The authorities of the Obafami Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, have finally brought to a closure the months-long sex- for-marks scandal involving one of its lecturers, Prof. Richard Akindele and a female student, Miss Monica Osagie. Akindele was caught on audiotape soliciting for rounds of sex from Osagie to upgrade her scores.
The case brought to the front burner of national discourse the sordid issue of sexual harassment and exploitation prevalent in the nation’s universities and other higher institutions. Such moral decadence also occurs in other sectors and work places in the country. In other words, sexual harassment, in whatever form, is commonplace in the larger society.
After a thorough investigation, Richard Akindele, a professor of Accounting and Management was found guilty of illegally soliciting sex from his student and was accordingly dismissed from the services of the university by the University Council. We commend the OAU for swiftly handling the Akindele matter without allowing it to drag on indefinitely. Let other universities emulate the shining example of OAU in handling such matters in their domains.
We strongly believe that allowing justice to prevail in such matters of sexual abuse would serve as a deterrent to other randy lecturers in our varsities and other higher institutions. There is a minimum level of moral and ethical conduct below which lecturers must not fall in our higher institutions.
Female students in tertiary institution must be protected from lecturers that are obsessed with sex. Let every higher institution in the country come up with adequate measures to expose and punish lecturers who are more interested in sex than inculcating knowledge and moral principles in their students.
In the same vein, female students that lure lecturers into sexual temptations and immorality should desist from such debased acts and concentrate in their studies. Universities are
established to inculcate knowledge as well as morals in their students. Therefore taking advantage of the female students as some lecturers are doing is against the overall aim of a university education.
The society should be saved from morally depraved lecturers before more harm is done to the psyche of the female students. Aspiring lecturers should be people with the requisite knowledge as well as high moral codes. Sexual harassment, in our view, is a grievous offence of which we do not think the extant laws are enough to prevent. This is why we think that the sack of the randy lecturer is not an adequate deterrent for the offence. Further action should be taken to prosecute him.
The sexual harassment of students represents the height of personal indiscretion and an antithesis of the good moral conduct expected of people in such privileged positions as lecturers. Our society must frown at the depraved conduct and give the culprit adequate punishment.
That is the best way people like Akindele and others who engage in such immoral sexual practices would learn some lessons and desist from such conducts. We empathise with Osagie, the victim of Akindele’s indiscretion for the public exposure this unwarranted incident may have brought her and the psychological and emotional traumas she may have passed through while the saga lasted. We commend her courage to expose Prof. Akindele. Prof. Akindele’s was the victim of his own greedy proclivities. He deserves his just punishment and moment of infamy.