Corruption and Underdevelopment

Knowledge needed to handle cases of sexual harassment – Prof Owasanoye

By Paul Michael

The Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Professor Bolaji Owasanoye (SAN) has stressed the importance of educating the staff of the Commission on the best methods to investigate and prosecute issues that border on sexual harassment.

Prof Owasanoye made this known at a two-day capacity-building workshop for ICPC staff organised in collaboration with Ford Foundation. The event was held at the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja.

The Chairman, who was represented by Honourable Dr Grace Chinda, stated that the collaboration between the Commission and Ford Foundation on sexual harassment is dedicated to making positive change in the workspace and society at large.

The ICPC boss highlighted Sections 8 and 19 of the ICPC Act 2000, which allows the Commission to investigate and prosecute persons who use their office to confer unfair advantage on themselves or others; and maintained that sexual favours fall firmly within that category.

According to Prof Owasanoye, some of the efforts of the Commission to counter this vice include the creation of a dedicated unit that regularly receives appropriate training that is equipped with tools necessary to win the war against sexual harassment and other related offences.

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He also referred to previous virtual sessions as well as engagements with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) as some of the imperative steps taken to train and re-educate staff on sexual harassment investigation and prosecution.

“Staff and operatives being abreast of all its manifestations and variances will be more armed with knowledge on investigating and prosecuting sexual harassment and other related matters”, he said.

He suggested that sexual harassment, which is closely related to domestic violence, requires painstaking attention as one cannot be completely detached from the other.

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