Sexual harassment: Obafemi Awolowo University suspends Professor Akindele indefinitely

Vice chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo, professor Eyitope Ogunbodede, has directed that Professor Richard Akindele, who was involved in the alleged controversial sex scandal has been suspended indefinitely pending the determination of the disciplinary case against him.

In a statement signed by the university vice chancellor, Professor Ogunbodede said he has received and considered the interim report of the investigative committee on the allegation of sex harassment revealed in a recent audio recording which has gone viral across the internet.

According to him, it has been established that Professor Richard Akindele is of the department of management and accounting in the university.

He said the female voice has been indentified to be Miss Monica Osetobe Osagie, a postgraduate student on the Master of Business Administration regular programme.

Although the investigative committee had invited both Professor Akindele and Miss Osagie, the vice chancellor said only Professor Akindele had appeared before the committee, while Miss Osagie is yet to appear or make any representation.

He said the report indicated that many other witnesses appeared before the committee and gave useful evidence, adding that the university is making efforts to ensure that Miss Osagie appears before the investigative committee so that it could hear her side of the case and promptly submit its final report.

The committee observed that a prima facie case of inappropriate relationship with the female student had been established against Professor Akindele.

He said having regard to the gravity of the offence for which Professor Akindele is found to be prima facie liable, the Vice-Chancellor, in line with the code of conduct for the university and acting under all the laws and regulations of the university has directed that Professor Akindele be suspended pending the final determination of the disciplinary case against him.

According to him, under the provisions of the relevant statute of the university, an academic staff can only be dismissed from service or have his or her appointment terminated only when the matter on which consideration is being given has been investigated by a joint council and senate committee, and the staff has appeared before the committee with his or her counsel, if so desired.

He said: “This procedure is the minimum requirement of the law and regulations of the university. It should therefore be noted that the suspension of Professor Akindele is on the basis of the findings of the Investigative committee that he is prima facie liable, and this decision will abide, pending the final determination of the case by the council of the university.”

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