katari area in Kachia Local Government Area of the state.

“That on Feb.

27, the arrested suspect, Bulus Danladi of Ankwa area in Kachia LGA, trafficked five youth from Katari to Eruku in Kwara with intent to work in a factory.

“On reaching there, the suspect carried the youth to a farm in Eruku where he abandoned them and returned to Katari.

Hassan said out of the five youth trafficked to Kwara three had returned home and reunited with their parents.

He added that efforts to trace the remaining two was going on.

The command spokesman said the suspect would be prosecuted after full investigation. (NAN)

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DEFENCE

JTF Commander Solicits Support in Combating Oil Theft

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Rear Admiral John Okeke,  the new Commander of the Joint Task Force (JTF) deployed to protect oil infrastructure in the Niger Delta, on Thursday sought more support and collaboration from security formations in Bayelsa.

Okeke, deployed to JTF (Operation Delta  Safe (OPDS), made the appeal during a familiarisation tour of security formations in the state.

During a courtesy visit to the Flag Officer Commanding  Central Naval Command, Rear Admiral Samson Bura, Okeke urged partnership in combating oil theft, pipeline vandalism and other criminalities.

In his reponse, Bura promised  sustained and improved support and collaboration between JTF and the naval command.

Bura said that the synergy would enable the country to have a maritime domain free from illegal activities.

Okeke also visited the Air Officer Commanding Mobility Command, Air Vice Marshall Tajudeen Yusuf, and similarly requested for support.

Tajudeen expressed readiness to continue to support JTF, saying that the military was focused on the same aim and objective of safe environment for Nigerians to carry out lawful activities.

The new JTF commander further visited the Nigerian Naval Ship (NNS) SOROH, where he was received by the Commander, Commodore Nanmar Lakan.

At NNS SOROH, Okeke was briefed on the ship’s efforts in combating threat within its area of responsibility.

He praised JTF troops for efforts toward  increased oil production in the region, and urged them  not to relent.

He also warned the troops against sabotage and engaging in illegal activities, saying that  disciplinary actions would await erring officers men.

Reports says that the JTF commander was accompanied by component commanders and some principal staff officers of OPDS. (NAN)

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Security Situation Getting Better, not Worse – FPRO Says

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Mr Muyiwa Adejobi, the Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Police Force, says the security situation in Nigeria is getting better.

“The security situation is getting better; I don’t agree that it is getting worse. It is improving,” Adejobi told newsmen in Ibadan on Wednesday.

He was in Ibadan for the presentation of award to the overall winner of boxing and archery competitions in the 14th Biennial Nigeria Police Game (BIPOGA 2024).

He said that most of the unfortunate incidents of insecurity being circulated on the social media were old stories.

“They are being recycled to make people believe they are new or current incidents. Actually, they are not.

“You cannot see any conventional media house publishing these stories the way we have them on social media.

“The security situation in Nigeria is not bad. Let us always analyse the situation based on empirical facts and not just on speculation,” he said.

Adejobi said that the Nigeria Police Force collates data and has information on the security situation from all its offices.

“We shall tell Nigerians if the security situation is worrisome.

“We have issued statements to tell Nigerians that most of the kidnapped cases were fake and have given instances and even paraded some suspects for Nigerians to know.

“It is not in all situations that these incidences are real; some people fake and plan kidnappings to get ransom from their families.

“Let us always differentiate between the real and staged kidnap,” he said.

Adejobi said that the force was not denying the fact that there are isolated cases of incidences of insecurity, but pointed out that the force had arrested and neutralised many kidnappers.

He said that the police and other security agencies in Nigeria would continue to collaborate toward securing the country. (NAN)

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