UPDATED: Court jails OAU sex-for-marks professor

Richard Akindele

Dismissed Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile Ife professor, Richard Akindele was on Monday sent to jail after he pleaded guilty to the allegation of demanding sex-for-marks from one of his students.

He had been arraigned before a Federal High Court in Osogbo for demanding sex from her student, Monica Osagie earlier in the year.

In a resumption of hearing on his case, Akindele pleaded guilty before Justice Maureen Onyetenu who had ordered him to be remanded in prison on at least three occasions before this court sitting.

The accused had initially pleaded not guilty to the charge of sexual harassment preferred against him by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offenses Commission, ICPC.

When the case came up on Monday, Akindele opted to change his earlier plea and admitted guilt.

EduCeleb.com reports that since the court opened on 19th November, the defence counsel’s efforts to suspend the sentencing and negotiate for plea bargain failed.

Justice Onyetenu frowned at the rampant cases of students harassment by lecturers.

She said “the plea bargain is not absolute. The court still have discretion.

“This kind of issue is too rampant in our tertiary institutions. We send children to school, they come home telling us that lecturers want to sleep with them.

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“We can not continue like this. Somebody has to be used as example. Even primary schools pupils are complaining. Telling me to suspend sentence does not arise. Plea bargain does not arise. May be the case continue to occur and reoccur because someone has not been used as example.

“It is time for the court to start upholding the right of the children, especially female students. The case is endemic.”

Counsel to the defendant, Francis Omotosho, informed the court that the defendant has lost his job and has learnt his lesson.

He told the court that the University has discovered the mistake in the marking of the examination paper of the victim and has concluded plans to compensate her.

The Counsel further told the court that plans are ongoing to make offices of the lecturers open by building the front side with glasses at OAU.

But, the Judge, who apparently not convinced with the prayer of the Counsel, said “do you think they do it in the office? They go to hotel.”

Counsel to the ICPC, Mr Shogunle Adenekan, urged the court to confiscate the mobile phone of the defendant and forfeit it to the federal government, saying that sensitive materials were discovered there during forensic.

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He also urged the court to grant order, releasing the mobile phone of the victim, Monica.

After considering the plea bargaining entered and signed by the Counsels, the Judge said there is a need to deter other people because of the nature of the case.

In her judgement, Justice Onyetenu sentenced the convict to 24 months on count one, 24 months on count two, 1 year on count three and 1 year on count four.

She said the jail term should run concurrently.

She also ordered that the Samsung X4 of the victim should be returned to her and the Samsung X8 of the confict should be forfeited to the federal government.

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