The Oasis Reporters
April 20, 2018
Edo state born Monica Osagie has been unveiled by the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife authorities as the student involved in a sex-for-marks scandal, that has deeply questioned the morality of university dons who are deeply embroiled in sexual gratification while training young Nigerians.
Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, the Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), said Monica Osetobe Osagie was studying for a Masters in Business Administration.
He also announced the suspension of Prof. Richard Akindele, the don involved in the salacious scandal.
Ogunbodede’s action followed the submission of the interim report of the committee set up to investigate the allegation of sexual harassment revealed in an audio recording.
Prof. Richard Akindele was heard in the
recorded audio conversation demanding for sex spanning five days before he can increase the marks of a female undergraduate. The recording is in circulation across all social media platforms.
“The committee observed that a prima facie case of inappropriate relationship with the female student had been established against Professor Richard I. Akindele”.
The Vice Chancellor said that though the investigative committee invited both Akindele and Osagie, only Akindele appeared before the committee.
“The report indicated that many other witnesses appeared before the committee and gave useful evidence.
“The university is making efforts to ensure that Miss Osagie appears before the investigative committee so that it can hear her side of the case and promptly submit its final report,’’ he said.
Conversely, a gender activist Akiyode-Afolabi, who is the Executive Director of Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre, also said that contrary to claims by the institution, Osagie was never invited to appear before any panel for questioning to expatiate on the issues she had raised in the audio tape.
The activist, in a statement she issued on behalf of Osagie, on Friday, demanded “thorough investigation” into what she called “ sexploitation .”
Explaining why the lecturer was yet to be sacked, the Vice Chancellor said that the provisions of the relevant statute of the university must be followed.
“Under the provisions of the relevant statute of the university, an academic staff can only be dismissed from service or have his or her appointment terminated only when the matter on which consideration is being given has been investigated by a Joint Council and Senate Committee;
“Also the staff has appeared before the committee with his or her counsel, if so desired.
“This procedure is the minimum requirement of the law and regulations of the university.
“It should therefore be noted that the suspension of Professor Richard I. Akindele is on the basis of the findings of the Investigative Committee that he is prima facie liable.
“This decision will abide, pending the final determination of the case by the council of the University”, the vice chancellor said.
Ogunbodede said that the university would continue to do everything legally and morally acceptable in pursuant of its avowed commitment to zero tolerance for sexual harassment, intimidation and, or coercion.
Ms. Monica Osagie, “resorted to self help” through audio recording after two lecturers approached by her for intervention disappointed her, a gender activist who issued a statement on her behalf, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, has said.
Akiyode-Afolabi said several efforts made by Osagie in reporting her predicament to two senior lecturers in the Faculty of Administration were unsuccessful as they both refused to intervene, adding that she, therefore, resorted to self-help in documenting her evidence.
She added that Osagie was willing “to appear before any school panel if and when duly invited.”
Osagie was an MBA regular student of OAU and was said to have gone into hiding since the sex-for-marks scandal broke out.
Akiyode-Afolabi called on the school authorities “not to compromise the reputation of this old and respected university and its responsibility for protecting its students in a bid to cover up the unethical and disgraceful behaviour of individual lecturers.
She said, “Contrary to the information coming from OAU, Ms. Monica Osagie was never invited by the school management to appear before any panel. I ( Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi), have been in contact with Ms. Osagie and has her instructions to inform the management of her willingness to appear before any school panel if and when duly invited.
“In this case in point, Ms. Osagie made the efforts to inform two senior members of the Faculty of Administration about her predicament and no one was able or willing to intervene, leaving her to resort to self-help in documenting her evidence.
“This once again brings into focus the need to strengthen regulations and complaint mechanisms in our institutions, so as not to expose students to unethical advances by randy lecturers.”
The desperate action taken by Monica Osagie may send a cautionary note to camouflaging universities who on the outward look decent but are sheeps in wolves clothing as some of the lecturers bear titles of reverend gentlemen in churches, yet they remain ravenous wolves in dark privacy.