By Sodiq Lawal
The Governing Council of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun State, has set up a joint investigative panel with the Senate of the institution to further probe the sex-for-mark allegation levelled against Prof. Richard Akindele by a female post-graduate student of Business Administration, Monica Osagie.
Osagie had released a telephone conversation between her and Akindele where the lecturer allegedly demanded to have sex with her five times as a condition to jerk up her score from 33 to a pass mark.
The audio conversation went viral on the Internet and the university management set up a fact-finding committee, which authenticated the veracity of the audio recording and subsequently recommended the suspension of the lecturer.
Though Osagie did not appear before the committee during their first sitting, she later appeared with two human rights activists led by Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi where she told the committee that she scored 45 in the course and not 33 as claimed by Akindele.
Speaking with our correspondent in Ile Ife, the Vice-Chancellor of OAU, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, said the committee set up by the university management had submitted their final report which he said had been passed on to the university’s governing council.
The Vice-Chancellor said, “The governing council has now set up the real investigative panel which is a joint panel of council and senate of the university. It is this joint panel that will allow the man to bring his lawyer and the university’s lawyer will be there. The lady involved in the matter can also bring her lawyer.
“Now, the joint committee, comprising members of the council and senate, has been formed and it is the joint committee investigating the matter that can now pronounce him guilty. It is only then that the final punishment can be dished out to him.”
Ogunbodede explained that the committee set up by the management on the matter was an internal one, adding that neither the lecturer nor the alleged victim was represented by a lawyer.
The vice-chancellor stated that the university had zero tolerance for sexual harassment, saying the joint committee would be thorough and the university would not sweep the case under the carpet.