•Male students also exploited sexually
•Female students harass us too- lecturer
By Evelyn Usman
Recently, a recorded audio conversation between a senior lecturer in the department of Accounting, at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Professor Richard Akindele, negotiating sex for marks with one Monica Osetoba Osagie, a Masters in Business Administration student, went viral on the traditional and social media.
In the conversation, Professor Akindele was heard demanding to have sex with Monica five times before he would upgrade her score from 33% to a percentage of her choice. It was also obvious that Monica, was not the only student who was embroiled in the lecturer’s sex for marks web.
Also, it could be observed that the duo were familiar with each other judging by the platonic tone used during the conversation.
As starling as the discovery may be, the act is not new in tertiary institutions across the country, as some students, particularly female ones, consider the option as the only alternative to securing good grades to enhance their Cumulative Grade Point Average, CGPA, while others could be victims of predators who hide under the cover of lecturers.
Management of most universities across the country are no doubt unaware of such practices within the academic community. But they either tend to look the other way, waiting until the name of the institution is dragged in the mud like the OAU’s case before they take action, or wait for drastic actions to be taken by concerned students before addressing the issue. This is evident in most cases of sex for marks that had so far been exposed .
On the other hand, investigation carried out by Saturday Vanguard showed that students who could not sleep with lecturers to upgrade their marks when they failed a course had to settle it with cash. For instance, findings revealed that students pay between N3000 and N10,000 for a failed course , depending on whether it is a major or elective course.
But some lecturers still insist on sleeping with students rather than collecting money, which they regard as stipends. Meeting points for such shameful act are usually in brothels outside the institutions, either in the day time or at night.
The question on the lips of several Nigerians begging for answer, is why do some unscrupulous lecturers who ought to be part of a student’s character and career builder, bring themselves to ridicule by demanding and receiving sexual or any form of gratification to award marks to undeserving students, while serious students who burn their midnight candles are given lower grades?
From one end of the six geopolitical zones to another, the story is the same in virtually all the citadel of learning: be it universities, Polytechnics or Colleges of education.
For instance, two years ago, a university professor at the University of Port Harcourt, River state, was reportedly caught red-handed having sex with a student in one of the classrooms at night, unknown to him that he was being recorded on video. The act took place on a desk inside the classroom, all in a bid to increase the student’s marks.
Same year, a lecturer at the Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, Zaria, was apprehended at a private female hostel in Samaru, Zaria. In this case, the lecturer was discovered to have sneaked into the hostel, disguised as a woman, with hijab. However, findings showed that he was having an affair with one of the female students, with an alleged intention to top her grade as well as intervene and prevail on other lecturers to give her good grades.
Osun State University
Also, at the Osun State University, Oshogbo, a randy senior lecturer, in the Department of Languages and Linguistics, Dr. Olabode Ajoniyi was caught on video having sex in a hotel room with one of his female students identified as Mercy Ikwue. Report had it that the lecturer had been mounting pressure on the student for sex until she agreed to meet him at the hotel. She took a laptop with which she recorded the sexual act and thereafter, released the video to her friends who posted it on social media.
The released video clip which however did not reveal the real sexual intercourse, was discovered to be a trap, as revealed in a petition by some students to some media houses. The students in the petition accused the lecturer of being responsible for the then 300 level student’s suspension from school over allegation of examination malpractices.
Upon her return they claimed that the lecturer mounted pressure on her and that with the advice of some of her friends, she took a laptop to the hotel pretending to be watching ‘Things fall Apart’ film on it, unknown to the lecturer that things were about to fall apart for him. Consequently, the university’s Governing Council headed by Mallam Yusuf Ali, upon deliberating on the matter, terminated the lecturer’s appointment, in accordance with the university’s Code of Conduct of Staff.
University of Calabar
Again, at the University of Calabar, two years ago, a senior lecturer, was accused of harassing a 16-year-old female Diploma student. In this case, report had it that the Head of Department in the Faculty of Law in the university, Dr. Eni Alobo, took to his Facebook wall threatening to publicly name the randy lecturer if he did not stop disturbing the girl whom he said was old enough to be his colleague’s granddaughter. Dr Alobo, in the post, said that the randy lecturer who was in his 50s had a daughter that was older than the girl in question. The lecturer, as gathered, was asked to supervise the teenager’s project so she could graduate with her mates but that he refused, insisting rather, that he must have sex with her before he would handle her project. Earlier entreaties by lecturers on behalf of the victim fell on deaf ears, until the post went viral.
University of Lagos
Investigations have also revealed that predators who hide under the cover of lecturers also hunt for female students seeking admissions into universities. An incident that readily comes to mind occurred at the University of Lagos some time ago, where a lecturer, Afeez Baruwa, was alleged to have raped a female seeking admission into the institution. The 18-year-old victim as gathered, was handed to the lecturer by her father who was his friend, to help her secure admission. But he was alleged to have raped the girl in one of the study halls of the university when she went to write her post -UTME examinations.Forty-two year-old Baruwa was arraigned before an Ikeja High Court on a one-count charge of rape, where he pleaded not guilty to the charge and the Magistrate, Mrs. O. Awope, admitted him to bail in the sum of N250,000 with two sureties in like sum, with a directive that he should be remanded at the Kirikiri prison until his bail terms were perfected. Although Baruwa insisted during the trial that he had the consent of the teenager before he had sex with her, the court however sentenced him to 21 years in prison in 2015.
While serving his jail term, another female student in the university claimed in a letter she wrote to the school authority, that Dr Baruwa , also tried to rape her while supervising her project. She alleged that he tore her dress and threatened that she would never graduate from the school if she refused his sexual overtures. But UNILAG had denied knowing the lecturer then.
Ambrose Alli University
Also, a seven minutes recorded video of sexual harassment conversation between an Engineering lecturer at the Ambrose Alli University , Ekpoma and some female students went viral in April 2012, consequent upon which the lecturer was dismissed.
However this is one case that was proved to be false by the court. In April 22, 2018 a magistrate’s Court sitting in Ekpoma, Esan West Local Government Area of Edo State convicted the two female students; Judith Ivie Okosun and Juliet Obehi Okosun, and were sentenced two years and a year imprisonment respectively over what it described as unlawful detention and indecent assault on a university don, in connection with the sexual harassment scandal.
Lagos State University
Similarly in 2005, the Lagos State University, Ojo, sacked a lecturer, who was also caught in his underpants in a hotel room in Lagos, on the verge of having sex with a 200-level undergraduate. The list is endless.
Secondary school students too
Findings by Saturday Vanguard showed that sexual harassment also occur in secondary schools in Nigeria, especially in public schools. Some students who fall prey to these predators as gathered, are either beautiful or intellectually poor. Male teacher on the other hand understand the desperation for mere certificates and exploit these ill-prepared and sometimes brilliant students.
Investigation by Saturday Vanguard also revealed that like female students, male students are also harassed sexually by female lecturers. Male students who are harassed by these female lecturer, whether old or young are the young and handsome students and those from rich homes.
A male student at the Federal University of Technology, Akure , FUTA who spoke with Saturday Vanguard on the condition of anonymity, disclosed that he carried a course over for two years simply because he refused to sleep with one of his female lecturers.
According to the student who is in his final year, “male students suffer all kinds of sexual harassment like female students. The only difference is that the male can’t open up to speak and I am one of those . When I was in 200 level, I failed one of the courses which I knew I wrote well. When I approached the elderly lecturer, she told me point blank that she would like to have a feel of me sexually. I was too stunned to respond and had to leave her office. When I confided in a course mate, I was further shocked to hear him say that the lecturer demanded same from him but he would not say if he was going to do it
Because of my faith, I could not give in to her demand. I carried the course over, until she left the school last year. And by the time I re-wrote it with the new lecturer , I had an ‘A’.
Before she left, I went to some lecturers to help me beg the lecturer who was even older that my mother. I did not tell them what was amiss. They did but advised me to sit for the course again. In this department, some of the male students I know have had a fair share of the woman in bed before she left the school
Female students also harass us sexually – lecturer
The last on sex for marks has not been heard yet as a lecturer at the Lagos State University, Ojo, said that female students sometimes harass male lecturers sexually, too. He stated that most of the alleged rape cases were spearheaded by some female students who later allege rape.
Disclosing that he was among several lecturers who had been harassed by female students, he said: “the issue of sexual harassment in universities is a complex one because some of the female students gave lecturers who cannot say no the green light.
I was also harassed sexually by a female student. She failed my course out rightly and came to my office to beg me to upgrade her marks. At a point she started unbuttoning her shirt, until I called her to order and ordered her out of my office.
Even at that, she kept making passes at me . At times, these female students come to male lecturers offices half naked to seduce them. Some of them are dull and feel that is the only way to make it. Female students are as guilty as the male lecturers in my own view.
Why students give in
In an interview with some undergraduates and graduates, on why students give in to sexual pressure by lecturers, it was discovered that some of them (female students) see it as part of life, while others were compelled by the challenge of not studying courses of their choice. For instance, a student of one of the tertiary institutions said “some of these students are forced by their parents to read courses that suit them( parents) without putting into consideration if their children are comfortable with such course. For instance, a student in our hostel wanted to read English language but her father insisted that she must study Accounting, whereas she is not good in calculation. As we speak, she is in 300 level and had slept with some of the lecturers, all in a bid to pass.”
At times, when a student applies for Law for instance, and is ultimately forced by circumstances beyond her control to study a course that she is psychologically and academically unprepared for, in a bid to get a certificate, desperation sets in and the student either achieves it through sexual or material demands. At times also, some lecturers sleep with students at the point of admission in order to be admitted to study courses they have competence for.”
Meanwhile, in May 2016, the Senate, considered a bill that would slam a five-year jail term on erring lecturers who exploit students sexually. Sponsored by Senator Ovie Omo-Agege (Labour-Delta Central) and co-sponsored by 46 other senators, the bill, sought to completely prohibit any form of sexual relationship between lecturers and their students in the nation’s tertiary institutions.
Omo-Agege explained that “When passed into law, it makes it a criminal offence for any educator in a university, polytechnic or any other tertiary educational institution to violate or exploit the student-lecturer fiduciary relationship for sexual pleasures,” he said.
“The bill imposes stiff penalties on offenders in its overall objective of providing tighter statutory protection for students against sexual hostility and all forms of sexual harassment in tertiary schools.
“The bill provides a compulsory five-year jail term for lecturers who sexually harass students. When passed into law, vice chancellors of universities, rectors of polytechnics and other chief executives of institutions of higher learning will go to jail for two years if they fail to act within a week on complaints of sexual harassment made by students.
“The bill expressly allows sexually harassed students, their parents or guardians to seek civil remedies in damages against sexual predator lecturers before or after their successful criminal prosecution by the state.
“The bill also seeks to protect, from sexual harassment, prospective students seeking admissions into institutions of learning, students of generally low mental capacity and physically challenged students.”
But the Academic Staff Union of Universities kicked against the bill during a public hearing organised by the senate committee on judiciary, human rights and legal matters in June 2016. ASUU said the sexual harassment bill would undermine the autonomy of universities, arguing that universities were established by law as autonomous bodies, adding that there were laws that clearly articulated redress procedures.
Besides, it stated that the bill was targeted at only male lecturers, adding that the rule of lawmaking did not permit one to target legislation against a group or an individual.
President of ASUU, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, who gave reasons why the bill was rejected two years ago, said : ‘’that bill was too restricted. What the lawmakers did was to narrow down on lecturers. Laws should be made open; not saying lecturers, male lecturers, who are in tertiary institutions harassing female students. We told them that sexual harassment takes place everywhere including the National Assembly. And we sighted the case of a female youth corps member who was also harassed in the National Assembly at that time. It was on record. So, don’t target people with a bill. You can work on existing laws and enforce them.’’
In place of the bill, several tertiary institutions reportedly have anti-sexual harassment policies . Unfortunately, the efficacy of the policies have not been tested in most universities because many cases go unreported as female students are sometimes scared of being victimized if they exposed these predators.
It is therefore expected of other lecturers who are still involved in sex for marks, to desist from such, or have same fate that befell the OAU lecturer and his likes.