Members of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) in Osun State on Tuesday threatened to go on strike in reaction to the murder of Professor Jerome Elusiyan of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, by gunmen.
The Chairman of the NMA in Osun State, Dr. Edward Komolafe, issued the threat during a press conference in Osogbo, the state capital.
Dr. Komolafe who condemned the murder called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, to act decisively to apprehend and prosecute the killers.
Failure to do that, he warned, would cause the doctors to go on strike, on Thursday.
Three other suspected kidnappers and cultists were arrested during different operations in the state.
“The command through the efforts of operation puff adder and community policing, we got some reliable information that led to the arrest of some cult members. Before the event of 7/7, we got information about some students who are cult members and we swiftly acted on the information and they were arrested.”
Professor Yinka Adegbehingbe of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, has been abducted by unknown gunmen.
The professor was kidnapped near Ikire on the Ife-Ibadan expressway around 9pm on Sunday.
Adegbehingbe, who was travelling with his wife, was on his way from Lagos to Ife when armed men stopped his vehicle and abducted him.
Moses Olafare, director of media, Ooni of Ife palace, confirmed the abduction, saying he spoke with someone who witnessed the kidnap.
He added that he also spoke with the wife of the lecturer who was at the police station as at the time he called.
“I received a call from one of the passengers who witnessed the abduction of prof Yinka Adegbehingbe. Immediately I received that information, I called OAU PRO. I also called Ife area commander of Nigeria Police Force and later the Commissioner of Police,” he told reporters.
“CP told me she was aware of the incident and requested for more details from our end and we gave that. I later spoke to the wife of Prof. Adegbehingbe. She was in a police station around Apomu when I spoke to her.”
Mr. Abiodun Olanrewaju, OAU public relations officer, has also confirmed the abduction.
The story of Nigeria’s educational sector has for years been tainted with industrial disputes and the ever-present scandal.
In this regard, the year 2018 was not any better than the previous years.
Though it wasn’t all gloom in the educational sector this year, Nigeria seems very far away from turning the sector into a seamlessly vibrant one.
Audit of Education Personnel
The year began with a national personnel audit carried out by the Federal Government as part of efforts to enable the government plan, monitor, and evaluate the basic education sector.
With Nigeria having about 10 million out of school children, the audit was imperative to ensure the establishment of a strong foundation for the emergence of a sound management information system within the basic education sector.
It was inferred that with the audit in both private and public schools, quality basic education will be availed for all Nigerian children.
Teachers Day and the Issue of Unqualified Educators
If the children would be taught effectively, then those who educate them would need to be better trained.
Thus, the Nigerian educators were not left out from the 2018 World teacher’s day celebration in which the Federal Government promised to improve teacher education through continuous professional development.
Decrying the acute shortage of trained and qualified teachers in the country, the Secretary to the Federation pledged at this year’s world teacher’s day celebration that the Federal Government is still “committed to the course of the teaching profession”.
Away from the basic education sector, the tertiary institutions did not fare so well in the year 2018.
One major reason a good report might not be made regarding tertiary education in Nigeria this year is the sexual scandals involving lecturers and students.
A major case was that of Professor Richard Iyiola Akindele who was arrested and arraigned after an audio clip of him demanding sex from a student in exchange for marks went viral.
The disgraced former OAU lecturer was prosecuted by the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) on four charges which involved corruptly asking for sexual benefits from a student in a bid to fraudulently upgrade her result in Research Method, a course which she supposedly failed in 2017.
There was a similar increase in fees for students at the Obafemi Awolowo University’s college of health sciences where a training fee was introduced, however, the move was countered by both students and student groups alike.
Strikes and the crippling effect on the education sector
Industrial actions have almost become synonymous with the Nigerian educational system, an unpleasant development which for years has undermined the system and kept students in school for far longer than they should.
While the first half of the year was relatively calm, the second half was laden with strikes, as university lecturers under the aegis of the Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (ASUU) embarked on industrial action on November 4.
The action was to protest, among other things, the non-payment of earned allowances, university revitalisation and poor funding for state universities.
Following several meetings with the Minister of Labour and Productivity of which more than one was deadlocked, ASUU insisted that the union will have to wait to see how the Federal Government will deliver on its promises before taking any decision to suspend its actions.
On the heels of the ASUU strike, the leadership of colleges of education academic staff union who were on strike since September 2018 suspended their nationwide industrial action that crippled academic activities in colleges of education across the country for three months.
The national president of the association stated that the suspension of the strike action became necessary following the new commitment demonstrated by the government to resolve the issues that led to its industrial action.
While lecturers of the colleges of education called off their strikes the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics announced a continuation of the indefinite strike action it began on December the 12th.
This is because the Federal Government and officials of the union failed to reach a truce during their meeting.
Although the Federal Government in October declared a state of emergency in the educational sector with effect from November 2018, the National Economic Council Presided by Vice President Osinbajo urged governors to do same in their respective states.
As Nigeria matches into a new year, the challenge of ending the industrial actions by the university and polytechnic lecturers and repositioning the educational sector will continue to remain a top priority for the Nigerian government and the people as a whole.
The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Ogun State, Mr Dapo Abiodun, has reacted to the certificate scandal hanging over his campaign, insisting the whole matter is down to mudslinging.
During an appearance on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, Mr Abiodun said he was not worried about the scandal.
“There are no issues about my certificate,” he said, adding, “I never claimed to have finished from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University).”
The APC candidate has faced allegations that he submitted conflicting educational qualifications to the Independent National Electoral Commission in 2015 when he ran for Senate and this year in his quest to become governor of his state.
Of contention is the allegation that he claimed to have obtained a degree from the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, an allegation he denies.
“I never claimed to have gotten a degree from the University of Ife,” he insisted when asked about the matter.
He, however, said he studied at the university, but he didn’t graduate from there.
When asked about some profiles of him that indicate he had a B.A in Accounting, replied, “But that is not from Ife”.
When his attention was subsequently drawn to the argument of those who fault claims that he bagged B.A in accounting on the grounds that the institution did not issue B.A. certificates in accounting, he blamed the controversy on political attacks.
“This has all been an attempt at mudslinging and to confuse the electorate and it is bundled with a lot of half-truths,” he said.
“I never claimed to have studied accounting at the University of Ife. I never claimed to get it (the degree) from the University of Ife. So, this issue has been presented as the presenter wanted it presented.”
Asked to clarify what degrees he had, Mr Abiodon said, “I do have a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting and I will like to stop at that because this matter will be sub judice if I go any further.”
Stressing that the matter was in court, he declined to comment further on it when questioned about where he got his degree and the veracity of the certificate he indicated he had in his form for senatorial election in 2015.
Open To Reconciliation With Amosun
Mr Abiodun’s emergence as the governorship candidate of the APC in Ogun had created a rift in the party in the state with Governor Ibikunle Amosun refusing to back him, and preferring to support Mr Adekunle Akinlade who has dumped the APC after it backed Abiodun to fly its flag in the race.
The rift also pitted Governor Amosun against the National Chairman of the APC, Mr Adams Oshiomhole with both men trading accusations.
Concerning the crisis in the state chapter of the party, Mr Abiodun said, “Governor Amosun is my governor. I am positively disposed to reconciling with everyone and anyone, particularly my governor; he is a governor in my party.
“I believe these issues are issues that are internal to our party. It is unfortunate that it has come to the public fore. But I am sure that at the right time, these issues will be reconciled.”
Mr Oshiomhole has been accused of working for Mr Abiodun’s emergence as the party’s candidate against the wishes of the major stakeholders of the party in the state.
But Mr Abiodun insists he won fairly.
He said, “I don’t know about favoured candidates. I don’t think that primary elections are won by favoured candidates. Adams Oshiomhole did not come to conduct my elections in Ogun. I don’t see how anyone will begin to accuse Adams Oshiomhole as favouring me in place of some other persons.
“It is not unusual that we have these kinds of issues arise when we have primary elections within a party. It is not unusual and it is not the first time. It is just that this has been a bit more contentious than ordinarily, we have seen in the past.
“A body was set up to conduct my elections, that body conducted the elections, I emerged from that process and I have been declared the winner of that election and I remain the validly elected winner of that election.”
Away from the conflicts surrounding his campaign, Mr Abiodun is optimistic that he has solid plans for the state.
His vision is to give Ogun State a “focused and qualitative governance and create the enabling environment for a public-private partnership which is fundamental to the creation of an enduring economic development and the individual prosperity of all” in the state.
For him, a public-private partnership is critical for the enduring development of any state.
Also, the APC candidate believes that the internally generated revenue of the state will rise significantly if the state is able to “consciously and willfully” attract both local and foreign direct investors.
According to him, although there are several top companies located in the state, they did not commence operations there because they were encouraged to set up operations in the state.
“You will find out that most of them are in Ogun State not because there was a willful attempt to bring them in. They’ve come to Ogun State because it is convenient. It is very close to Lagos; the land mass is there and the people are there,” he said.
If elected, to fix the problem, Mr Abiodun said his administration will ensure that it increases the ranking of Ogun State on the global ease of doing business ranking.
The ranking, he explained, is measured by how easy it is to come to the state, set up a business, register a business, acquire land, employ people, and resolve disputes and so on.
Coming from a private sector background he said he would ensure that doing business in the state becomes a pleasurable experience and such things as dealing with multiple agencies when trying to set up a business to the state.
“It would be a pleasurable experience. We will endear you to come to Ogun State and invest,” he added.
As for his hopes and chances in the forthcoming election, the APC governorship candidate is of the view that the election will be won by the person who is able to show the electorate that “he is capable of leading the state”.
Narrowing it down, he believes he is that person.
“I believe that Ogun State citizens are very, very educated. They are a very educated electorate and I must remind you that that’s where Awolowo comes from.”
The level of education and awareness, to him, is major for his confidence that victory is within reach.
A Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo has sentenced a former lecturer of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Professor Richard Akindele, to two years in prison.
Justice Maurine Onyetenu sentenced Professor Akindele on Monday in Osun State, at the end of his trial for demanding sex in exchange for marks from one of his students, Miss Monica Osagie.
The accused had pleaded not guilty to the four charges of sexual harassment preferred against him by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC).
He had since been remanded in prison custody following objection to his bail by the prosecution counsel.
He was arraigned before Justice Onyetenu on November 19 for alleged sexual harassment.
When the case came up today, Akindele opted to change his earlier plea and admitted guilty of the offences as charged.
Efforts by his counsel to suspend the sentencing and negotiate for plea bargain failed, as Justice Onyetenu frowned at the rampant cases of students’ harassment by lecturers.
“The plea bargain is not absolute. The court still has discretion,” stated Justice Onyetenu who spoke with emotion.
She added, “This kind of issue is too rampant in our tertiary institutions. We send children to school, they come home telling us that lecturers want to sleep with them.
“We cannot continue like this. Somebody has to be used as an example; even primary school pupils are complaining. Telling me to suspend sentence does not arise. Plea bargain does not arise. Maybe the case has continued to occur and reoccur because someone has not been used as an example.”
“It is time for the court to start upholding the right of the children, especially female students. The case is endemic,” the judge decried.
Counsel to the defendant, Mr Francis Omotosho, thereafter, informed the court that the defendant has lost his job and has learnt his lesson.
He told the judge that the University has discovered the mistake in the marking of the examination paper of the victim and has concluded plans to compensate her.
Omotohso also said plans were ongoing by the authorities of the institution to make offices of lecturers open by building the front side with glasses.
The judge who was apparently not convinced with the prayer of the defence counsel, however, said, “Do you think they do it in the office? They go to hotel.”
Counsel to the ICPC, Mr Shogunle Adenekan, then urged the court to confiscate the mobile phone of the defendant and forfeit it to the Federal Government, saying sensitive materials were discovered there during forensic.
He also asked the court to grant an order releasing the mobile phone of the victim, Monica.
After considering the plea bargaining entered and signed by both counsels, Justice Onyetenu said there was a need to deter other people because of the nature of the case.
In her judgement, she sentenced the convict to 24 months on count one, 24 months on count two, one year on count three, and one year on count four.
The judge stated that the jail term should run concurrently.
She also ordered that the victim’s phone be returned to her and the phone of the defendant should be forfeited to the Federal Government.
The former lecturer of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Professor Richard Akindele, has changed his plea from ‘not guilty’ to ‘guilty’ of demanding for sex from his student, Monica Osagie.
Akindele is standing trial before a Federal High court in Osogbo, the Osun State capital for demanding sex in exchange for marks from Osagie, a postgraduate student of the institution.
He is also being prosecuted by the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) on a four-count charge of corruptly asking for sexual benefits from Osagie in a bid to fraudulently upgrade her result in Research Method course which she supposedly failed in 2017.
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), has arraigned a former lecturer of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Professor Richard Akindele at the Federal High Court in Osogbo, the Osun State capital.
Professor Akindele is being arraigned for demanding sex from one of his students, Ms Monica Osagie, in order to upgrade her academic result.
At the ruling on Monday, the presiding judge, Justice Maurine Onyetenu charged the professor on four counts which he pleaded not guilty to.
The professor was thereafter remanded in prison custody till November 27 for a definite hearing of the matter.
The prosecution counsel, Kehinde Adetoye, who spoke to reporters off camera confirmed that the professor was facing four charges.
He explained that count one dwells on the defendant corruptly asking for sexual benefits for himself from Monica Osagie for a favour that would be thereafter sworn to her by upgrading her academic record from fail to pass, thereby committing an offence contrary to and punishable under section 8 (1)a and 2 of the ICPC Act of 2000.
Secondly, that on or about September 16, 2017, he solicited for a sexual benefit for himself from Monica Osagie for a favour to be given to him, an act contrary to and punishable under section 18b of the ICPC Act 2000.
Count three, according to him, talks about lecturer concealing evidence with intent by removing some parts of the WhatsApp conversation between him and the victim contrary to section 15 (1and 2).
The fourth charge is on falsification of age which is contrary to section 25 of the ICPC Act.
He claimed that he was born in April 1961 but the personal file which he obtained from the institution showed that he was born in April 1959.
The professor, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him.
The video chat of Professor Akindele allegedly demanding for sex from Miss Osagie who was a postgraduate student at that time had gone viral in September 2017, which led to his dismissal from the institution after he was found guilty by the committee set up to look into the case.
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) is set to arraign a former lecturer of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Professor Richard Iyiola Akindele, at the Federal High Court, Osogbo.
Mr Akindele was accused of demanding sex from one of his students, Ms. Monica Osagie, in order to upgrade her academic result.
In a statement by the spokesman of the commission, Rasheedat Okoduwa, Professor Akindele will be docked on Monday 19th November 2018, on a 3-count charge having been accused of using his position as a lecturer in the Department of Management and Accounting to demand for sexual benefit from a student and fraudulently upgrade her result in Research Method course which she supposedly failed in 2017.
The Commission says that his actions were contrary to Sections 8 (1) (a) (ii), and 18 (d) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and are punishable under the same sections.
One of the counts reads, “That you, professor Akindele, on or about the 16th day of September, 2017 at Ile-Ife did corruptly ask for sexual benefits for yourself from Ms. Monica Osagie on account of favour to be afterwards shown to her by you in the discharge of your official duties as a lecturer in the Department of Management and Accounting, Obafemi Awolowo University, to wit; altering her academic grades in the course with code MBA 632- Research Method from fail to pass; and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 8(1)(a)(ii) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.”
The 57-year-old professor has asked for plea-bargain having admitted guilt. He also cited ill-health as a factor that may make him unable to stand the rigours of prison life, notifying the Commission through his lawyer, Omotayo Alade-Fawole.
He pleaded that his prayers for plea-bargain be considered, more so as he was already serving punishment for his offence having been sacked by the university.
Ms. Osagie had earlier expressed a lack of confidence in the capacity of ICPC to give her a fair hearing.
According to the commission, the public announcement of the professors impending arraignment is in fulfillment of its promise to the public to avail them of the outcome of the investigation in due time.
The Governing Council of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) has dismissed Professor Richard Akindele from the services of the University for gross misconduct.
Vice Chancellor of OAU, Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede, disclosed this to reporters after the meeting of the Council on Wednesday in Ile Ife, Osun State.
He revealed that the Council, after its findings, concluded that Professor Akindele had an inappropriate relationship with one of his students, Miss Monica Osagie, a claim to which he admitted.
The Council also discovered that the don had offered to change Osagie’s 33 per cent result to a pass mark, in consideration for sexual favours.
According to the vice chancellor, this was established in an audio recording that went viral in early April which Akindele also admitted to.
He informed journalists that from the evidence, Miss Osagie had no idea that she scored 45 per cent pass mark as claimed by the erring professor, although the student later found out she did not fail the course.
Professor Ogunbodede noted that the Council, from all findings, found out that Professor Akindele operated in a position of power and authority over Miss Osagie and as such sexually harassed her.
He added that Professor Akindele was found to be liable for all allegations of misconduct levelled against him with all the evidence at the Council’s disposal.
The VC pointed out that this led to the dismissal of the academic from the services of the university, to serve as a deterrent to others.
He disclosed further that the university has taken further steps to ensure total elimination of sexual harassment in the OAU community.
According to Ogunbodede, the institution has a legal duty to prevent sexual and gender-based harassment within the school and to ensure that both men and women are protected from the menace.
To achieve this, he said the university has put a strategic implementation framework for sexual harassment policy in place.
The vice chancellor explained that this would ensure effective and rapid redress mechanisms to incidents of sexual harassment, just as a whistleblower policy is also being developed by the university.
In its resolution, the Senate mandated its committee on tertiary institutions and judiciary, human rights and legal matters to carry out a full scale investigation on the case of Miss Monica Osagie and the OAU lecturer named in the ‘sex-for-grades’ scandal.
The resolution also observes that Miss Osagie’s experience justified the specificity and target of the sexual harassment in the tertiary institutions bill passed by the Senate in 2016 – and the need to ensure that such perversion is curbed in places of learning.
Senate President Bukola Saraki commended the bravery of Miss Osagie, noting that the Senate would work to ensure that any member of the institution that is culpable would be investigated and thoroughly discipline.
The Senate also asked the joint committee to “invite the OAU authorities to explain the steps they have taken and the outcome of their internal investigation on the matter as well as institutional reviews they have carried out, together with such further proposals aimed at nipping the problem in the bud.”
They also urged the House of Representatives to quickly move to pass the Senate’s bill on Sexual Harassment in Tertiary Educational Institutions (Prohibition) Bill, which had been transmitted to the House.
This, the Senate noted will provide a window of solace for victims of these kinds of atrocities across the country in higher institutions of learning.