Gabriel Dike; Clement Adeyi, Osogbo
Management of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, has dismissed Prof. Richard Akindele, who was involved in a sex-for-marks saga with a female student of the institution, Miss Monica Osagie.
This was disclosed yesterday by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, after the decision by the university’s council who upheld the report of the committee set up to investigate the allegation by Osagie against Akindele.
“The council, at its meeting of today (Wednesday), June 20, 2018, having considered the recommendation of the Senate, as well as the report of the Joint Committee of Council and Senate, decided that Prof. Richard Akindele should be dismissed from the services of the university for gross misconduct,” Prof. Ogunbodede said.
Akindele, according to the final report submitted to the council by the committee, was found culpable of various allegations and was dismissed on the grounds.
The vice chancellor, in a statement, yesterday, recalled: “On April 7 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 Prof. Richard Akindele and Ms Monica Osagie.
“To save the image of the university and 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 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 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 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.”
Prof. Ogunbodede, who said Akindele’s dismissal was based on the committee’s findings, also recalled that last Thursday, the university’s Senate considered the committee’s findings that:
“Akindele had an inappropriate relationship with Osagie as established through their conversations in an 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 Osagie’s purported ‘33 percent’ result to a pass mark in consideration for sexual favours, this was established in the audio recording which he admitted.
“His claim that Osagie knew that she had passed with a score of ‘45’ but was seeking to score an ‘A’ and that this led to him being sexually harassed by Miss Osagie cannot be supported by any evidence.
“Akindele’s actions in requesting for sexual favours from Osagie to change her examination scores is 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.”