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OAU sex-for-marks lecturer sentenced to 2 years imprisonment after pleading guilty

RICHARD Akindele, a former professor with the Accounting Department of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, has pleaded guilty to charges of soliciting for sex in order to award grades to a female student.

A recording in which Akindele was heard demanding to sleep with his student, Monica Osagie, five times before she could pass his courses had gone viral, prompting the management of OAU to initiate an investigation against him.

But despite that Akindele was expelled from OAU after the panel of investigation found him guilty, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) filed a suit against him for alleged abuse of office.

In one statement, the ICPC said Akindele had agreed to a plea bargain in exchange for a lighter sentence. However, when he was arraigned before Justice Maureen Onyetenu of the Federal High Court, Osogbo, Osun State, he pleaded not guilty and was remanded in prison.

When the case came up for hearing on Monday, the prosecutor, Shogunle Adenekan, told the court that Akindele has agreed to change his plea from ‘not guilty’ to ‘guilty’.

Adenekan said all parties in the matter agreed to the plea, and he begged the court for a suspended sentence for the accused person.

Delivering her ruling after an hour break, Justice Onyetenu sentenced Akindele to two years in prison, refusing to accede to pleas by the prosecution for a suspended sentence.

She said Akindele’s crime was weighty and that the punishment was necessary so as to serve as a deterrent to others, and reduce incidences of sexual harassment in institutions of higher learning in Nigeria.

Olusegun Awonusi

While Akindele has been punished for his crime, the same cannot be said about Olusegun Awonusi, a professor of English Studies at UNILAG, who was also accused by a female student of sexual harassment.

The student who spoke to Linda Ikeji, a popular Nigerian blogger, on condition of anonymity, even provided nude pictures of the lecturer which she claimed to have taken during an encounter in the lecturer’s office.

“I have completely given up when it comes to academics he has failed me on tests before. When I talked to him concerning it he told me I should know what to do I am an adult. I feel so dirty for even allowing such an old man touch me. But he doesn’t even care,” the victim narrated.

At the time the report was published, the management of UNILAG said it had put up a panel to investigate the case but till date, nothing has been heard of the matter.

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