A Federal High Court in Osogbo, Osun State has sentenced a former Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) lecturer, Prof. Richard Iyiola Akindele, to six years imprisonment for demanding sex to give higher marks to one of his students, Monica Osagie.
In her judgement yesterday, Justice Maurine Onyetenu, who convicted Akindele, said that the sentence became necessary to serve as a deterrent to others who might want to indulge in such acts.
The accused had earlier pleaded not guilty to the charge of sexual harassment preferred against him by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
He had been remanded in prison custody following objection to his bail by the ICPC.
However, when the case came up yesterday, Akindele opted to change his earlier plea and admitted guilt of the offences as charged.
He was arraigned before Justice Maurine Onyetenu on November 19, 2018 for alleged sexual harassment.
Efforts by the counsel to prevail of the judge to suspend the sentencing and negotiate for a plea bargain failed, as Justice Onyetenu frowned at the rampant cases of sexual harassment by lecturers.
The counsel to the defendant, Mr. Francis Omotosho, told the court that the defendant had lost his job and had learnt his lesson.
He said 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 further told the court that plans were ongoing to make offices of the lecturers open by building the front side with glasses at OAU.
But, the judge, who apparently was not convinced with the prayers of the counsel, said “do you think they do it in the office? They go to hotels.”
Counsel to the ICPC, Mr. Shogunle Adenekan, urged the court to confiscate the mobile phone of the defendant and forfeit it to the federal government, saying that sensitive materials were discovered during forensic.
He also urged the court to grant order releasing the mobile phone of the victim, Monica.
According to the judge, “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 cannot continue like this. Somebody has to be used as example. Even primary school pupils are complaining. Telling me to suspend the sentence does not arise. Plea bargain does not arise. May be the such cases continue to occur because someone has not been used as an example.
“It is time for the court to start upholding the right of the children, especially female students. The case is endemic,” she said.
After considering the plea bargaining entered and signed by the counsel, the judge said that there was need to deter other people because of the nature of the offence.
Justice Onyetenu therefore sentenced the convict to 24 months on count one, 24 months on count two, one year on count three and another one year on count four.
She ordered that the jail term should run concurrently.
The judge 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