The alleged victim of sexual harassment by a lecturer in the Department of Accounting at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile -Ife, Osun State, Ms. Monica Osagie, “resorted to self help” through audio recording after two lecturers approached by her for intervention disappointed her, a gender activist who issued a statement on her behalf, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, has said.
Akiyode-Afolabi, who is the Executive Director of Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre, also said that contrary to claims by the institution, Osagie was never invited to appear before any panel for questioning to expatiate on the issues she had raised in the audio tape.
The activist, in a statement she issued on behalf of Osagie, on Friday, demanded “thorough investigation” into what she called “ sexploitation .”
Akiyode-Afolabi said several efforts made by Osagie in reporting her predicament to two senior lecturers in the Faculty of Administration were unsuccessful as they both refused to intervene, adding that she, therefore, resorted to self-help in documenting her evidence.
She added that Osagie was willing “to appear before any school panel if and when duly invited.”
This clarification came after the press statement by the school management entitled: “Audio Conversation, Obafemi Awolowo University Suspends Prof. Richard I Akindele.”
THE PUNCH reported that Osagie was an MBA regular student of OAU and was said to have gone into hiding since the sex-for-marks scandal broke out
Akiyode-Afolabi called on the school authorities “not to compromise the reputation of this old and respected university and its responsibility for protecting its students in a bid to cover up the unethical and disgraceful behaviour of individual lecturers.
She said, “Contrary to the information coming from OAU, Ms. Monica Osagie was never invited by the school management to appear before any panel. I ( Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi), have been in contact with Ms. Osagie and has her instructions to inform the management of her willingness to appear before any school panel if and when duly invited.
“In this case in point, Ms. Osagie made the efforts to inform two senior members of the Faculty of Administration about her predicament and no one was able or willing to intervene, leaving her to resort to self-help in documenting her evidence.
“This once again brought into focus the need to strengthen regulations and complaint mechanisms in our institutions, so as not to expose students to unethical advances by randy lecturers.”