He who comes in to equity must come with clean hands…
The sex-for-marks story rocked the media space in the month of April with a lot of progress reports following the 4 minutes 23 seconds audio recording in a phone call between one Professor Richard Akindele and Ms Monica Osagie, a postgraduate student of Obafemi Awolowo university. It was established in the conversation that the former demanded Five times of sex from the latter in exchange for marks.
The intervention of several organisations and their interest in the story prompted the university authorities to dismiss the erring Don after a detailed reports from an investigative committee set up to look in to the issue. The university confessed that the media coverage of the story, which has soiled the name of the school in the public domain, can not be disconnected, as a reason, from the dismissal of the Professor. Of course, CCN and some international media outfits reported the ‘sextortion’.
Notably, in all the reports, until few days back, none could boast of Professor Akindele’s account of the story except the investigative committee`s constituted in the university community. Even after when the news of the dismissal came. He granted no interview with journalists probable to be based on the advice from friends, relatives and colleagues. No one can say! Shockingly, after Three months, he ran to the media for sympathy with his own account of the story. Media houses could not resist the urge to report this as it is a way to let balanced reporting come to play. But the great shock came when the arguments presented are not valid and proven.
The arguments, though corroborated by the university, could not stand the analytical test in relation to the transcription of the widely circulated audio conversation. The dismissed Professor confirmed the validity of the audio recording in his account, titled ‘OAU LECTURER’S RESPONSE TO THE QUERY’, that was first published by the NEW TELEGRAPH newspaper.
Firstly, the lecturer defended that the lady didn’t fail the course but wanted an upgrade from a pass mark to a distinction ‘A’ whereas, in the recorded conversation, he mentioned that the lady scored ‘33’ and that the grade to be given after the sexual bidding was yet to be the determined.
“Is it ‘B’ or ‘A’ that you want to give me after ‘knacking’ [sleeping with] me Five times.” Monica asked
“ I don’t know o.” The randy lecturer responded.
Moreover, the claim of the Don that the lady, in the company some gangsters, trailed him on his way to Moro, where an MBA lecture took place, was more of a fiction than the truth owing to the fact that he was the one who mentioned that he was presently at Moro for an exam supervision when Monica sought to know the best time to visit his office as he demanded. How then can someone without the knowledge of one’s whereabouts trail one’s movement?
Also, commenting on the tone of the recorded conversation, which was tagged an ‘attempt to play along’ with the alleged seductive moves of Monica by Prof., it was revealed that the duo had an agreement and on the day of execution, the lady told him that she was on her menses. This implies that if not for the excuse, one session out of the Five times demaded, would have been completed. Meanwhile, he refused to speak on the second lady, who he claimed to have paid her dues by yielding to the sexual demands in recorded conversation. The lady’s score got upgraded. Did the lady also seduced him or he framed that up too?
On the Whatsapp Chats released with nude pictures, it is undisputable that the level of technological advancement in this age has rendered Whatsapp chats and screenshots an invalid evidence, knowing fully well that it can be manipulated with just few buttons; contact details can be changed and chats can be deleted without a trace of them. It is however sad that the Lecturer in a bid to redeem his image and earn public sympathy may end up getting in to trouble because Monica`s lawyer has threatened to file a law suit against the Professor if she discovers an attempt to any sort of black mail on Monica’s personality.
Meanwhile, the university management has once again done what they know how to do best – disclaiming students unnecessarily. The Vice-chancellor of the institution has declared that the lady is no longer a student because she has spent more than the stipulated duration for an MBA degree. Inasmuch as we can validate this because the lady has refused to respond to that, it should be recalled that the university has erroneously disclaimed students on the account of not meeting up to the minimum CGPA required, which news reports have proven otherwise. Probably, that, as an internal mechanism to deal with students, has been mete on Monica for making the school unpopular through her revelation. Injustice everywhere!
Conclusively, our society and the world at large can only get better if we treat cases of this magnitude as such instead of subscribing to cheap sentiments and biases. I hope with the intervention of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Comission [ICPC] the truth will not be adjusted because `This is Nigeria`.
Alfred Olufemi is a student journalist in Obafemi Awolowo University,
He’s best reached via firstname.lastname@example.org