This week, justice was served to a former lecturer at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU). Professor Richard Akindele was sentenced to two years in prison for crimes including demanding sexual benefits from his student, Monica Osagie.
After changing his plea from ‘not guilty’ to pleading guilty, CNN reports that the ex OAU lecturer, Professor Richard Akindele was sentenced to two years in prison for demanding sexual benefits from student Monica Osagie, two years for soliciting sexual benefits to improve her marks, one year for falsifying his age, and one year for altering evidence. Unfortunately, his jail sentences will be running concurrently, so he will be imprisoned for 2 years.
In an interview with CNN, Monica Osagie revealed that she gained evidence against the professor by recording a phone conversation she had with Professor Akindele, in which he asked that she have sex with him 5 times so he could bump up her score.
She added; “I am actually happy I came out. I am helping many ladies that have gone through the same thing I have gone through, and most of them can’t talk about it.”
This scandal of sex for marks in universities is not new to us. Many Nigerian women have experienced this or know someone who has in the course of their university education. The sex for marks phenomenon is so popular, that in 2003, Eedris Abdulkareem sang ‘Mr Lecturer’ for just this reason. Remember Bimbo Owoyemi, anyone? Sex for marks in universities has for a long time been that elephant in the room whose existence everyone consistently ignored.
Women who speak against this injustice are usually shamed or made to believe that the whole fiasco was somehow their fault. They must have worn revealing clothes. Or walked seductively. Or went to the lecturer’s office alone. In some other cases, students accusing their lecturers of asking for sex were accused (like Monica Osagie) of being prostitutes who got what they asked for.
For too long, the blame has been passed on to the victims, so we’re so glad to finally see the blame fall on the shoulders of one who it belongs to. Justice Maureen Onyekenu, the judge who sentenced Professor Akindele said it best:
”I KNOW the mental torture many of our female students have been subjected to by the likes of the respondent,” – Justice Maureen Onyetenu in rejecting the plea bargain that Prof Akindele had reached with prosecutors. pic.twitter.com/QBSTUaZxBH
— Amara Nwankpa (@Nwankpa_A) December 18, 2018
Featured image Richard Akindele via CNN.