By Farombi Oluwaseun
Today,Wednesday May 30,2018, the National assembly through the Senate has called for the probe of the sex-for-mark case at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
Recall that the sex scandal was exposed in April after a phone recording of a lecturer seeking sex from a female student to pass her in an examination was leaked.
The lecturer, Professor Richard Akindele, was caught on record to have requested five times of sex from Monica Osagie, a post graduate student of the institution. Though the OAU management has placed the professor on indefinite suspension, the National assembly through the Senate has said more needed to be done to stem the trend.
The motion which was sponsored by Senator Abiodun Olujimi (PDP) representing Ekiti-South, entitled, ‘"The Growing Trend of Sexual Harassment in the Higher Institutions of Learning: The Case of Monica Osagie.’"
She said " The Senate acknowledges that the case of the brave Nigerian and student of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Monica Osagie, who, in an audio recording which went viral, was able to expose her lecturer demanding for sex in order to increase her grades.
“This has further brought home the point, further justifying the specificity and target of the new bill, and the need to ensure that this perversion is completely kicked out of our places of learning."
She further added that although she was informed the university management has acted on the matter, the Senate needs to act on it so that rge case will not be swept under the carpet of expediency, forgetfulness or deliberate abandonment.
Supporting the motion, Senator Olugbenga Ashafa (APC, Lagos-East), he said, “We cannot pretend that sexual harassment do not exist in our higher institutions. This is an age-long behaviour on the part of lecturers particularly. There have been several reported cases of sexual harassment which have been swept under the carpet.”
President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, in his ruling, commended the bravery of Miss Osagie. He further added that any member of the Obafemi Awolowo University found to be involved must be totally disciplined.
Saraki recalled the Senate to have passed the anti-sexual harassment bill in 2016, stating that the leadership of the chamber would ensure that the House concurs with it.
The Senate concluded by mandating committees on Tertiary Institutions and Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters to “carry-out a full scale investigation of the case of Monica Osagie and the OAU lecturer in order to ensure that there is transparency and accountability, and that satisfactory justice is done to the victim involved and our laws are further strengthened for effectiveness.”
The Senate also urged the House of Representatives to move quickly to concur with the Senate bill on Sexual Harassment in Tertiary Educational Institutions (Prohibition) bill, which has been transmitted to the House as this will provide curb this kind of atrocities across the country in higher institutions of learning.