Demand for Sexual Gratification is an Abuse of Power – ICPC Boss

Demand for Sexual Gratification is an Abuse of Power – ICPC Boss

The Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, SAN, has declared that a demand for sexual gratification for favour or service rendered is an abuse of power and punishable under the ICPC Act.

Professor Owasanoye stated this at a one-day Stakeholders’ Meeting on the draft policy on sexual harassment in educational institutions organised by the Commission in collaboration with the Ford Foundation in Abuja, Nigeria.

The draft policy was reviewed by the stakeholders in the education sector, civil society organisations and the media.

Undue advantage
The ICPC boss disclosed that Section 19 of the ICPC Act criminalises the use of public office to gratify or confer corrupt or undue advantage on someone or others.

He said, “Sexual favour falls under the category of ‘benefit’.

When a person in position of power or authority uses such power irresponsibly by demanding sexual gratification, it is an abuse of power under the ICPC Act.

He noted that the Commission has successfully proved in court that sexual harassment is abuse of power where the perpetrator abuses his position and advantage to demand and at times obtain sexual gratification from the victim.

As part of measures to address the growing problem of sexual harassment, the ICPC Chairman explained that the Commission, with the support of the Ford Foundation had initiated a project focusing on its mandate of enforcement, prevention, and public education.

The project, according to him, started with capacity building for investigators and prosecutors of the Commission to enhance their skills in understanding, investigating and prosecution of sexual harassment cases.

“The Commission is by this project improving its ability to respond to myriad cases of sexual harassment via abuse of power especially with regard to educational institutions most notably tertiary and secondary education institutions.

Professor Owasanoye also told the stakeholders that the promotion of sexual harassment policies in educational institutions was in fulfilling the Commission’s prevention mandate.

The Project Consultant on the ICPC-Ford Foundation Partnership on Combating Sexual Corruption and Illicit Financial Flows, Prof.

Ayodele Atsenuwa, presented the draft policy on sexual harassment to the stakeholders while a three-member panel critiqued the policy.

The panel was made up of Dr.

Olanike Adelakun of the American University, Yola; Dr.

Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi of the University of Lagos, and the National Public Relations Officer of All Nigeria Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS), Mr.

Habila Bala Balasa.

Lateefah  Ibrahim
Demand for Sexual Gratification is an Abuse of Power – ICPC Boss

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