By Gbenga Olarinoye
OSOGBO—AUTHORITIES of the Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile-Ife, yesterday, announced the immediate suspension of Professor Richard Akindele, who was allegedly involved in a sex-for-marks scandal with a female undergraduate of the institution, identified as Miss Monica Osetobe Osagie.
It also declared that a prima facie case had been established against Professor Akindele pending the final determination of the disciplinary case of sexual harassment against him.
This followed the consideration of an interim report of the Committee set up to investigate the allegation of sexual harassment revealed in a recent audio recording that involved Akindele of the Department of Management and Accounting of the University.
In a statement, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede stated that it has been established that the voice in the controversial marks for sex audio recording was that of Professor Richard Akindele.
The statement reads: “The Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, has received and considered the interim report of the Committee set up to investigate the allegation of sexual harassment revealed in a recent audio recording.
“In the interim report submitted to the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede; Professor Richard I. Akindele of the Department of Management and Accounting, is now established to be the lecturer in the controversial marks for sex audio recording.
“The female voice has also been identified as that of Miss Monica Osetobe Osagie, a Postgraduate Student on the Master of Business Administration Regular programme.
“Although the Investigative Committee had invited both Professor Richard I. Akindele and Miss Osagie, only Professor Akindele had appeared before the Committee, while Miss Osagie is yet to appear or make any representation.
“The report indicated that many other witnesses appeared before the Committee and gave useful evidence. The University is making efforts to ensure that Miss Osagie appears before the investigative committee so that it can hear her side of the case and promptly submit its final report.
“The Committee observed that a prima facie case of an inappropriate relationship with the female student had been established against Professor Richard I. Akindele. The Vice-Chancellor, having carefully and dispassionately considered the report, also came to the conclusion that a prima facie case of serious misconduct had been established.
“Having regard to the gravity of the offence for which Professor Richard I. Akindele is found to be prima facie liable, the Vice-Chancellor, in line with the Code of Conduct for the University Community and acting under all the laws and regulations of the University enabling him in that regard, has directed that Professor Richard I. Akindele be suspended forthwith from the University, pending the final determination of the disciplinary case against him.”