A Federal High Court, sitting in Osogbo on Monday sentenced former Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) lecturer, Professor Richard Akindele, to two years imprisonment for demanding sex to pass her student, Monica Osagie.

During previous proceedings, the convict had pleaded not guilty to the charge of s3xual harassment preferred against him by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, (ICPC).

Akindele had been docked before Justice Maureen Onyetenu on a 4-count charge bothering on s3xual harassment.

According to the charges, the convict “corruptly asked for s3xual benefits for himself from Monica Osagie for a favour that would be thereafter sworn to her by upgrading her academic record from fail to pass, thereby committing an offence contrary to and punishable under section 8 (1)a and 2 of the corrupt practices and other related offences act of 2000.

“He solicited for s3xual benefits from the victim on the 16th of September 2017, contrary to and punishable under section 18b for a favour to be given to him.

“He deliberately concealed evidence, with intent, removing parts of the WhatsApp conversation, between himself and the victim, contrary to section 15 (1) and (2) of the act.

“The convict falsified his age contrary to section 25. He claimed to have been born in April 1961 but his official documents revealed he was born in April 1959.

Akindele was ordered to be remanded in prison custody on November 19, 2018, following objection to his bail by the prosecution counsel of the ICPC.

However, when the case came up on Monday, Akindele changed his earlier not guilty plea and entered a guilty plea on the offences as charged.

But, pleas by the defence counsel, Barrister Francis Omotosho before the court to suspend the sentencing and negotiate for plea bargain failed, as Justice Onyetenu deplored rampant cases of students harassment by lecturers.

The judge held that “the plea bargain is not absolute. The court still has discretion. 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 can not continue like this. Somebody has to be used as an example. Even primary schools pupils are complaining. Telling me to suspend sentence does not arise. Plea bargain does not arise. Maybe the case continues to occur and reoccur because someone has not been used as example.”

“It is time for the court to start upholding the rights of the children, especially female students. The case is endemic.

Omotosho further argued that his client had lost his job and learnt his lesson, adding that the university had discovered the mistake in the marking of the examination paper of the victim and had concluded plans to compensate her.

Omotosho informed the court that plans were already ongoing to make offices of the lecturers open by building the front side with glasses at OAU.

But, Justice Onyetenu who was not convinced with the argument of the defence counsel said “do you think they do it in the office? They go to the hotel.”

Counsel to the ICPC, Mr Shogunle Adenekan, urged the court to confiscate the mobile phone of the defendant and be forfeited to the federal government, saying that sensitive materials were discovered there during forensic analysis.

He also urged the court to grant order, releasing the mobile phone of the victim, Monica.

Delivering her judgement, Justice Onyetenu sentenced the convict to 24 months on count one, 24 months on count two, one year on count three and one year imprisonment on count four, stressing that the jail terms should run concurrently.

She also ordered that the Samsung X4 of the victim should be returned to her and the Samsung X8 of the defendant should be forfeited to the federal government.



@ Nigerian Tribune

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button