Questions we should be asking about the OAU sex for grades scandal

​The media has been abuzz with the alleged sex for grades scandal involving one Professor at Obafemi Awolowo University and a student. People who had listened to the audio already would have heard that the lady was identified as Enitan and the man was Professor Akindele.

 

The Public Relations Officer of OAU, Abiodun Olarewaju had confirmed that the university’s management was aware of the viral audio and allegation, and was going to verify its authenticity.

In his words, “We are actually in the know of the audio conversation and we have set the necessary machinery in motion to determine the authenticity of the said audio, and the veracity or otherwise of the allegation.”

 

Seeking sex or any sort of favour in exchange for grades is not alien to the Nigerian education system. Thus, the recent controversy didn’t catch most people by surprise.

 

It’s easy to jump into the trend without questions. But what if we ended up forming our opinions on wrong bases?

 

Like every other media organisation, EduCeleb.com believes in verification before publication. Here are some questions we felt everyone should be asking. Perhaps, these questions would also be asked by the university’s management in its attempt to authenticate the audio and its message. This should preclude the ethics panel report we eagerly await in less than a week from now.

 

Questions we should be asking about the OAU sex scandal

Who is Professor Richard Akindele?

 

We got the audio when only just one blog had published about it. Apart from just focusing on the personality of Akindele as a Reverend, the post left nothing else to identify the man. Other posts about him had identified him as a lecturer at OAU. We were able to identify this too.

 

Of course, those familiar with Ife know of the Moro area where the Obafemi Awolowo University Centre for Distance Learning (OAU CDL) is located. The man in the audio made mention of that place where he said an MBA executive exam was ongoing.

 

Our further findings showed that Professor Akindele has almost zeroed online presence prior to the scandal. Not even Google Scholar could give details of his academic publications that made him a Professor. That is a subject for another discussion.

 

His details aren’t in the OAU staff directory available on the university’s website. That is ironical considering that hundreds of academic staff probably employed after him were in the university’s staff directory.

 

The two major things linking him to OAU are one 2016 article in Punch newspaper and his LinkedIn profile which was last updated perhaps, when he created the account. Some persons had claimed that he deleted his Facebook account but we could not ascertain that. The only account that fits his pictorial description was created on Monday, 9th April, the day the story broke. No one can be certain that he owned that account which was created at the said date.

 

Richard Akindele

Have do we authenticate that the male voice as Akindele’s?

 

Many of those reporting the story based on the phone conversation never initially showed that the man whose voice we all heard in the audio was actually Professor Richard Akindele’s. We have to be sure that we are not accusing the wrong person.

 

It goes beyond the “Stop mentioning my name” part as the man repeated when the lady who conversed with him kept stating the name “Professor Akindele”.

 

EduCeleb.com got confirmation from several students and ex-students at the OAU that the voice in the audio belonged to Akindele. Premium Times also reported that some church members in the parish where the man is a Reverend attested to the similitude of the voice to Akindele’s.

 

One of those who confirmed the voice even said, “There is no need for any computer to test the voice. The voice in the leaked audio is exactly that of Reverend Richard Akindele.”

 

But there is still the need for voice authentication, at least in the forensic sense. Some people might sound quite alike even as studies have shown that no two voices are ever alike.

 

The person added that, “However, the man is too gentle for such act. The lady purposely set him up.”

 

That gentility is what we cannot confirm in relation to this situation as many, including a senior faculty member in the Faculty of Administration had come out to say that it was not the first time the man was enmeshed in such a scandal.

 

This writer can almost entirely imitate four people’s voices, for instance. That is not to hold brief for anyone but there is a possibility of voice cloning until proven otherwise.

 

Voice authentication requires that one has the voice of the other person concerned available. Forensic experts would record another speech of the individual again and compare the audios.

 

More than two persons can have the same voice. Technology has not only made it easier for investigators to dust for fingerprints and swab for DNA samples, but also to do voice biometrics.

 

Efforts to get the voice of the man said to be Akindele outside the audio was unsuccessful. His phone number was unavailable just as he was not in his office. If we were able to reach him later, we would use the voice authentication software called Agnitio to see if there’s a match in the two voice identities.

 

With the unavailability of another audio recording of subject Richard Akindele, we are not sure yet if he was the man. We can only depend on human attestation to that. His long silence and non-denial of the audio gives credence to the likelihood of how genuine the audio is. Even at that, we never can tell. We hope the university’s investigation would unravel that.

 

Has the man in the audio been known for a demanding sex for grades?

 

Let’s agree at this point that the man in the audio was Professor Akindele. Our findings showed that while some persons contacted see him as a religious personality who had condemned waywardness in the past, others said that he had always been known to demanding sex for grades.

 

It would be difficult to draw a conclusion with this conflicting information. But with the audio alone as evidence, one would easily agree that the man had a randy lifestyle.

 

In the transcript of the widely circulated audio below, we identify a man and a lady who engaged in a phone conversation. The underlined parts emphasize the continuous show of interest on the part of the man.

 

Lady: Hello sir, Professor Akindele.

Man:   Yes

Lady: Hello! Which one is yes again? (Chuckles)

Man:   Yes, Enitan.

Lady: Yesterday, you said something but because I was close to my boyfriend. I could not say anything. You said you’ve submitted it.

Man:   I don’t know why you keep on asking me.

Lady: Why won’t I ask now?

Man:   You are asking whether I’ve submitted it. I gave you an opportunity and you missed it.

Lady: I didn’t miss any opportunity now.

Man:   I gave it to you and you missed it.

Lady: I wanted to be sure. It’s not that I said no.

Man:   If you’re not sure, just forget about it.

Lady: I have to be sure first now. You know there are some school students when they start school…

Man:   Forget about it. You will do it next year. Me that agreed to do something. I know what I meant. If you don’t trust me, then forget about it.

Lady: I’m not saying I don’t trust you but I need assurance.

Man:   Continue looking for assurance. If I wouldn’t do it, why should I even give you the audience in the first place? If I am not interested in doing it, I won’t give you audience. The other person has come and I’ve told her straight away because there is nothing I can do to bail that person out and her own mark is even better than your own. The person scored 39 while your own is 33. Only two people failed the course. So, what else do you want me to do?

Lady: It was three I saw. Now, you’ve reduced it to two people.

Man:   I don’t know. I don’t know. I’m it was two. But I just know it’s only two people that have come. You can see it anytime you come. We are at Moro, we are doing exam – MBA executive exam.

Lady: They are just writing their exam?

Man:   They are just starting today.

Lady: When would you be in your office today?

Man:   That would be after the exam at 4:30. Maybe by 5, I should be in the office.

Lady: Should I come by 5?

Man:   If you don’t come and be asking me stupid question again.

Lady: It’s not (a) stupid question now. Ahn ahn!

Man:   If you’re ready…but why did you tell me you were on your period the other time.

Lady: I was really seeing my period that day o, I swear to God, Professor Akindele. I was doing my period.

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Man:   Stop mentioning my name.

Lady: Sorry! Sorry! Sorry!

Man:   Stop mentioning my name.

Lady: I am really on my period sir.

Man:   And now ńkọ́?

Lady: Err, that was almost the end now. Now, I’m not doing my period again.

Man:   Hmm! It has finished and your boyfriend has done it yesterday?

Lady: Is it every time (that) someone will be doing it with a boyfriend?

Man:   @@@(laughs)

Lady: Is it every time you do it with your wife?

Man:   Yes

Lady: It’s a lie, it’s not possible.

Man:   It’s not possible. I’m just joking.

Lady: Ehn Ehn! It’s not every time now. Pẹ̀lú time ó maa sú yàn. [With time, one would get tired.] So, what’s the 411 now?

Man:   What did you say?

Lady: What’s the 411? 411 is what’s the plan now?

Man:   Okay. Ehn! Let’s have the first one today and then after it, I will do it in your presence. And then, you will do another one tomorrow.

Lady: Ehn! Ṣé kiní yẹn wá jẹ́ bíì óúnjẹ ni? [Is the thing like food?]

Man:   Was our agreement not five times?

Lady: Because of… Is it (a) B that you want to give me or (a) C?

Man: No o!

Lady: So, why would it be five times you will knack me before I …?

Man: That’s what I will do.

Lady: Ehn? Prof, you know what? Let me fail it. I can’t do it five times. For what nah? No worry. Thank you, sir

Man: You are welcome.

 

Obviously at the beginning, there was a prior transaction on the subject matter which was inconclusive based on the excuse given by the lady of being with her boyfriend in one instance and the excuse of being on her period in another instance.

 

The man’s response with, “I gave you an opportunity and you missed it…Forget about it. You will do it next year” opens the controversial cue after the greetings.

 

As we would later hear in the audio, “an opportunity” referred to either five times having sex with the man or planned change of her result. The former can be deduced from the conversation but the latter is based on meaning outside the text deduced from the lady’s statement “You said you’ve submitted it,” which is about result submission.

 

Results of students pass through their departments, faculties and the university’s senate before they are approved. If we rightly place the time of the incident, it would mean that the result was just being submitted to the department. It also makes one wonder why a lecturer would tell students their results before these are officially released.

 

The man already said that another lady (2) who scored higher than this lady in the conversation (1) was going to retake the course the following year. The other lady (2) scored 38 while the lady he is extending sexual advances to (1) scored 33. For him to have said bluntly that the other lady was not going to get a score upgrade would mean that either he never found her sexually attractive or she never showed interest in a mark upgrade.

 

This choice of who to help calls to question the man’s motives for helping. He could not help the person that needed two marks but was willing to help the one that had needed seven marks from failure. Already, he has questions on academic ethics to answer. As we would later establish, no lecturer is permitted to single-handedly alter students’ score.

 

Back to the conversation, “you missed it” was with reference to a previous declining of the man’s overture to the lady. The “it” in “You will do it next year” may either refer to the lady’s final response of not wanting to have sex five times or she eventually retaking the course the following year.

These interpretations are purely hypothetical. Come to think of it, almost every utterance of the man indicated some interest in the sexcapade.

 

Let’s even assume it was a set up. But the part the man was furious that the lady was asking him many questions he regarded as “stupid” nailed his coffin. This was someone who wanted to “do it” based on their agreed five times. That is even without even an actual promise of eventually upgrading the score (based on the conversation).

 

He was doing the scheduling just as he was pestering the lady. His mouth spoke out of the corruption of his mind.

Was the lady interested in sex for grade?

 

Just like the last question, the response here is also hypothetical. Every other person talking about the matter is interested in the man whose identity is that of the lecturer intending to alter marks after sex. Not much is being said about the lady.

 

Both persons involved in the conversation would definitely face scrutiny for any investigator to reach his conclusion. Like others, we could not identify the lady. It is not that she would be willing to show up as the person behind the conversation any way. Only her can clearly state the intention she had.

 

A major fear among those concerned about the incident is that the investigation would be hindered by that. The sex for grades academics in many Nigerian universities work together more like a cult. They would protect their “members” and put the accuser’s academic life in danger.

 

In the transcript above, we can, at least, conclude that the lady is Enitan and she studies in the department where Professor Akindele teaches. The lady initiated this call in the audio.

 

She had had a previous conversation with the man where he requested they “do it”, as earlier exemplified. She gave the excuse of being on her period after visiting the lecturer.

 

Come to think of it, she must have approached the lecturer to see her results like a few other students out there. At least, the man referred to another lady who also failed the course and approached him for mark upgrade in the conversation.

 

Lady Enitan was hesitant to accept the sexual advances of Man Akindele. At the same time, she clearly wanted the man to stop speaking in parables about the “opportunity” she missed. That may be an attempt to “purposely set him up”, as a church elder in Akindele’s parish reportedly said. But that is disputable.

 

That the lady even recorded the audio is the reason we are all talking about this matter. Many of those who fornicate to have good grades don’t go about broadcasting it. They may not even be overtly randy but those who know them know them. This lady deserves commendation for bringing this issue to the fore.

 

Her hesitation can be identified using three occasions in the audio. First is in the reference to the “opportunity” she “wanted to be sure” about. Second is the excuse of being on her period. Third is the part where she declined interest in actually having sex with the man after the new 5pm schedule which was bound to happen five times.

 

But one could still argue that the lady was not totally free from illicit sexual acts. The lecturer wouldn’t have called her back to school because of the result. She wouldn’t have been on campus at the time too if not that she had some “sorting” to do.

She claimed that she was with her “boyfriend” at one point. Later, the man referred to her doing it with her boyfriend after the menses excuse she gave.

This position may be circumstantial.  She may not really have any boyfriend but could just have used that to lead the man on to explicitly demanding sex for mark upgrade as evidence for all the conversation we are having about the matter.

What is the relationship between the man and the lady?

 

From the foregoing, the relationship between the duo is first and foremost that of a lecturer and a student. This is what everyone is saying and you are too.

 

Take a look at the transcript again. The conversation looks casual and informal. Code mixing is not enough to make it informal as that is normal in our clime. They knew each other.

 

“Lady: Hello sir, Professor Akindele.

Man: Yes

Lady: Hello! Which one is yes again? (Chuckles)

Man: Yes, Enitan.”

 

 

Aside addressing the man as “sir” at the beginning of the call, the whole conversation is bereft of respect for the man clearly older than the lady. Who dares talk back as the lady did to the man if not one whom they already had informal relationship with before?

 

Refer to the point she told the man bluntly that he was lying about having sex with his wife every day. Rather than getting furious as typical Yoruba elders would take offence in such a statement, he went on with his conversation hoping to strike the illicit deal.

A teacher/lecturer is locus parentis for his students on campus irrespective of how ill mannered the students are. One would have expected that man to caution the lady when she spoke as someone bereft of manners. But he ignored that.

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They have each other’s number. It wasn’t a question of “who am I speaking with?” but their conversation is about something as illicit as fixing a booty call. There is no certainty about the sort of relationship is between the two but they were clearly acquaintances.

 

Is it ethical for a lecturer to upgrade students’ scores?

The university management at OAU would definitely be more concerned about this after they have established that the man in the audio was on their staff list. This is a university which prides itself with the motto “for learning and culture” and awards degrees in character and learning.

 

Is it ethical for a lecturer to single-handedly upgrade students’ scores? Every academic community works on the same template when it comes to result compilation in Nigeria as EduCeleb’s findings show. OAU is no exception.

 

According to the audio, the man had already met two of the three students who failed his course. The lady he engaged in the conversation was clarifying if he truly had “submitted it”. You earlier read of the interpretation of that part to refer to some score sheet submission.

 

Immediately after exams, lecturers would be given about two weeks to mark and submit students’ scripts for consideration at the departmental and faculty level before they are presented before the university’s senate for approval.

Adams Onuka

At each department, there is the Board of Examiners comprising all academic staff of the department. The faculty level has faculty members also called lecturers, who meet under the tag “Faculty Board of Studies”. A university’s senate is the highest academic decision making body of the institution.

 

A professor of Educational Evaluation at the University of Ibadan, Adams Onuka noted that it was illegal for lecturers to change students’ scores. He said only the Board of Examiners was empowered to give consideration to any change in the result after the examiner had marked it.

 

“That can only be done at the Board of Examiners’ meeting when they consider the lecturer may not have done it well. No lecturer has the right to alter students’ results. Only the Board of Examiners of either the department or institute can.

 

“The board sits on results. If it feels that somebody has, maybe marked down students, they will ask for a review and take a decision. But not an individual would make such a decision. Once you have marked, you have marked. Here (in the UI), once you mark, you submit quickly,” Professor Onuka said.

Patricia Ekwumemgbo

An Associate Professor at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Patricia Ekwumemgbo corroborated that. Dr Ekwumemgbo who is of the Chemistry department at ABU clarified that the only likelihood of a lecturer having power over what students score is through their Continuous Assessment (CA).

 

“You can’t single-handedly upgrade the score. As a teacher, you may upgrade the Continuous Assessment. But you cannot touch the exams.

 

“If the exam score or the total score must be upgraded, it has to be during the departmental Board of Examiners’ meeting. You can put a prayer that those that scored between 30 and 39, for instance should be upgraded to 40, if 40 is the pass mark. So, it would become official within the department. But you can’t do it alone.”

 

Giving insight into what happens at the Board of Examiners’ meeting, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Lagos, Oyenike Adeosun said that lecturers are always prepared for intense scrutiny of their marking patterns from their colleagues. According to her, any red flags in the nature of the results would be questioned.

 

“Every exam score that is published is vetted. At the end of the semester, after you’ve scored the students, we have a meeting at the departmental level where you present your results to lecturers. Where there are so many disparities, we ask questions.

 

“There are instances that where we are at the meeting, we say ‘go and bring your scripts. You wrote CA scores. Go and bring the CA’.”

Oyenike Adeosun

The English Education teacher gave an instance of a Board meeting where a lecturer presented a result in which a majority of the students scored an A. She said the board demanded that the lecturer produced the scripts of the students described as brilliant before those results would be acceptable.

 

At the level of the Board, every result is questionable. Adeosun added that not even a professor is immune to criticism on the nature of the results he presents.

 

The pass mark at OAU is 40. Anything below that amounts to failure, according to records from the university. In other institutions elsewhere, it is 45. Anyone who fails a course has the opportunity of retaking it another year.

 

Adeosun emphasised that the system towards the consideration of results gives no room for manipulators of the academic process, if well implemented. She said most allegations related to manipulation of results go on either due to lack of evidence or the deliberate disregard by those in charge of implementing the ethical system.

 

In her words, “The system is there. But how faithful are we to that system? Sometimes, it depends on who is there, and the thoroughness of the participants. If the implementers of the system don’t do their due diligence, that’s where there is problem. But when you are among those who will ask questions, that is a reason to be careful.”

As earlier stated, it is curious to find a supposed professor as Akindele being interested in engaging in an act he knew was unethical. If he was even going to act so low of himself, why didn’t he upgrade the score of the lady who scored 38 as he is keenly interested in the one who scored 33, if not for some ulterior motive? We leave the verdict on that to the panel set up by the university authorities.

When was the audio recorded?

 

Beyond the time stamp on the audio recording of the phone conversation between the two individuals, some may not want to know when actually the audio was recorded.

 

The copy we have had the time stamp put at the time we downloaded it, which is given as the created date. The format of the file extension was .AMR. Perhaps, due to the file format, we were unable to actualise the accuracy of the creation date. Even if we did, the creation date of a file is not guaranteed to be accurate.

 

But basing it on the conversation recorded, an indicator of time such as the mention of an MBA exam ongoing in Moro was used.

 

We could not depend on whether the lady was on campus at the time since students are expected to be on holidays around then. That’s based on preliminary assumptions that the audio is recent.

 

But we also discovered that some students were still on campus. Students contacted confirmed that not all students go home after their exams. Some stay back in school during the holidays. Various reasons account for this. The university gives consideration to only students on SIWES, IT, Teaching Practice, research project, and other compulsory academic programmes during the period to stay back in the hostel.

 

EduCeleb.com recalls that students were instructed to leave their halls of residence through a directive dated 21st February, 2018, but some students allegedly resisted that exactly a month later. The school management thereafter prosecuted five male students in connection to besieging Moremi Hall, a female hall to resist the “forceful eviction”. Those students spent days in prison before they were released on bail by the Ife Magistrate.

 

At the time, the university noted that students were not supposed to be on campus after the end of the session. The said directive mandated students resident on campus to vacate the halls of residence to enable renovation works and repairs to be carried out in the hostels before the commencement of the next academic session. Two hostels, Akintola and ETF Halls, were left for students who were on the aforementioned compulsory academic programmes.

 

OAU Spokesman, Mr Abiodun Olarewaju clarified that the decision to renovate the hostels was in students’ interest. He added that for that reason, students “allowed to stay in designated places on campus have no business residing in the hostels during long vacation when the University is on break”.

 

This medium confirmed the likelihood of students staying off campus not being affected by any directive issued to those staying in the school hostels.

 

Some OAU students also told EduCeleb.com in confidence that some of their colleagues do stay back on campus to await the release of their results and perhaps sort issues with that out.

 

They used the word “sorting” to refer to something that looks shady. It may include one or all of bribing lecturers with funds especially in the case of male students or with sex in the case of female students or both. On the source of the funds, a student hinted that they would simply extort their parents using various reasons. A female student confirmed the veracity of students willingly giving themselves out for sex to get higher grades too but denied being a party to such.

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It is not clear whether the lady in audio conversation identified simply as Enitan, was on any other statutory academic programme that could have kept her back in school.  But we can only work on the mention of Moro.

 

As earlier mentioned, the OAU CDL in Moro hosts some non-conventional programmes. One of such the MBA referenced by the man in the audio. We logged on to the CDL website and found that it had a programme called Executive Master’s in Public Administration but no MBA on the list. A call to the OAU CDL office neither confirmed nor denied that an executive MBA was holding.

 

But younger students on other programmes confirmed that older persons do use the CDL facilities to receive lectures every Saturday. The last Saturday when exams were held at the Centre for the elders on distance learning certificate, bachelor’s degree and executive masters degree was no exception.

 

Also, EduCeleb.com could not locate the lady in audio at the moment but could, at least, establish that she had contact with the man identified as Professor Akindele a day before the recorded conversation and intended meeting him again on the call day before she declared a change of mind. If she had eventually accepted to the randy man’s lustful overture, she would have gone to his office on the evening of Saturday, 7th April, 2018. It shows that the audio is recent.

 

What will the university do about this matter?

 

Not every commentator on the scandal really cares about this. But we all should care. We have established that based on the conversation, there is a connection to OAU. If truly, the man was finally identified to be Professor Akindele, we would expect the university management to appropriate discipline.

 

Already, the University’s Vice Chancellor, Eyitope Ogunbodede had stated on Thursday that his administration is living no stone unturned to get to the root of the matter. Professor Ogunbodede expressed willingness to tackle the obvious contravention of the university’s regulations, the Code of Conduct for the University Community and the Anti-sexual Harassment policy of the university.

 

In his words, “Since the matter came to our notice, the University has begun the process of identifying the characters involves in this apparent breach of its regulations, the Code of Conduct for the University Community and the Anti-sexual Harassment policy, in full compliance with all applicable laws, rules, regulations and procedures of the University.  To this end, the University has set up a high-powered committee to investigate the allegation and submit its report within one week.  Anyone found culpable will be dealt with decisively.

“I wish to assure the general public that Obafemi Awolowo University has zero tolerance for sexual harassment.  The University considers sexual harassment as a serious offence contrary to its Code of Conduct for the University Community and against the Anti-sexual Harassment Policy of the University.  It is totally and morally reprehensible, and the University will never condone such act by any staff or student.

 

Once again, I wish to reiterate that no one found culpable of this serious misconduct of sexual harassment will go unpunished.”

 

If the man identified is found culpable, this would send strong signals to others that may want to do the same act. That shows that lady Enitan’s audio leak was not in vain. One can only pray it is so.

 

OAU is owned by the Nigerian Federal government and Nigerian law applies there. A recent national legislative process to fight against sexual harassment in Nigerian tertiary institutions was vehemently opposed by university lecturers.

 

Back in 2016, a bill sponsored by Ovie Omo-Agege in the Nigerian Senate proposed a five-year jail term for lecturers sexually exploiting their students. Mr Omo-Agege who represents Delta Central Senatorial District along with 46 other senators sought to prohibit sexual relationship between lecturers and students almost entirely.

Ovie Omo-Agege

According to the bill, “An educator shall be guilty of committing an offence of sexual harassment against a student, if he or she has sexual intercourse with a student who is less than 18 years of age, an imbecile or of generally low mental capacity or blind or deaf or otherwise physically challenged.”

 

Also, the Senate abolished the “consent” defence claim by sexual assault and rape suspects, as contained in the Criminal and Penal Codes.

 

In addition, any lecturer that “has sexual intercourse with a student or demands for sex from a student or a prospective student as a condition to giving of a passing grade or the granting of honours and scholarships, or payment of stipend, allowance or other benefits, privileges or considerations.”

 

Also, it said, “An educator shall be guilty of committing an offence of sexual harassment against a student if he or she solicits sex from or makes sexual advances towards a student when the sexual solicitation or sexual advances result in an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment for the student.

 

“Or directs or induces another person to commit any act of sexual harassment under this bill, or cooperates in the commission of sexual harassment by another person without which it would not have been committed; grabs or hug or rubs or strokes or touches or pinches the breasts or hair or lips or buttocks or any other sensual part of the body of a student.

 

“Or displays, gives or sends by hand or courier or electronic or any other means naked or sexually explicit pictures or videos or sex related objects to a student.

 

“Or whistles or winks at a student or scream or exclaims or jokes or makes sexual complimentary or uncomplimentary remarks about a student’s physique.”

 

At a public hearing on the bill on 20th June, 2016, the President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Biodun Ogunyemi said such a law would be violating lecturers’ human rights. He was quick to link that with university autonomy.

Biodun Ogunyemi

“The bill is discriminatory, selective, spiteful, and impulsive and lacks logic and any intellectual base by attacking the character and persons of those in tertiary institutions rather than addressing the issue holistically,” he said.

 

“Furthermore, the bill is dangerous and inimical to the institutions as it contains several loose and ambiguous words and terms which could also be used to harass, intimidate, victimise and persecute, especially lecturers, through false accusation,” Ogunyemi who lectures at Olabisi Onabanjo University posited.

 

The Nigerian regulator of university operations, the National Universities

Commission (NUC), on the other hand, supported the introduction of the bill “in view of its relevance” and called for its passage.

 

The then NUC Executive Secretary, Julius Okogie, said while federal and state universities had administrative structures for handling grievances, there was nothing wrong in having a legislation to help with that.

 

“University miscellaneous provision act gives them power to formulate policies and by-laws to guide them and most institutions have structures to handle these incidences,” he said.

 

“However, there is nothing wrong if there is a legislation to add to what is on ground. We are only saying that universities are doing something about sexual harassment, which may not be enough”.

 

ASUU’s objection did not stop the Senate from passing the bill named the “Sexual Harassment in Tertiary Education Institution Bill” late October, 2016.  If it eventually  goes through a similar passage by the House of Representatives, the bill still requires a presidential ascent, which we expect is urgently needed for its implementation.

 

Circumstantial evidences showed that the man in the audio who the VC simply described as “one Professor Akindele” is of Great Ife. Now that the Obafemi Awolowo University is gaining the spotlight over this negative incidence, one can only hope that the management would actually make an example of the culprit.

 

Conclusion

We are all depending on the perception of human voice to conclude that the man in audio is a Professor at Obafemi Awolowo University whose last name is Akindele. Even if no one doubts that the man demanded sex for grades, no one is certain that the audio conversation is sufficient as evidence to nail him.

 

We believe that if a number of past victims of his sexploitation come forward, that would assist the independent panel set up by the OAU management.

 

Clearly, the man as a lecturer is implicated in a contravention of all known academic ethics and codes of conduct with the manner in which he spoke in the audio.

 

This issue includes all of sexual harassment, intimidation, violation of rights, abuse of privilege, disregard for work ethics and other things not yet identified. Even if the panel frees the man in the audio, justice cannot be denied forever.

News Reporter
Abdussalam is dedicated to learning new things. He has proven competence in journalism, teaching, and writing. Chat with him on WhatsApp.

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