When Monica Osagie got low marks in a course for her master’s degree, she says the professor gave her two options: Sleep with him or fail the class. This prompted her to make the recordings to serve as evidence against the randy lecturer and she not regretted taking the decision.
But Osagie maintained that she did not leak the recordings but had submitted it to university authorities before it surfaced online.
The student’s allegations, coming amid the conversations around the global #Metoo movement, have now sparked a nationwide conversation in Nigeria about predatory sexual behavior on campuses and bolstered the notion that sexual harassment is a problem women the world over face almost every day.
In her only interview since the audio was leaked online, Monica Osagie, 23, told CNN she had developed a mentor-mentee relationship with the professor after she helped him edit his book.
But the relationship soon made her uncomfortable because he started to make sexual advances towards her, she said:
“We actually edited the book together…
Then, the next thing he told me was, ‘Can you date me?’ I was like, ‘No.’ He was like, ‘Why?’ I said, ‘One, I don’t date lecturers, and secondly, you are more matured than I am.’”
Osagie believes he deliberately gave her low marks so she would agree to sleep with him to raise them, she said.
“He kept calling me to ask if I was ready to accept his proposal. So, I decided to record our next conversation,” she added.
Backlash on social media
Osagie says she has faced severe backlash since the university made her identity public when it released a statement.
“A guy came up to me at the bank and said, ‘Is this not the girl who harassed a lecturer?’ and he called me a prostitute. The security guard then had to push me away to go withdraw my money inside the bank,” she said. Osagie has also received abuse on social media and allegations that she tried to seduce the professor, she said.
Despite the criticism, Osagie says she has no regrets speaking about her experience. She hopes her case will give young women facing harassment on campuses the confidence to reject inappropriate advances from their lecturers, she said.
“I am actually happy I came out. I am helping many ladies that have gone through the same thing I have gone through, and most of them can’t talk about it. “They are scared of coming out in public.
But I know it happens everywhere, not just in Nigeria. For me, speaking up will bring more women to speak and eradicate what is happening around young women and older men,” Osagie told CNN.