The identity of the student at the center of sex-for-marks controversy rocking Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in Ile-Ife, has been revealed as the Vice Chancellor of school, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, also confirmed the suspension of Professor Richard Akindele, for allegedly demanding sex from a postgraduate student.
The Postgraduate student was identified as Monica Osetobe Osagie, who was studying for a Masters in Business Administration.
Ogunbodede, said in a statement released on Thursday, that the committee set up by the university to investigate the sex-for-mark allegation, established a prima face case against the lecturer as the alleged victim denied knowledge of the incident, saying she did not know why her name was mentioned and who leaked the recording.
“The committee observed that a prima facie case of inappropriate relationship with the female student had been established against Professor Richard I. Akindele,” he said.
Recall that Akindele had in a telephone conversation allegedly demanded five rounds of sex from Osagie to change her mark from 33 to a pass, an incident which made Nigerians call for thorough investigation into the incident and punishment of culprits.
The VC, who announced the interim recommendation of the committee, said Akindele had been suspended.
“In the interim report submitted to the Vice Chancellor, Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede, Professor Richard I. Akindele, of the Department of Management and Accounting, is now established to be the lecturer in the controversial “marks for sex” audio recording. The female voice has also been identified as that of Miss Monica Osetobe Osagie, a postgraduate student of the Master of Business Administration regular programme.
“Although the investigative committee had invited both Professor Richard Akindele and Miss Osagie, only Professor Akindele appeared before the committee, while Miss Osagie has yet to appear or make any representation. The report indicated that many other witnesses appeared before the committee and gave useful evidence. The university is making efforts to ensure that Miss Osagie appears before the investigative committee so that it can hear her side of the case and promptly submit its final report.
“The committee observed that a prima facie case of inappropriate relationship with the female student had been established against Professor Richard Akindele. The vice chancellor, having carefully and dispassionately considered the report, also came to the conclusion that a prima facie case of serious misconduct had been established.
“Having regard to the gravity of the offence for which Professor Richard I. Akindele is found to be prima facie liable, the vice chancellor, in line with the Code of Conduct for the university community and acting under all the laws and regulations of the university enabling him in that regard, has directed that Professor Richard I. Akindele be suspended forthwith from the university, pending the final determination of the disciplinary case against him” he said.
The management of OAU also disclosed that the appointment of the lecturer cannot be terminated now, because such an action could only be taken by the governing council after the professor had been found guilty by the Joint Council and Senate Committee of the university.
On the other hand, the Monica a Punch correspondent caught up with denied being the student involved in the scandal. She said;
“I don’t just understand what you guys are talking about. I don’t know about anything because I am busy running after money. This man’s name was mentioned, but was my name mentioned there (audio)? So, how did you know I am the one? The school has not approached me or called me and you guys are harassing me. I don’t know what you guys want from me. I have not received any call and I don’t know what you guys are saying.”
When our correspondent asked pointedly if she was not the one in the audio, she said, “Did you hear my name there? How did you know I am the one in the audio? How did you even get my name?”
After our correspondent told her that the school issued a statement and the name: Monica Osetobe Osagie was mentioned, she said there was no ‘T’ in her middle name.
“I did not fail his (Akindele’s) course. Go and check the records, I did not fail it…. I don’t have any information to give you. The (OAU) PRO has not called me and nobody has called me. My name was not there; my face was not there.
“I finished from OAU. I read online that the man said this thing happened in OAU two years ago. I am not sure I was in OAU two years ago doing my master’s degree. Stop looking for cases that are not there. The person that mentioned my name is a liar…. I don’t want to talk to any media person about my personal deals. I don’t know who leaked it out to the media and I don’t care,” she added.