Motunrayo Afolayan, a 400-level student of the Department of International Relations, Faculty of Business Administration, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), has accused a lecturer, Olabisi Olaleye, of sexual harassment.
The latest sex-for-mark scandal comes barely 23 months after a leaked phone recording showed a randy lecturer identified as Prof. Richard Akindele, seeking sex from a female student for a pass in an examination.
Following the leaked audio recording which stirred controversy among the Nigerian populace, Akindele who was a professor of Accounting at the time, was dismissed from the university and then sentenced to 24 months in prison.
In the latest sex-for-mark scandal rocking the tertiary institution, Premium Times reports that Afolayan, who has since lodged a complaint at the university’s Centre for Gender and Social Policy Studies, alleged that Olaleye failed her in ‘Diplomacy,’ course code IRS 305.
The lecturer was said to have been teaching the course alongside a female colleague, identified as Omolara Akinyemi.
According to sources in the university cited by Premium Times, Afolayan had first written the IRS 305 examination during the 2017/2018 academic calendar of the school, but was allegedly failed over her refusal to have sex with Olaleye.
During the next academic year (the 2018/2019 academic session), the student reportedly registered again for the course, but allegedly received repeated threats from the lecturer that “she would fail again and again if she refuses to sleep with him.”
“So, she was in Olaleye’s office and just as predicted, Olaleye held her by the hand and began to fondle her. While he was carried away, the lady turned on the voice recording application on her phone and taped all his vulgar words including the threat," a university source was quoted as saying.
It was however learnt that as soon as Olaleye realised that he's about to be enmeshed in a serious mess, he quickly released Afolayan’s result which he had been withholding alongside a few others. The released result showed that the student passed.
The lecturer's defense
While the female student chose not to speak on the matter because she had been advised to keep sealed lips until the university makes its verdict public, Olaleye said he had earlier submitted a written response to a query from the management, who called him to panel.
Denying harassing Afolayan, the lecturer said the student had approached him to alter the examination timetable when the rerun course had clashed with another course she takes at 400 level.
“I didn’t know her until the timetable issue came up,” Olaleye said. “She approached me with two other ladies but I told them I could not help. I only advised them to go and write their 400 level course first, and return to join us in the hall for my course.”
Olaleye maintained that the delay in the release of Afolayan’s result was due to his co-lecturer, who was busy with accreditation issues.
Some female alumni members were said to have narrated their similar experiences with the lecturer in question, while they were in school.
One of the alumni who currently lives in the United Kingdom (UK) was quoted as saying, " Olaleye should not escape the wrath of the law this time.
“That man is savage, I must say. He is drunk and very reckless.”
Other alumni members accused some lecturers, especially those they said are close to Olaleye in the faculty, of trying to mount pressure on the panel set up to probe the matter, and secure a soft landing for their colleague.
Abiodun Olarewaju, the university’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), expressed confidence that justice would be served in the matter.
He said. “There is no basis for anybody to nurse any fear about the possible outcome of the probe.
“We have since gone past that stage at OAU. Nobody told us before a panel was set up, and the gender centre that was created was aimed at creating unfettered access to justice.”
Olanrewaju maintained that the precedent created with a similar case in the past, should assure the public of the university administration’s commitment to ensuring fairness and justice.