ON Wednesday, the management of Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU,Ile-Ife, Osun State, suspended Olabisi Olaleye, a lecturer at the Department of International Relations of the institution and also placed him on half-pay following preliminary findings into the sexual harassment accusation by Motunrayo Afolayan, a student of the school.
The decision was based on the initial evidence garnered by the investigative panel headed by Prof. Yetunde Ajibade, the provost of Post Graduate College.
The panel was set up by the university after the incident was reported last year.
Speaking with The ICIR on Wednesday in a phone conversation, the Public Relations Officer of the University, Abiodun Olarewaju, explained that though the case had been ongoing since last year the recent move by the university was to send a message that the school would not accept any form of sexual harassment of students by lecturers.
“Last year when the case was reported to the management, the university decided to set up a panel to look into the circumstances surrounding the allegation and submit its findings before a decision will be reached.
“I want to say the lecturer has not been indicted yet but based on preliminary evidence before the panel there was an inappropriate relationship between the student and the lecturer which the student was not comfortable about.
“This is a message that the university management will not condone any act of sexual harassment, sexual intimidation or any other form of sexual assault and we don’t want any student to feel unduly intimidated by any lecturer male or female,” he said.
Motunrayo, a final year student in the Department of International Relations of the Faculty of Administration of the University had accused Prof. Olabisi Olaleye, a lecturer in the department, of intimidation after refusing his sexual advances.
“She was repeatedly failing a particular course the lecturer took and we decided to investigate the matter deeply and since we’ve been able to establish that the lecturer behaved inappropriately we decided to suspend him and place him on half salary pending the submission of the report of the panel,” he said.
In 2018, Richard Akindele, a former professor with the Accounting Department of the university was expelled after a panel of investigation set up by the university found him guilty to allegations of soliciting for sex in order to award grades to a female student.
Akindele is currently serving a two years imprisonment term after the Federal High Court, Osogbo, found him guilty of abuse of office.
This story was first published by the ICIR by Amos Abba