By Henry Umoru
MONICA Osagie Monday told the Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, All Progressives Congress, APC, Ekiti Central led Senate Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters that she was denied certificate from the Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile-Ife in Osun State after exposing the randy lecture of sexual harrassment.
Osagie who was at the centre of the sex-for-mark scandal that led to the sack of a Professor Richard Akindele from the Institution and said that for the offence of bringing up the matter, she was yet to receive her certificate from the University.
Osagie who disclosed this at a one-day public hearing on “Sexual Harassment of Students in Tertiary Educational Institution Prohibition Bill”, organized by the Senate Committee said, ” I was denied my certificate because Professor Akindele went to jail. They said if she could incriminate Akindele, then she is not going to get her certificate. They kept saying, ‘she failed, she’s not going to get her certificate. She can either come back or re-sit all the courses again’, and that is not possible. ”
Akindele, a professor of Management Accounting at the OAU, was recently dismissed and jailed after being found guilty of demanding for five days of sex from the then postgraduate student of the institution.
According to her, if the menace must be nipped in the bud in our tertiary institutions across the country, there should be middlemen who can interact between students and lecturers.
Osagie said, “It is not always a case of students not being intelligent for their failures in most courses. Many lecturers want students to cram what they taught words for words just to look for excuses of failing their targeted students, especially the female ones.
“We should provide a mechanism where instead of student interacting with the lecturer, there should be a middleman, probably a graduate, a PhD holder, where the lecturer does not have to interact with the students.”
Osagie who maintained that it was not true that female students often harass their lecturers, described such allegation as malicious and should be discountenanced by all, adding: “It was said that students often maliciously get lecturers involved. That is not possible because it always goes through a panel. The panel would find out if truly the student maliciously incriminated the lecturer. Hope you know most lecturers are in cohort with each other.”
In her submission, Executive Director, Youth Alive Foundation, YAF, Dr. Uduak Okon said that the Independent Prohibitions Committee should be protected because the committee was the first point of redress for students.
She said, “The committee is where the cases of assault can be reported, it can investigate and sanctions can happen. It is only when students are not happy can go out externally to high court.
“We have to ensure that we protect that committee so that it does what it’s meant to be.
“In clause 16, it recommends seven members while five will constitute a quorum. This is risky because if you have seven members and only two students in the committee that means that you can make decisions without students.
“We will recommend that the quorum should include students.”