By Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
The Federation of International Women Lawyers (FIDA) has called on the Inspector General of Police (IG), Mr. Adamu Mohammed, to order the police in Ekiti State to prosecute Prof. Adewole Atere for allegedly impregnating a 16-year-old student of the Federal University, Oye Ekiti (FUOYE), Precious Azuka.
FIDA appealed to IG to order the Commissioner of Police, Ekiti Command, Mr Asuquo Amba, to arrest the alleged culprit, Prof. Atere, who was accused of impregnating the victim.
The student was allegedly impregnated by Atere, the minor’s Head of Department in 2017 and the report of the panel constituted by the university was said to have found the suspect guilty of the crime.
Subsequently, Prof. Atere was asked to resign from the school.
Speaking with journalists in Ado Ekiti on Saturday, FIDA Chairperson in Ekiti, Oluwaseyi Ojo, said it was a great injustice to Azuka that the person accused of impregnating her even as a minor was not prosecuted.
Ojo insisted that asking Atere to resign from the university was not enough punitive measures against the alleged culprit.
“FIDA is interested in the reopening of this case because we were involved right from the point when the crime was committed. We spent our time and money, but it was like the authorities who could have helped us failed to discharge their duties.
“It was a great injustice that the university’s management and the police could not get justice for such a minor. They failed in this regard.
“If people are saying that the proper thing must be done and they are calling for justice, FIDA is in support because sexual abuse is now rampant on our campuses.
“But our problem and fear now is that, will the police be ready to arrest Prof. Atere? Would the school authority be ready to release the outcome of the panel that indicted the lecturer? All these were loopholes that can be exploited to rubbish the case,” she said.
Ojo appealed to the IG to order his men to arrest the alleged culprit for prosecution to commence in earnest.
“The police must discharge their duties in this regard. They must act responsibly, because this is a criminal offence that must not be covered up by anybody.
“The student is still on campus and she can be invited anytime in court to serve as principal witness,” she stated.
The FIDA boss said that the body was aware of a series of alleged sexual assault and domestic violence that had been reported against some lecturers in FUOYE and the Ekiti State University, which have not been acted upon.
However , the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Asuquo Amba, denied any complicity in the case, saying there was no evidence to show that the case was reported to the police for proper action ab initio.
“This case was not officially reported to the police, it was the university that handled it. If they had reported to us, we would have arrested the suspect, investigated him and got him prosecuted based on our findings.
“To us, the case was never officially reported to us,” the CP said.
The Public Relations Officer of the university, Geoffrey Bakji, said the university never acted in a manner that could block the prosecution of the alleged culprit.
Bakji added that the university’s management headed by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. kayode Soremekun, set up a panel that investigated the matter and that the alleged culprit was punished accordingly.
“The university did the right thing in this case. It got the information and immediately set up a panel to investigate the allegation and the management took action on the outcome of the report.
“Upon realising that the suspect was indicted by the report, the management immediately asked him to resign from the university. As I speak with you, he is no longer an employee of the university.
“The university wanted to even take a step further by contacting the police, but the victim’s family resisted it, saying they are only interested in the girl completing her education. Where then does the management compromise under this circumstance?” Bakji asked.