The management of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife has suspended Professor Richard Akindele who was recently embroiled in a sex for mark scandal.
A statement signed by the Vice Chancellor, Eyitope Ogunbodede on Thursday indicated that the suspension was upon establishing that the embattled professor demanded sex from a Post Graduate student identified as Monica Osetobe Osagie.
EduCeleb.com recalls that a leaked phone conversation between the professor of management and accounting and the lady was released last week where Akindele allegedly demanded for sex five times from her before he upgrades her mark from 33 to a pass.
The audio had attracted a lot of condemnation to the many unresolved cases of sexual harassment and exploitations taking place in Nigerian tertiary institutions.
But Ogunbodede expressed the OAU management’s commitment to doing everything legally and morally acceptable in pursuance of its avowed zero tolerance for sexual harassment, intimidation and coercion.
The OAU VC added that a committee set up by the University’s management to investigate the sex-for-mark allegation established a prima face case against the lecturer.
He also said that the university could not terminate the appointment of the lecturer immediately because such action could only be taken by the Governing Council after the professor might have been found guilty by the Joint Council and Senate Committee of the university.
Ogunbodede stated that the suspension was slammed on Akindele following the interim report of the committee set by the varsity to probe the matter, though the student involved never presented herself to the investigating body.
The statement read, “In the interim report submitted to the Vice Chancellor, Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede, Professor Richard I. Akindele, of the Department of Management and Accounting, is now established to be the lecturer in the controversial “marks for sex” audio recording. The female voice has also been identified as that of Miss Monica Osetobe OSAGIE, a Postgraduate Student on the Master of Business Administration Regular programme.
“Although the Investigative Committee had invited both Professor Richard I. Akindele and Miss Osagie, only Professor Akindele had appeared before the Committee, while Miss Osagie is yet to appear or make any representation. 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.
“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, having carefully and dispassionately considered the report, also came to the conclusion that a prima facie case of serious misconduct had been established.
“Having regard to the gravity of the offence for which Professor Richard I. Akindele is found to be prima facie liable, the Vice-Chancellor, in line with the Code of Conduct for the University Community and acting under all the laws and regulations of the University enabling him in that regard, has directed that Professor Richard I. Akindele be suspended forthwith from the University, pending the final determination of the disciplinary case against him.
“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, and 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, and this decision will abide, pending the final determination of the case by the Council of the University.”