UNILAG Sexual Harassment Claim: VC insists victim must show up

UNILAG STUDENTS [photo credit: Pulse.ng]

The Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, says conclusive investigation into alleged sexual harassment against a lecturer may not be possible if the victim fails to show up.

Mr Ogundipe made the clarification in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of the 6th Prof. Babatunde Sofoluwe Memorial Lecture on Tuesday in Lagos.

Mr Ogundipe said the the supposed victim must appear to help the fact-finding committee set up by the management, to carry out proper, balanced and fair investigation.

“If the lady does not come out, how will the investigation be concluded.

“You must not hear from one side alone; you must hear from the two sides and balance the information you have gotten before taking decision and making recommendation,” Mr Ogundipe said.

He stressed that the university has a standing policy to address such issue and would not compromise the investigation in any way.

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According to him, the investigation committee consists of senior professors who would not be intimidated by anybody.

“We have our policy on ground concerning issues relating to the behavior of our students, lecturers to lecturers and lecturers to students and the policy on ground would be properly implemented.

“When you talk about academic corruption, it is a global issue but the policies to address it too is also on ground.

”Anybody that is found culpable will be taken care of by the laid down policies”, he said.

NAN reports that a former female student of English in the university had on May 23, released semi nude pictures of Segun Awonusi on the social media, accusing him of molesting female students of the department.

The lady now identified as Joy Uwana graduated from the department in the 2015/2016 session after taking an extra semester.

She had claimed that harassment of female students in the department was done with the knowledge of other lecturers who kept mute because of the “cult-like” nature of their operations.

Probe into the allegation commenced on Saturday when the university management constituted a probe panel.

The panel has already given those with useful information on the matter between June 11 and June 15, to forward it.

However, the suspect, Mr Awonusi, a professor and former commissioner in Ogun State, denied the allegation, dismissing it as cheap blackmail.

According to him, the complainant had called him demanding payment of N400,000 or she would release the nude pictures.

He also claimed that the pictures were in his phone that was stolen.


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