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Unlike OAU, LASU, UNILAG silent on sex scandal involving lecturer

Since April, three Nigerian universities have been in the spotlight after their lecturers got involved sexual harassment scandals.

These scandals followed actions of female students who opened up on abusive conducts of lecturers towards them at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, the University of Lagos, Akoka, and the Lagos State University, Ojo.

While OAU, dismissed its lecturer involved in the scandal, and LASU confirmed the dismissal of three on Tuesday, UNILAG keeps mum on the investigation of its lecturer.

In May, Joy Nwanna, a student at UNILAG, accused Olusegun Awonusi, a professor of English and former Vice Chancellor of the Tai Solarin University of Education, of habitual sexual harassment.

The student who released semi-nude photos of the lecturer through Linda Ikeji’s blog said the lecturer was used to molesting students and that she was reaching out to the public to curb his excesses.

Also, reacting to the allegation made against him, Mr Awonusi, the lecturer at the centre of the sex scandal in UNILAG, in an interview with New Telegraph, said he was blackmailed, insisting that he did not sexually harass any female student.

Then, in July, Sunkanmi Odubunmi of the Department of Economics at the Lagos State University was also caught in sexual harassment scandal. He was said to have invited a yet-to-be-identified female student to his office to rewrite the paper she failed. The victim was said to have involved an NGO to help track the lecturer before proceeding to his office.

A surveillance gadget was reportedly placed on the student while the NGO stationed the laptops connected to the spy cameras on her to monitor what would happen between the lecturer and the student.

Unfortunately for Mr Odubunmi, he reportedly fell for the trap as he was reported to have removed his shirt and started cuddling the student from behind after giving her papers to rewrite the exam he invited her for.

On June 20, the university announced the dismissal of Richard Akindele after he was found guilty of sexual misconduct. He had earlier been placed on an indefinite suspension immediately the panel was set up.

Like OAU, the other two schools, UNILAG and LASU, also set up panels to look into allegations against their lecturers.

On July 12, LASU issued a query to the accused lecturer and the case is already before a Joint Action Disciplinary Committee.

UNILAG called for submission of memoranda to its probe panel. Its management appealed to Linda Ikeji to assist in convincing Nwanna Joy, the lady in question, to defend her sexual harassment claim.

The institution’s vice-chancellor also said UNILAG may involve the police to invite her.

On Tuesday, LASU confirmed the dismissal of three of its academic staff for sexual harassment and misconduct.

The university’s spokesman, Ademola Adekoya, said the institution’s Governing Council took the decision at its 119th Statutory Meeting on October 4, as recommended by the Joint Council/Senate (Academic) Disciplinary Committee.

Mr Adekoya named the affected staff as Sunkanmi Odubunmi, Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Ajani Ogunwande, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry

“Also, Dr Emmanuel Gbeleyi, Lecturer II, Department of Anatomy, Lagos State University College of Medicine (LASUCOM), Ikeja, Lagos,” Mr Adekoya said in a statement.

However, three months after UNILAG VC addressed a conference on its lecturer, the university has failed to take further steps.

The principal assistant registrar, Communications Unit of the institution, Taiwo Oloyede, confirmed this to CAMPUS REPORTER in a telephone interview on Wednesday

“After the press conference the VC held, I have not heard anything about the matter,” she said.

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