The Consumer Protection Council has weighed into the s*x-for-marks scandal rocking the Obafemi Awolowo University.
A report by Punch Metro has shown that the Consumer Protection Council is urging authorities of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun State, to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the alleged case of s*x-for-marks involving a lecturer at the institution, Professor Richard Akndele, and a student, Monica Osagie.
The CPC, while commending the institution for its prompt action, called for the involvement of stakeholders in the education sector, including officials of the National Human Rights Commission.
The Director General of the agency, Babatunde Irukera, in a statement on Monday, asked the management of the school to encourage contributions from other students whose identities should be protected.
The statement said, “The Consumer Protection Council has keenly followed a raging controversy regarding the sexually and emotionally abusive conduct of demanding and/or providing s*xual gratification in exchange for favourable grades in schools.
“Although the widely discussed controversy underscores an allegedly pervasive practice, the current specific subject of discussion is a leaked and widely circulated audio clip that appeared to have captured a telephonic conversation or ‘negotiation’ between a female student and a lecturer at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife. The audio clip has been authenticated and both the member of faculty and student/victim identified.
“To promote confidence, equity and fairness, the council recommends that OAU authorities, in handling this case, include people and views from all relevant stakeholders, including lecturers, professional disciplinary bodies, student representation, relevant civil society specialising in sexual harassment, gender objectification and relevant institutions such as the National Human Rights Commission and the CPC.”
The agency advised that the investigation should encourage contributions from identified and anonymous sources, adding that there should be protection for volunteers.
It also asked that the school management safeguard such volunteers from victimisation and reprisals.
“Failure to fully and sufficiently address the issue compromises the entire institution and victimises not only the students who are directly solicited, induced or compelled, but others who decline, and those who are not considered or propositioned, because educational outcomes skewed by such factors operate to the disadvantages of all.
“All relevant authorities in OAU and other institutions must assiduously address this conduct, or others ancillary to it, in order to restore institutional reputation and ensure that students, being consumers of educational services, are able to pursue scholarship in institutions and on campuses that provide safe, secure and liberal environment where the relationship between lecturers and students leads to robust and confident knowledge sharing,” the statement added.