By now the whole country knows the identity of the girl involved in the ‘sex for marks’ scandal with Professor Richard Akindele which Nigeria News reported on. Monica Osagie, a postgraduate student in the Faculty of Management yesterday testified before the OAU panel investigating what went down between her and Professor Akindele.
After her testimony, the public was given a glimpse into the mindset of the panel members. The lawyer representing Monica Osagie spoke on behalf of her client.
According to the lawyer, Monica Osagie told the panel how she believed the Professor failed her deliberately so he could blackmail her into having sex with him. That is another way of saying she believed she never failed the course in question.
For some people who are determined to crucify the girl, her testimony opened a new front in the case. They contend that the course she failed, which only two other students failed, must be scrutinized.
The logic is this: it is very likely she actually failed the course and elected to use illegal means to pass. In which case she must be punished appropriately and the lecturer allowed to go free for being the hapless victim of a manipulative female.
There is even an opinion piece on an online media written by a Professor at the University of Ilorin denouncing Monica Osagie and declaring Professor Akindele a hero.
That a Professor in a different University is applauding Professor Akindele while painting the lady black should not come as a surprise. The academia in Nigeria has operated as if the rot in the system can be excused because they are intellectuals.
Over the years, University administrations have colluded to prevent the persecution of various staff found culpable in crimes against the society. At worst, they get a slap on the wrist and are allowed to go free.
As was revealed recently, it wasn’t Ms. Osagie who released that audio recording of her encounter with the randy professor.
When the incident happened some months ago, she had sought the assistance of some members of staff to help her resolve the issue with the professor.
She played the audio to them so that her incredulous story would pass muster. Because the plain truth is, nobody would believe her without evidence like that. And even if they did, without that evidence, there was nothing they could do about it.
It was one of those she approached for help that released the audio to the public. With the benefit of hindsight, whoever released the audio might be thinking it was the wrong thing to do.
In the first place, that audio has totally eviscerated the credibility of Professor Akindele. Remember, this is a man in great standing not only in the University but also in his church where he is also a pastor.
Secondly, what happens to Monica Osagie from this point onwards is anybody’s guess. You don’t need to stretch your imagination to know other lecturers and university staff would make life a living hell for her.
Victimization of whistleblowers is one reason the public hardly get to hear about cases like this. There are numerous cases of sexual harassment in universities that go unreported. The obvious downside is that sexual predators become emboldened when they face no sanctions.
The other side of a case like this is that the ladies initiate these trysts. In some cases, that is absolutely correct.
But you would never hear such ladies looking for justice. For these sets of ladies, it is in their own interests to meet the demands of their lecturers because that is the only way they can pass their way through the University.
However, no matter how long we try to argue the right or wrong of this case, everything boils down to the following
1. Was that Professor Akindele speaking in that audio tape?
2. If the answer is yes, then he is guilty of sexual harassment.
3. A separate, mutually exclusive case can’t be brought against the girl for conspiracy to defraud the system using sex
4. Her co-conspirator in this second case is Professor Akindele. That is very obvious from listening to the audio tape.
It is clear he wasn’t forcing her to have sex with him. The negotiation broke down because he wanted five rounds of sex with the lady. The audio though didn’t tell us how many rounds she would have been comfortable with.
If Ms. Monica Osagie is found guilty of anything, the Professor too must be equally found guilty of the same crime.
And any decent person must agree that as the responsible person in a position of power, Professor Akindele should be more culpable.