The Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, has sacked Richard Akindele, the lecturer who allegedly demanded sex from Monica Osagie, a postgraduate student of the institution.
OAU had set up a panel to investigate the allegations levelled against Akindele who went into hiding after the scandal broke.
On Wednesday, Eyitope Ogunbodede, OAU vice-chancellor, announced that the governing council of the institution had approved the sack of the lecturer, “having found him guilty of all the charges against him.”
He said the council, after its findings, concluded that Akindele had an inappropriate relationship with Osagie.
Ogunbodede said the lecturer did not deny the allegation when he was confronted.
“On the 7th of April, 2018 or thereabout, there was an audio conversation between a man and a lady which was sensationally trending on social media because of its explicit sexual tone. After thorough investigation, it was discovered that the said audio conversation was between a lecturer and a student of our University (OAU) who were later identified to be Professor Richard Akindele and Ms Monica Osagie,” he said.
“To save the image of the University and to unravel the circumstances that surrounded the whole saga, the University Management set up a committee and mandated it to submit its report within a week. Furthermore, the management issued a query to Professor Richard Akindele to explain his role after which he was suspended pending the final determination of the case in line with the University regulations.
“Although the committee invited the two persons involved, only Professor Akindele could be initially reached and invited.
This necessitated the submission of an interim report. However, when the committee eventually succeeded in inviting Ms Monica Osagie, and finally concluded its sittings, it then submitted its final report to the management.
“To disabuse the minds of the general public on the issue of an alleged cover-up, the Vice-Chancellor, on two occasions, issued press releases that were personally signed by him. The press releases were maximally published by virtually all the media houses and aired by Radio and Television Stations across the globe.
“Last Thursday, 14th June, 2018, the University Senate considered the Committee’s Findings that:
(1) Professor Akindele had an inappropriate relationship with his student Miss Osagie. This was established through their conversation in the audio recording; his reply to the query; the oral evidence; and the printed ‘WhatsApp conversations’ tendered before the Committee.
“He had acted in a manner that is seen to have compromised his position as a teacher and examiner, in that, his conversations with Miss Osagie were about examination scores and inducement of favour for the alteration of examination scores.
“He offered to change Miss Osagie’s purported “33%” result to a pass mark in consideration for sexual favours, this was established in the audio recording which he admitted.
“Professor Akindele’s actions in requesting for sexual favours from Miss Osagie to change her examination scores was scandalous behaviour that has brought ridicule to the name of the University and has tarnished the reputation of the University, as it portrays the University as an institution where its teachers and examiners trade marks for sexual favours.
“The Council, at its meeting of today, Wednesday, 20th of June, 2018, having considered the recommendation of Senate, as well as the report of the Joint Committee of Council and Senate, decided that Professor Richard I. Akindele should be dismissed from the services of the University for gross misconduct.”
He added that the university has taken further steps to ensure the “total elimination” of sexual harassment.
“OAU is fully committed to the eradication of sexual and other types of harassment from our tertiary institutions and will do all that is possible to nip this menace in the bud,” he said.
“OAU has zero tolerance for Sexual Harassment and as a renowned University will do everything humanly possible to maintain the rules and regulations of the University.”
After the scandal which led to the sack of Akindele broke, TheCable visited Ife and spoke with people who know the lecturer, a father of three daughters and an Anglican reverend.