OAU a post-graduate student of the Department of Management and Accounting, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ms. Monica Osagie, who accused Prof. Richard Akindele, of demanding sex from her to upgrade her mark has appeared before the committee set up by the university to investigate the scandal. The committee members met with Osagie and another lecturer, who the female student claimed she reported the matter to for his intervention, at the Pro-Chancellor’s Lodge on the campus on Tuesday.
The venue of the sitting was devoid of human traffic because the school was not in session, except some OAU security personnel deployed to man the gate and prevent people from going inside the lodge.
However, some journalists and members of the Women Advocate Research and Documentation Centre, as well as a lawyer, Mrs. Nkechi Nwagbaoso, were at the lodge, but were prevented from witnessing the proceedings.
Osagie, who was dressed in an ash colour T-shirt and jeans, and the Executive Director of WARD-C, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, as well as another lawyer from the centre, were allowed inside the venue.
After the meeting which lasted for about four hours, Osagie, emerged with the two lawyers.
Sandwiched between the two female lawyers, Osagie walked quickly into a waiting sport utility vehicle outside the gate and refused to speak to journalists.
However, Akiyode-Afolabi, protested against the closed-door policy of the investigative committee, saying officials of the National Human Rights Commission ought to have been allowed to be part of the proceedings.
While narrating what happened during the meeting to journalists, she said Osagie scored 45 in the course which Akindele taught her and not 33 that the lecturer claimed that she scored.
Akiyode-Afolabi said, “The meeting was a fact finding one and they told us that they had not got to the level of legal representation: Because of that, we were there as observers.
“The other lecturer also brought a lawyer, but the committee refused to allow him (lawyer) inside. So, lawyers were not allowed to appear as legal representation, but we were allowed to observe the proceedings.
“The committee members asked her ( Osagie) to narrate her ordeal with the professor which she did. She explained what happened and she didn’t deny the recording (leaked telephone conversation).
“She affirmed that the recording took place and she justified why she resorted to self-help because there was no effective support coming from the university.
“The incident happened towards the end of last year (2017). It was not two years ago. She has completed her programme. She passed the course that we are talking about. She didn’t fail.
“The school reaffirmed that she passed and that she scored 45 and not 33; and the man (prof.) did not give her mark. Apparently the man was using the 33 as a bait to get her.
“She talked about her understanding of what happened. She talked about the fact that she is a good student and that she passed all her courses. That she shouldn’t have failed the course and that she checked and found out that she passed and that the 33 the man talked about must have been his (lecturer) imagination.
“It must also have been a way of negotiating with her to get her to bow to his wish, which was the reason she recorded the conversation.”
Asked if the professor eventually had his way with Osagie, the lawyer said her client did not succumb to the alleged pressure from Akindele to have sex with him.
“I can categorically say that there was no sexual relationship between her and the man.
“I am not satisfied with the closed-door policy. I didn’t know the reason why the officials of the National Human Rights Commission were not allowed in to be part of the proceeding. We felt they should allow them but they said they were not allowed in because the other man came with a lawyer and that the lawyer was just an observer.
“As far as we are concerned, if they need more evidence, Monica Osagie is ready to give them. This case is not about her alone, but about other students out there who are being assaulted and harassed by lecturers.”
The lawyer said the centre hoped that whatever decision the university arrived at would serve as a deterrent to other lecturers who were in the habit of harassing and exploiting female students.
Osagie came into public notice after a telephone conversation was leaked on the Internet, during which the lecturer demanded sex before he would upgrade her mark from 33 to a pass mark.
The university set up a committee to investigate the issue and the committee established a prima facie case against the lecturer, who was subsequently suspended indefinitely by the OAU based on the interim report of the panel.