Sex for grade: Dismissed lecturer drags LASU, others to court

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A senior lecturer in the Faculty of Science, Lagos State University (LASU), Dr. Ogunwande Isiaka Ajani ,has challenged his dismissal over allegations of sexual harassment at the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN).

According to Court processes obtained by our correspondent, Ogunwande ,was dismissed by LASU authority following complaints by a female student, Miss Yusuf Abosede. Abosede had alleged that the lecturer made amorous and sexual overture towards her which she found distasteful.
In the suit filed through his counsel, Akinyemi Oladipo, the claimant joined the Governing Council, Lagos State University, the Vice Chancellor, the Registrar and the Chairman Joint Council/Senate (Academic) Disciplinary Committee Lagos State University as defendants.

In his Originating Summons, Ogunwande ,alleged that he was not given fair hearing during the investigation conducted by the defendants before he was dismissed. The defendants, however, in their joint response through their counsel, A,O Agbola of Cheakley Chambers asked the court to dismiss the suit for being frivolous, baseless and totally lacking in merit.

Earlier in her complaints against Ogunwande, the student had alleged that the lecturer harassed her sexually. She had appealed to the school authority to save her from the harrowing experience of the lecturer who was going to conduct a test for her class on Friday, February 17, 2017. To ascertain the truth, the security operatives were placed on alert. After the test, the lecturer was alleged to have invited the female student to his office where he told her to forget about the test as it would not be counted for her. The claimant was alleged to have told the student that a special private tutorial session, where she would re-write the test had been arranged for her in his office, the following Sunday, February 19, 2017.

Abosede informed the school authorities about her discussion with the lecturer. Unknown to Ogunwande, the security operatives were monitoring the situation and at about 11.00am on Sunday, February 19, 2017 ,they waited for the right time before they swooped on the lecturer and the student. Both were arrested while the script for the re-write test was also seized. In a desperate bid to avoid the embarrassment, Ogunwande ,allegedly gave the security operatives N5,000 and pleaded with them to bury the matter.

However, the securities operatives collected the money and attached it to their report to the University authorities in a memorandum dated June 26, 2018. The Claimant was subsequently issued a query to explain his role in the grave allegation of sexual harassment. His matter was further referred to the University Joint Council/Senate (Academic) Disciplinary Committee, which after considering the case recommended his dismissal.

The recommendation was later ratified and approved by the Council. But the claimant in the suit is praying the court to set aside his dismissal. Meanwhile, the defendants insisted that all the laid down rules and regulations were followed before the claimant was found culpable . The suit is pending before Justice Obaseki-Osaghae .

About the Author
Philomena  Ngozi Christopher-Oji was born to the family of the late Michael and Cecilia Ojeogwu of Ubulu-Uku, in Aniocha South Local Government Area, Delta State. She had her primary and secondary education in Nwanoli and Ezemu Girls College, in Ubulu-Uku, before she proceeded to the Delta State University, Abraka, where she studied English and Literary Studies.

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