Sex-for-marks mess: UNILAG yet to set up probe committee

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UNILAG
  • Student identity unknown
  • ASUU demands independent panel

Five days after an undergraduate of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) alleged sex-for-marks against Professor Segun Awonusi of the English Department, the management of the 56-year-old institution is yet to unveil her identity.

Also, the university’s management has not constituted an investigative panel it promised to, last week.

The investigative panel, said UNILAG management, would look into the sex-for-marks allegation by the female student against Prof. Awonusi.

Awonusi is a former commissioner in Ogun State and former vice chancellor of Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun.

Last Thursday, a female student in English Department accused Prof. Awonusi of sexual misconduct and subsequently, released semi-clad pictures of the lecturer on the internet; which was subsequently published by a popular blogger. It went viral, thereafter

Regardless, the don reacted two days after.

In his defence, Prof. Awonu said his mobile phone, which contained the pictures, was stolen and that the lady is simply blackmailing him with the photos released on the internet.

In a swift reaction, UNILAG management acknowledged it had seen the pictures, as well as the student’s allegations and promised to probe the allegation.

When Daily Sun visited the department yesterday, no student, and even lecturers, admitted knowing the identity of the female student.

Some female students in the English department could not also reveal the identity of their colleague who accused their lecturer of sex-for-marks. They said efforts to ask some of their lecturers the lady’s name yielded no result.

Head of the Information Unit, Mrs. Taiwo Oloyede, also confirmed that the identity of the female student has not been unraveled by the management.

Oloyede said the identity of the undergraduate will be part of the job for the probe panel to unravel.

She also admitted that the panel has not been constituted.

Meanwhile, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has demanded an independent panel to investigate the allegation

ASUU UNILAG branch Chairman, Dr. Dele Ashiru told Daily Sun that the alleged sex-for-marks allegation against a high-ranking academic staff came to the union as a rude shock.

“ASUU’s position is that it remains an allegation until it is proven otherwise. For the avoidance of doubt, our union condemns all forms of unethical practices among our members.

“It is our belief that this will serve as litmus-test for the university; in its desire to stamp out all forms of illicit practices from staffers and students alike.

’’We are calling for a thorough investigation in this case. It must be handled by a competent panel.

“This must also be speedily done to ensure that justice is done and seemed done to all parties concern’’, Ashiru said.

He also disclosed that the union will soon embark on a campaign to sensitise staff and students against unethical practices and added that “unfortunately, it is only sexual harassment that becomes sensational and attracts the attention of the public.

“There are other unethical practices that we must confront as a people and union, if our society will must forward.”

On calls for Prof. Awonusi to be suspended, Ashiru said the decision lies with the university management; if it discovers that he will tamper with the investigation.

At the English department, Prof. Awonusi’s office, on the fourth floor of the Art Block, remained locked.

Some students, however, told Daily Sun that they last saw him last Wednesday.

As Nigerians await the decision of the university’s management on the matter, former undergraduates and postgraduate students are pointing accusing fingers at another lecturer in the same department.

They alleged the unnamed lecturer is also involved in sex-for-marks and want the probe extended to cover his activities in the English department.

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