UNIVERSITY OF ABUJA SACKS LECTURER FOR SEXUALLY HARASSING FEMALE STUDENT

Prof Adeniji Abiodun of the Department of Animal Science, University of Abuja, has been sacked by the institution for having “an inappropriate relationship with a female student.”


The university’s Head of Information and Public Relations, Habib Yakoob, said the university took the decision “after due diligence and after considering reports and recommendations from the disciplinary committee.”


The statement added that “Prof. Abiodun was dismissed over an inappropriate relationship with a female student, which is a misconduct of ‘scandalous and disgraceful nature,’ as provided in Section 16, subsection 3(c) of the University of Abuja Conditions of Service for Senior Staff (1999).


“Prof. Abiodun’s appointment was also terminated for falsification of academic records and the aiding and abetting of examination malpractices in line with Section 7, Subsections 1b(ii) &(v) of the University of Abuja Conditions of Service for Senior Staff (1999).”
Other lecturers were also sacked


Another lecturer, Prof Agaptus Orji of the Department of Science and Environmental Education was also dismissed over alleged falsification of academic records, while two other professors were demoted over acts of misconduct.


“Prof. Orji’s appointment was terminated for falsification of academic records, aiding and abetting of examination malpractices, in line with Section 7, Subsections 1b(ii)&(v) of the University of Abuja Conditions of Service for Senior Staff (1999).


“Orji was also dismissed for corruption and dishonesty, in line with Section 7, Subsections 1b (iv) of the University of Abuja Condition of Service for Senior Staff (1999).


“Dr Dajal was demoted by a rank, from Associate Professor to Senior Lecturer, while Mr Gana was demoted by two ranks – from Lecturer 1 to Assistant Lecturer – for their complicity in various acts of misconduct inimical to the good image of the University,” the statement added.


The disciplinary actions against the lecturers were taken at the university council’s 85th Regular Meeting which held on 11th and 12th December 2019, where recommendations by the disciplinary committee were considered.


Sex for grades
In October, a BBC documentary detailed a slew of sex-for-grades stories emanating from universities in Nigeria and Ghana through its ‘Africa Eye’ initiative.


Professor Boniface Igbeneghu, a Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Arts; and a former Sub Dean of the University of Lagos (Unilag), was seen in the documentary trying to sexually harass a BBC reporter who posed as a 17-year-old, while sharing tales of sex for grades with her. Unilag suspended Igbeneghu soon after the documentary was published.


Given the prevalence of the sex-for-grades syndrome in Nigerian universities, the Nigerian senate passed a bill criminalizing sexual harassment in tertiary institutions in October of 2016.


The bill which was put forward by Sen Ovie Omo-Agege prescribed a 5-year jail term for lecturers and educators convicted of sexual harassment of their male or female students.


The bill also recommended expulsion or suspension for students whose claims of being serially abused by lecturers or educators are found to be false by any competent court.


In the alternative, the bill also proposed a fine of N5million in the event that the accused person is convicted by a competent court of law. The bill is however yet to be consented to by the House of Representatives, a step required before it is sent to the Executive for assent.


Omo-Agege recently disclosed that the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, which is the umbrella body of university lecturers, kicked against the bill in 2016.

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