Sex-for-grades scandal: Nigerian professor fired after student records conversation

Nation/World
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(CNN) — A Nigerian university has sacked a professor who was caught on tape allegedly demanding sex from a female student in exchange for upgrading marks.

Accounting professor Richard Akindele was fired by Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in southwest Nigeria after an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct, the university said.

The vice chancellor Eyitope Ogunbodede said in a statement that it had confirmed the voice on the tape soliciting his student Monica Osagie for sex was Akindele’s.

Akindele had “acted in a manner that… compromised his position as a teacher and examiner… his conversations with Miss Osagie were about examination scores and inducement of favor for the alteration of examination scores,” the university said.

The chancellor added that Akindele’s request for sex in exchange for marks was a “scandalous behavior that has brought ridicule to the name of the university” and it portrayed the institution as a place where “teachers and examiners trade marks for sexual favors.”

He added that the university had decided the professor “should be dismissed from the services of the university for gross misconduct.”

CNN could not immediately reach Akindele for comment.

The sacking comes just one month after CNN’s exclusive interview with Master’s student Osagie, who secretly taped a phone conversation with Akindele to gather evidence against him.

Nigeria’s Senate, in reaction to CNN’s interview, called for a “full-scale investigation” into her allegations earlier this month.

The lawmakers also passed a motion to investigate the growing number of cases of sexual harassment in the nation’s universities.

Akindele could face criminal charges pending the outcome of the Senate investigation.

Osagie could not be immediately reached by CNN for her reaction to the news of his sacking.

However, her lawyer Biola Akiyode told CNN: “Monica is very happy. This is a huge victory, not just for Monica but for other students.

“This victory should encourage any student, no matter if they are university or secondary school students to speak out. What Monica did was very brave and I hope lecturers will now see that there are consequences to their actions.”

It also emerged during the university’s investigation that Akindele had concealed Osagie’s real examination score as part of his ploy to have sex with her for better grades.

Osagie’s marks were 45, which is a pass mark by the institution’s grading, according to the university.

The university council said there was no evidence to support Akindele’s claims that he had been sexually harassed by the student in the first place to raise her marks.

“His claim that Miss Osagie knew that she had passed with a score of ’45’ but was seeking to score an ‘A’ and that this led to him being sexually harassed by Miss Osagie cannot be supported by any evidence,” the university said.

OAU’s decision is largely seen as a victory for many students and many who hope it will serve as a deterrent to predatory sexual behavior on Nigerian campuses.

“Universities now also need to thoroughly enforce their rules, which are already existing. There can be no more hiding place for rogue lecturers in our schools and universities,” Akiyode said.

 

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