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Professor in OAU sex-for-mark scandal bags six years jail term

Justice Maurine Onyetenu of the Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo, yesterday sentenced former lecturer of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Prof. Richard Iyiola Akindele, to six years imprisonment for demanding sex to pass his student, Monica Osagie.

The accused had pleaded not guilty to the charge of sexual harassment preferred against him by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offenses Commission (ICPC). He had since then been remanded in prison custody following objection to his bail by the prosecution.

When the case came up yesterday, Akindele opted to change his earlier plea and admitted being guilty of the offences as charged. He was arraigned before Justice Onyetenu on November 19 for alleged sexual harassment.

Meanwhile, efforts by the defence counsel to suspend the sentencing and negotiate for plea bargain failed, as Justice Onyetenu frowned at the rampant cases of students’ harassment by lecturers.

Justice Onyetenu said “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 example. Even primary schools pupils are complaining.

“Telling me to suspend sentence does not arise. Plea bargain does not arise. Maybe the case will continue to occur and reoccur because someone has not been used as example. It is time for the court to start upholding the right of the children, especially female students. The case is endemic.”

Counsel to the defendant, Mr. Francis Omotosho, informed the court that the defendant has lost his job and has learnt his lesson. He told the court that the university has discovered the mistake in the marking of the examination paper of the victim and has concluded plans to compensate her. The counsel further told the court that plans are ongoing to make offices of the lecturers open by building the front side with glasses at OAU.

But, the judge, who apparently was not convinced with the prayer of the counsel, said “do you think they do it in the office? They go to hotel.”

In her judgment, Justice Onyetenu 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. She said the jail term should run concurrently. She also ordered that the Samsung X4 of the victim should be returned to her and the Samsung X8 of the convict be forfeited to the Federal Government.

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