By Ngozi Ekhator
A victim of the sex-for-marks scandal at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Miss. Monica Osagie, on Tuesday told the panel investigating it that the suspect, Prof. Richard Akindele, flunked her as punishment for refusing his sexual demand.
Osagie, an MBA student, according to her counsel, Dr. Abiola’s Akinyode-Afolabi, provided answers to questions raised by the panel at the session that lasted for over six hours. She scored 33 in the course Akindele handled.
Akinyode-Afolabi told newsmen that her client affirmed before investigative panel that Prof. Richard Akindele deliberately failed her because she refused his sexual demand.
Osagie had released a recorded telephone conversation, which went viral, in which the lecturer identified as Akindele, allegedly demanded sex for marks.
The committee, which held its session at the Pro-Chancellor’s Lodge on the campus, allowed only Osagie and her counsel into the venue.
Journalists, students and some members of the National Human Right Commission who came to witness the sitting were not allowed into the venue of the sitting by security personnel of the institution who manned the entrance.
Akinyode-Afolabi also said Osagie told the panel that she passed the course but was later failed by the don because of her refusal to sleep with him.
She said that Osagie narrated in details what transpired between her and the don, adding that lawyers present at the meeting were not allowed to make any contribution.
Akinyode-Afolabi, who is the Executive Director for Human Advocate Research and Documentation Centre, Abuja, said that Osagie also informed the panel that she recorded the conversation between her and the professor as an evidence.
She said Osagie also informed the panel that she reported the sexual harassment by the don to some lecturers in the university, adding that no action was taken by them.
Akinyode-Afolabi said some lawyers who represented the lecturers who Osagie claimed she reported the case to also appeared before the panel.
She said that Osagie also told the panel that she did not score 33 per cent as alleged but was failed so that she could bow to the sexual demand of the don.
Akinyode-Afolabi said she was optimistic that the outcome of the investigative panel would serve as a lesson to other lecturers who also engage in such act.
She, however, urged the panel to ensure that justice prevailed on the issue so as to maintain the integrity of the institution.
Akinyode-Afolabi, who did not allow Osagie to talk to newsmen, said her client would always be available to give evidence whenever she was called upon.
Members of the panel did not also speak with newsmen after the meeting.
NAN recalls that a recorded audio conversation of the don demanding for sex to increase the marks of the female postgraduate student had gone viral.
The audio recording had generated reactions from a cross-section of the public until the university authorities reacted.
The vice chancellor of the institution last Friday confirmed the suspension of Akindele.
The VC 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 that the female voice in the audio had been identified as that of Miss Monica Osetobe Osagie, a Postgraduate Student in the Master of Business Administration Regular programme.
The vice chancellor said that though the investigative committee invited both Akindele and Osagie, only the don had appeared before the committee.
*Additional reporting by NAN