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Sex-For-Marks Scandal: OAU Sacks Lecturer, Reveals Probe Panel's Findings, Recommendations(Read Full Speech)

Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife has dismissed Professor

Richard Akindele for sexually harassing his student, Miss Monica

Osagie in order to pass her.

This was contained in a statement issued by

Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede, the University

Vice-Chancellor on Wednesday.

It reads fully, "around the 7th of April, 2018 or thereabout, there
was an audio conversation between a man and a lady which was
sensationally trending on social media because of its explicit
sexual tone. After thorough investigation, it was discovered that
the said audio conversation was between a lecturer and a student
of our University (OAU) who were later identified to be Professor
Richard Akindele and Ms Monica Osagie.

To save the image of the University and to unravel the
circumstances that surrounded the whole saga, the University
Management set up a committee and mandated it to submit its
report within a week. Furthermore, the Management issued a
query to Professor Richard Akindele to explain his role after which
he was suspended pending the final determination of the case in
line with the University regulations.

Although the committee invited the two persons involved, only
Professor Akindele could be initially reached and invited. This
necessitated the submission of an interim report. However, when
the committee eventually succeeded in inviting Ms Monica Osagie,
and finally concluded its sittings, it then submitted its final report
to the Management.

To disabuse the minds of the general public on the issue of an
alleged cover-up, the Vice-Chancellor, on two occasions, issued
press releases that were personally signed by him. The press
releases were maximally published by virtually all the media
houses and aired by Radio and Television Stations across the

Last Thursday, 14th June, 2018, the University Senate considered
the Committee’s Findings that:

(1) Professor Akindele had an inappropriate relationship with his
student Miss Osagie. This was established through their
conversation in the audio recording; his reply to the query; the oral
evidence; and the printed ‘WhatsApp conversations’ tendered
before the Committee.

(2) He had acted in a manner that is seen to have compromised
his position as a teacher and examiner, in that, his conversations
with Miss Osagie were about examination scores and inducement
of favour for the alteration of examination scores.

(3) He offered to change Miss Osagie’s purported “33%” result to a
pass mark in consideration for sexual favours, this was
established in the audio recording which he admitted.

(4) His claim 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 cannot be supported
by any evidence.

(5) Professor Akindele’s actions in requesting for sexual favours
from Miss Osagie to change her examination scores was
scandalous behaviour that has brought ridicule to the name of the
University and has tarnished the reputation of the University, as it
portrays the University as an institution where its teachers and
examiners trade marks for sexual favours.

(6) 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.

(7) Professor Akindele’s claim that he reported Miss Osagie’s
‘harassment’ to his colleagues 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.

(8) Professor Akindele operated in a position of power and
authority over Miss Osagie and as such sexually harassed her.
(9) Professor Akindele was liable for all the allegations of
misconduct levelled against him.

Accordingly, the Senate recommended that Professor Richard
Akindele, having been found liable on all the allegations against
him, should be dismissed from the services of the University.

The 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, decided
that Professor Richard I. Akindele should be dismissed from the
services of the University for gross misconduct.

The University has also taken further steps to ensure the total
elimination of Sexual Harassment (SH) 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. To achieve this,
the university:

(a) is creating more awareness and disseminating information on
what constitutes Sexual Harassment (SH) within the university,
and noting the veracity of SH concepts which include – sexual
solicitation and advances, sex exploitation, prostitution, seduction,
pimping, sexual assault, unwanted touching, vulgar sexual jokes,
rape among others. These concepts are well specified in the
University Sexual Harassment Policy approved by the University
Council in 2013;

(b) has put in place a strategic implementation framework for the
SH Policy which will ensure effective/rapid redress mechanisms to
incidents of SH. The SH Policy clearly states mechanisms for
reporting and for dealing with SH cases through the committee
system. This would be made more functional;

(c) will continuously educate staff and students about their right
to seek redress in cases of SH;

(d) has uploaded, on its website, the Sexual Harassment Policy,
under the administrative blog, while copies are being given to
students at matriculations, and when staff are newly recruited;

(e) intends to add ‘Zero Tolerance to Sexual Harassment’ as part
of its core values, and openly display this on bill boards.

A whistle-blower policy is also being developed by the University.

OAU is fully committed to the eradication of sexual and other types
of harassment from our tertiary institutions and will do all that is
possible to nip this menace in the bud. 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."

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