The Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Ile-Ife, Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede has confirmed the suspension of one of the lecturer in the university, Professor Richard Akindele over the case of sex for mark scandal involving him (Akindele) and one of the students of the university, Miss Monica Osetobe Osagie, a postgraduate student on Master of Business Administration.
In a telephone conversation with our correspondent, Professor Ogunbodede confirmed that the lecturer was suspended after the consideration of the preliminary report of the committee sent up by the management of the university to investigate the matter.
According to the OAU VC, “In the interim report, Professor Richard I. Akindele, of the Department of Management and Accounting, is now established to be the lecturer in the controversial marks for sex audio recording.”
The VC said the Investigative Committee summoned both Professor Akindele and Miss Monica but only the lecturer appeared before the Committee while the student failed to appear or make any representation.
The VC said that the report indicated that many other witnesses appeared before the investigative committee and gave useful evidence. He added that the university is making efforts to ensure that Monica appears before the panel so as to hear her side of the case and arrive at the final conclusion.
Ogunbodede said the investigative committee observed that a prima facie case of inappropriate relationship with the female student had been established against Professor Akindele.
According to the VC, “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 only 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 Professor Richard I. Akindele is on the basis of the findings of the Investigative Committee that he is prima facie liable, and this decision will abide, pending the final determination of the case by the Council of the University.
“We will like to reiterate that OAU will continue to do everything legally and morally acceptable in pursuance of its avowed commitment to zero tolerance for sexual harassment, intimidation and, or coercion”, Ogunbodede noted.