Bullying and Sexual
Harassment are cankerworms that has eaten deep into the workplace in Nigeria.
Bullying is the use of coercion, force, or threat, to abuse, aggressively
dominate or intimidate. 

This behavior occurs repeatedly. Examples of bullying
include, spreading malicious rumors, excluding or isolating someone socially,
undermining a person’s work, physical abuse, making offensive jokes, intruding
on a person’s privacy, yelling or using profanity, blocking applications for
training, leave or promotion, intimidating a person, establishing impossible
guidelines, unwarranted punishment and so on. The sad thing is that it has
become the Nigerian workplace culture to protect and even promote bullying.
Senior colleagues and employers are guilty of this when they use terms like
“orange´’ or “dull” head to their subordinates.
It is easy to understand
that sexual harassment can be a form of bullying, especially when it is used to
intimidate or dominate over that person. Sexual Harassment has been defined as
any unwanted behavior of sexual nature which makes one feel offended,
uncomfortable, intimidated or humiliated. Examples of sexually harassing
behavior include, unwelcome touching, staring, suggestive comments or jokes,
requests for sex, intrusive questions about a person’s private life or body,
unnecessary familiarity, sexually explicit physical contact, unwanted
invitations to go on dates and so on.
Everyday, thousands of men
and women are constantly bullied and sexually harassed by their employers and
colleagues. Bullying and Sexual Harassment occurs everywhere – law firms,
companies, government and even in the judiciary and the victims are usually the
subordinates – interns and new wigs.
The reason why many of the
victims are silent is because of the status of the perpetrator, fear of
repercussions and not knowing the appropriate authority to report to.  
The Nigerian Labor Act
failed to criminalize both bullying and sexual harassment. Although Section 262
of the Criminal Law of Lagos State criminalized Sexual Harassment. 
How do you win with a man or
woman upon whom your livelihood depends but is determined to frustrate you just
to demonstrate superiority? What are the steps to follow when bullied or
sexually harassed at your workplace?
In legal practice, what are
the forms of bullying and sexual harassment faced by lawyers, judges and even
law students? These issues and so much more would be discussed at the Plenary
Session of the NBA Annual General Conference scheduled to hold on;
Tuesday, 27th August 2019
11.00 – 12.30
Zinnia Hall
Hon. Justice Teddy Aruba
Ogaga Emoghwanre
Mia Essien SAN
We look forward to having
you contribute and join the discuss at the NBA Session on Bullying and Sexual
Harassment in the Legal Community.