â€¢ Says she passed her exam but was failed after rejecting Akindeleâ€™s sexual advances
Miss Monica Osagie, the student who made an audio recording of a lecturer of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, demanding five sessions of sex in order to increase her marks, appeared Tuesday before the investigative committee set up by the university.
Osagie, a postgraduate student in the Business Administration Faculty, had released a recorded conversation that went viral, in which the lecturer identified as Prof. Richard Akindele had demanded sex in exchange for marks.
The committee, which held its session at the pro-chancellorâ€™s lodge on the campus, allowed only Osagie and her lawyers into the venue.
Journalists, students and some members of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) who came to witness the sitting were not allowed into the venue by security personnel of the institution.
The vice-chancellor of the university, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, confirmed to journalists that Osagie was appearing before the committee.
Ogunbodede, who spoke as though he was not aware that newsmen were already outside the venue of the sitting, said that he could not disclose the venue of the sitting.
â€œThe lady is appearing before the committee. Members of the committee told me that the lady came and she is appearing before them but I cannot disclose the venue to you,â€ the vice-chancellor said.
But before the panel commenced sitting, there was a protest when the panel attempted to deny the lawyers of the student access to its proceedings.
Miss Osagieâ€™s lawyers included a representative of the NHRC.
However, her lawyers led by the Executive Director of Women Advocates, Research and Documentation Centre, Abuja, Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, protested that they must be allowed to watch the proceedings of the panel.
After several hours of engagement, two of the lawyers were permitted to enter with Miss Osagie, but journalists were not allowed in.
Mrs. Nkechi Obiagbaoso, a Legal Officer for Women Advocate Research and Documentation Centre, Abuja, said she and two other lawyers were present to represent Osagie, reported the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Obiagbaoso said two of the lawyers were allowed into the venue while she was asked to stay outside.
According to her, the previous venue used for the investigation was changed earlier Tuesday because of the interest in the case.
The vice-chancellor last Friday confirmed the suspension of Akindele.
Ogunbodede, in a statement, said he had received and considered the interim report of the committee set up to investigate the allegation of sexual harassment revealed in the audio recording.
He also said the female voice in the audio had been identified as that of Miss Osagie, a postgraduate student in the Masters of Business Administration Regular Programme.
The vice-chancellor said that though the investigative committee invited both Akindele and Osagie, only the lecturer had appeared before the committee.
â€œThe 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,â€ he had said.
After appearing before the panel, Miss Osagie informed reporters that she told the panel that Akindele failed her because she refused to succumb to her sexual advances.
She said she did not score 33 per cent as the lecturer had claimed, but was failed because she refused his sexual advances.
Also briefing the press, one of her lawyers, Mrs. Akiyode-Afolabi, who was with the student when she appeared before the panel, said her client informed the investigative panel that she recorded the conversation between her and the professor as evidence.
She said Miss Osagie also informed the panel that she reported the sexual harassment by Akindele to some lecturers in the university, but no action was taken by them.
Mrs. Akiyode-Afolabi said some lawyers who represented the lecturers to whom Miss Osagie claimed she had reported the case, also appeared before the panel.
She said Miss Osagie also told the panel that she did not score 33 per cent as alleged but was failed so that she could succumb to the sexual demands of Akindele.
Mrs. Akiyode-Afolabi expressed optimism that the outcome of the investigative panel would serve as a lesson to other predatory lecturers.
She urged the panel to ensure that justice prevails so as to maintain the integrity of the institution.