Senate probes OAU sex-for-mark scandal

The senate has begun a probe into the alleged sexual harassment case involving Monica Osagie, a student of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), and Richard Akindele, her lecturer.

Biodun Olujimi, senator representing Ekiti south, moved a motion to this effect on Wednesday.

She lamented the growing culture of sexual harassment in institutions of higher learning across the country.

Consequently, the senate mandated its committees on tertiary institutions, TetFund, judiciary, human rights and legal matters to carry out a full-scale investigation of the case.

Olujimi said: “It was for this reason that in October 2016, the Senate passed the sexual harassment in tertiary educational institutions (prohibition) bill.

“The Bill prescribes severe punishment for lecturers and academic staff of universities, who either sexually harass or assault their male or female students.

“And the need to ensure that this perversion is completely kicked out of our places of learning.

“Though the university authorities have since weighed in on the matter to ensure justice is done, this is another matter that must not be swept under the carpet of expediency, forgetfulness or deliberate abandonment.

“The case deserves greater scrutiny and attention as it signposts how serious we are as a nation to fully and exhaustively eliminate this perversion from our schools.

“This is just one out of the many cases that have come to limelight within the past decade and it shows that the pervasion is spreading across the country with both the male and female gender as victims.

“This is especially in view of the poor prosecution and conviction numbers being turned out.”

The senator stressed the need for the chamber to bring succour and safety to the victims.

“These acts damage our children in very significant ways and also portray our country in bad light which are alien to both our cultural and religious orientation as a people,” she said.