Sexual abuse: Health concerns stall arraignment of UNILAG lecturer

A LECTURER at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Kadiri Akeem Babalola, accused of raping a 20-year-old female student, has yet to be arraigned due to health concerns.

Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Lagos State Police Command Benjamin Hundeyin disclosed this to The ICIR on Thursday, September 14.

“He has not been arraigned yet due to his deteriorating health. He will be arraigned once the doctor certifies him fit for a court trial,” Hundeyin told The ICIR.

Babalola, an Associate Professor at the University, was accused by the student of raping her on August 16, 2023, when she visited his office to sort out academic issues.

A social media user, Deji Lambo, disclosed via X on Wednesday, September 6, that the case was being followed up by a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Inclusive Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation (ISWEF), and Babalola confessed to perpetrating the crime.

“InclusiveSWEF reported the case to the Gender Unit of the state police command, and through the OC Gender, the state CP, Idowu Owohunwa, issued a warrant of arrest for Babalola through the state High Court and involved the Vice Chancellor, UNILAG.

“The VC was given seven days to produce Babalola, and when the VC invited the randy lecturer for questioning, InclusiveSWEF said he admitted to committing the crime. The VC informed the Police through the school’s Chief Security Officer, and Babalola was arrested,” Lambo posted.

Hundeyin confirmed the incident by sharing Lambo’s post, noting that the accused would “appear in court in the coming days.”

Babalola is one of many male lecturers in Nigerian universities accused of rape or sexual harassment in 2023 alone.

On Monday, August 15, female University of Calabar Law faculty students staged a protest within the school premises against sexual harassment and intimidation by Dean Cyril Ndifon.

The students carried placards that read, “Law students are not bonanza; Prof. Ndifon should stop grabbing us. The Faculty of Law is not a brothel,” “Ndifon must go for our sanity,” among other inscriptions.

The University suspended Ndifon on August 17, his second suspension for sexual harassment since 2015, when he was accused of raping a final-year student.

Students, including Frank Enor, Otora Agbor, Elvis Okorn, and Okoi, also named some lecturers in other departments within the school.

At the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra state, two lecturers were also accused of sexual harassment by an anonymous student.

Similarly, two lecturers at the University of Abuja (UNIABUJA) were dismissed in July over issues of sexual harassment.

In 2015, a part-time lecturer of UNILAG, Afeez Baruwa, was arraigned for raping an 18-year-old girl seeking admission into the school.

Another lecturer at the institution, Boniface Ighenghu, was also accused of sexually harassing a reporter disguised as a 17-year-old student seeking admission into the university in 2019.

A 2018 World Bank Report stated that 70 per cent of female graduates of Nigerian universities said they had been sexually harassed by lecturers and male students while in school.

Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via or @ije_le on Twitter.

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