Home National Sexual harassment is corruption, attracts seven-year-imprisonment, ICPC warns

Sexual harassment is corruption, attracts seven-year-imprisonment, ICPC warns

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

The Secretary to the commission, Clifford Oparaodu, gave the warning at a workshop in Abuja.

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,” he said.

He said that 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.

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