Sex-for-marks: OAU VC unveils identity of female whistle-blower

Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, has identified the female student involved in the allleged sex-for-marks scandal rocking the institution as Miss Monica Osetobe Osagie, a post graduate student of Business Administration.

The vice chancellor also confirmed the suspension of Prof. Richard Akindele, who was allegedly involved the scandal.

Ogunbodede, in a statement in Ile-Ife, yesterday, confirmed the receipt of the interim report of the committee set up to investigate the allegation of sexual harassment revealed in an audio recording.

A recorded audio conversation of the don demanding sex to increase the marks of a female undergraduate had gone viral.

The audio recording had generated reactions from the public until the university authorities reacted.

The vice chancellor said: “In the interim report submitted, Akindele, of the Department of Management and Accounting, is now established to be the lecturer in the controversial ‘marks for sex’ audio recording.

“The female voice has also been identified as that of Miss Monica Osetobe Osaige, a postgraduate student on the Master of Business Administration regular programme.

“The committee observed that a prima facie case of inappropriate relationship with the female student had been established against Akindele.

“Having carefully and dispassionately considered the report, it also came to the conclusion that a prima facie case of serious misconduct had been established, having regard to the gravity of the offence for which Akindele is found to be prima facie liable,

“The vice chancellor, in line with the Code of Conduct for the university community, and acting under all the laws and regulations of the university, enabling him in that regard, has directed that Akindele be suspended, forthwith, from the university, pending the final determination of the disciplinary case against him.’’

The vice chancellor said though the investigative committee invited both Akindele and Osagie, only Akindele had appeared before the committee.

“The report indicated that many other witnesses appeared before the committee and gave useful evidence.

“The university is making efforts to ensure Osagie appears before the investigative committee, so it can hear her side of the case and promptly submit its final report,’’ he said.

Explaining why the lecturer was yet to be sacked, the vice chancellor said the provisions of the relevant statute of the university must be followed.

“Under the provisions of the relevant statute of the university, an academic staff can only be dismissed from service or have his or her appointment terminated when the matter, on which consideration is being given, has been investigated by a Joint Council and Senate Committee, and the staff  has appeared before the committee with his or her counsel, if so desired.

“This procedure is the minimum requirement of the law and regulations of the university.

“It should, therefore, be noted that the suspension of Akindele is on the basis of the findings of the investigative committee that he is prima facie liable.

“This decision will abide, pending the final determination of the case by the council of the university,” the vice chancellor said.

Ogunbodede said the university would continue to do everything legally and morally acceptable, in pursuance of its avowed commitment to zero tolerance for sexual harassment, intimidation and coercion.