Sex Scandal: Professor Opefeyitimi Was Found Prima Facie Liable – OAU

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File photo of the OAU entrance.

 

Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, has revealed that following the sex scandal involving a professor and a student of the institution, the Professor Joseph Ayo Opefeyitimi, has been found prima facie liable.

“Procedurally, after the receipt of the formal complaints, the first step was that the departmental committee sat on the matter and, after thorough investigation, Professor Opefeyitimi was found prima facie liable,” a statement by the Public Relations Officer of the University, Abiodun Olarewaju, said on Wednesday.

While stating the steps it is taking to addressthe issue, the institution also clarified that contrary to claims, it is not foot-dragging.

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“The management of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, would like to debunk an unfounded allegation making the rounds in some quarters, that it’s foot dragging in sanctioning a professor who was alleged to have sexually assaulted a female student in his office.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the authorities of the Obafemi Awolowo University have never shielded and will not shield any staff or student found to have committed any sexual misdemeanor. Previous cases of this nature have not evaded the disciplinary hammer of the University administration”.

Professor Opefeyitimi had been accused of sexually harassing a student, Boluwatife Hannah Bababunmi of the Department of Linguistics and African Languages.

The 25-year-old student disclosed this in a petition dated March 21, 2022 and titled; “Report of Sexual Assault and Molestation against Professor Ayo Opefeyitimi.”

OAU, however, re-iterated its zero tolerance for sexual harassment, adding that several lecturers who were found culpable in the past were sanctioned, hence it won’t hesitate to do same if the lecturer in question is found guilty.

“Of course, the University administration would have to present its recommendations to the Governing Council which has the final say on the matter, considering the status of the staff involved.

“We want the general public to be rest assured and be reassured that the present University Management does not condone sexual rascality of any form, under any guise against any member of the University community from anybody. We also pledge to continue to protect our students, particularly the female ones, against any sexual predator, no matter how highly placed.

“As a mark of its zero tolerance for sexual harassment, the present University Management had summarily dismissed three lecturers who had committed similar sexual offences. The first lecturer to be dismissed was of the department of Management and Accounting while the second one was from the department of English Language. The third one, who was given his letter of dismissal last month, was teaching in the department of International Relations,” the statement read in part.

Moroccan Lecturers In ‘Sex For Good Marks’ Trials

Morocco, a North African country bordering the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, is distinguished by its Berber, Arabian and European cultural influences.
Morocco, a North African country bordering the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, is distinguished by its Berber, Arabian, and European cultural influences.

 

Four Moroccan university lecturers appeared in court on Tuesday accused of trading good grades for sexual favours, a source close to the case said.

A fifth faces the more serious charge of indecent assault and battery, and will appear before a Settat judge on Wednesday, the source said.

The scandal erupted in September, when Moroccan media picked up social media leaks of messages purportedly exchanged between the lecturers and students.

Four of the accused, all of whom teach at Hassan I University in Settat near Casablanca, face charges of “incitement to debauchery”, gender discrimination and violence against women, the source told AFP.

Moroccan media reported that their trial was adjourned until December 14.

Three of the defendants are in detention.

In recent years a string of high-profile sexual harassment scandals have shaken Moroccan universities, but most have not resulted in trials, let alone convictions.

Rights groups say sexual violence is widespread in Morocco but that pressures from a conservative society mean women are reluctant to report sexual violence for fear of reprisals or damage to their family reputation.

In 2018, after years of heated debates, the law was changed to allow perpetrators of “harassment, aggression, sexual exploitation or ill-treatment” to be punished with prison terms.

But some argue that the law still fails to protect women from widespread sexual violence.

AFP

Senate Proposes 14-Year Jail Term For Sexual Predators In Tertiary Institutions

File Photo: President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, speaks during plenary in the Senate Chamber in Abuja on September 27, 2019.

 

The Senate on Wednesday debated two critical bills – the Sexual Harassment Bill and President Muhammadu Buhari’s Finance Bill, 2019.

The bills, which scaled second reading on the floor of the Senate, were sponsored by the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege and Senate Leader, Abdullahi Yahaya, respectively.

The proposed legislation titled “A Bill for an Act to Prevent, Prohibit and Redress Sexual Harassment of Students in Tertiary Educational Institutions and for other matters connected therewith 2019” has 27 clauses.

According to a statement signed by the Special Assistant (Press) to President of the Senate, Ezrel Tabiowo, the bill proposes up to 14 years jail term, with a minimum of five years, without an option of fine for any educator who commits sexual offences in tertiary institutions.

It defines sexual offences as including: sexual intercourse with a student or demands for sex from a student or a prospective student or intimidating or creating a hostile or offensive environment for the student by soliciting for sex or making sexual advances.

Other forms of sexual harassment identified in the bill are grabbing, hugging, kissing, rubbing, stroking, touching, pinching the breasts or hair or lips or hips or buttocks or any other sensual part of the body of a student; or sending by hand or courier or electronic or any other means naked or sexually explicit pictures or videos or sex related objects to a student, and whistling or winking at a student or screaming, exclaiming, joking or making sexually complimentary or uncomplimentary remarks about a student’s physique or stalking a student.

Senator Omo-Agege, in his lead debate, said: “the most effective way to deal with the offence of sexual harassment in our tertiary institutions is to penalise the very impropriety of the act, with or without consent.”

According to him, sexual harassment must be defined in tertiary educational institutions as statutory rape with strict liability for offenders to be prosecuted easily.

On the extension of the bill to primary, secondary schools, worship centres and work place, Omo-Agege said doing so will not be necessary because the Criminal and Penal codes already adequately deals with these categories with sufficient clarity.

He, however, stressed that the bill prescribes expulsion for students who falsely accuse educators of sexual harassment.

He said, “An educator whose character is maligned is at liberty to sue for defamation under the law of defamation which is well-settled in our jurisprudence and needs no duplication in this bill.”

The Senate also on Wednesday considered President Muhammadu Buhari’s Finance Bill, 2019.

Leading debate on the bill, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi (APC, Kebbi North), said the bill essentially seeks to promote fiscal equity by mitigating instances of regressive taxation; reforming domestic laws to align with global best practices; and introducing tax incentives for investments in infrastructure and capital markets.

The bill also seeks to support small businesses in line with ongoing ease of doing business reform, and raising revenues for government by various fiscal measures, including a proposal to increase the rate of Value Added Tax from 5 percent to 7.5 per cent.

According to Abdullahi, the additional revenues to be made by the Federal Government when this bill becomes law will be used to fund health, education and infrastructure programmes.

“It is absolutely essential to intensify the revenue generation efforts of this administration and its commitment to ensuring that the inconvenience associated with any fiscal policy adjustments is moderated such that the poor and the vulnerable, who are most at risk, do not bear the brunt of these reforms,” Abdullahi said.

Other bills which scaled second reading on the floor are: A Bill for an Act to provide for the establishment of the Federal University of Education, Kontagora, sponsored by Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger North), and A Bill for an Act to establish the Federal College of Education, Illo, sponsored by Senator Yahaya Abdullahi (APC, Kebbi North).