The management of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, has once again asserted its vehment stance against sexual harrasment by dismissing Prof. Richard Akindele who was allegedly involved in a sex-for-marks scandal some months ago.
The Vice Chancellor of OAU, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, announced the dismissal of Prof. Akindele’s in a statement on Wednesday in Ile-Ife.
Prior to then, the VC had on April 19, confirmed the suspension of Prof. Akindele’s till when the findings of the investigative panel would be released.
The Victim, A student undergoing the Masters of Business programme, Miss Monica Osagie, had earlier released a recorded telephone conversation, which went viral in no time, in which the lecturer, Prof. Akindele was heard demanding five rounds of sex to enhance her (Monica’s) marks.
At the meeting of the university senate on June 14, the VC Ogunbodede stated that Prof. Akindele actually had inappropriate relationship with the student after due consideration of the committee’s findings.
Here are the findings of the Investigative Committee.
-This fact was established through their conversation in the audio recording, his reply to the query, the oral evidence and the printed ‘WhatsApp conversations’ presented before the committee.
-Prof. Akindele had acted in a compromising manner being a teacher and an examiner, in that his conversations with Monica Osagie were about examination scores and inducement of sexual favours for the alteration of examination scores.
-Prof. Akindele offered to change Miss Osagie’s purported 33% result to a pass mark in consideration for sexual favours; this fact was established in the audio recording which he admitted.
-Prof. Akindele earlier claimed that Miss Osagie knew that she had passed with a score of ‘45’ but was seeking to score an ‘A’ and that this led to him being sexually harassed by Miss Osagie. This cannot be supported by any evidence.
-Prof. Akindele’s actions in requesting sexual favours from Miss Osagie to change her examination scores was scandalous behaviour that has brought ridicule and shame to the name of the university and has also tarnished the reputation of the university, as it portrays the university as an institution where its teachers and examiners trade marks for sexual favours.
-From the evidence, Miss Osagie had no idea that she scored ‘45’, a pass mark as later claimed by Professor Akindele, although she later found out she did not fail the course.
-Prof. Akindele’s claimed that he reported Miss Osagie’s ‘harassment’ to his colleagues. This cannot be supported by any evidence, as all his colleagues denied it and one mentioned that she only talked about the matter with him after the audio recording was released over the internet.
-Prof. Akindele operated in a position of power and authority over Miss Osagie and as such, sexually harassed her.
-Prof. Akindele was liable for all the allegations of misconduct levelled against him.’’
Having being found liable on all the allegations levelled against him, The VC said the Senate recommended that Prof. Akindele, should be dismissed from the Obafemi Awolwow University.
The Senate Council, at its meeting of today, Wednesday, 20th of June, 2018, having considered the recommendation of Senate, as well as the report of the Joint Committee of Council and Senate, agreed that Prof. Richard I. Akindele should be dismissed from the services of the university for gross misconduct.
The university management has also taken further steps to ensure the total elimination of Sexual Harassment in the OAU community.
“The university has a legal duty to prevent sexual and gender-based harassment within the institution and ensure that both men and women are protected from this menace; and thereby provide conducive environment for teaching and learning. In order to create conducive environment for teaching and learning, the university was creating more awareness and disseminating information on what constitutes sexual harassment within the university. The veracity of sexual harassment concepts include sexual solicitation and advances, sex exploitation, prostitution, seduction, pimping, sexual assault, unwanted touching, vulgarly sexual jokes and rape, among others. The Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU is fully committed to the eradication of sexual and other types of harassment from the university and would do all that is possible to curb them. OAU has zero tolerance for sexual harassment and as a renowned university, will do everything humanly possible to maintain the rules and regulations of the university,’’ the OAU VC, Prof. Ogunbodede said
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