The issue of s*xual harassment in tertiary institutions is not new in Nigeria, but there is always a time when someone becomes bold enough to speak out, speak out and mention names without fear. Such is the gut of the writer of this open letter who will be hoping his boldness will save some of his colleagues and generations to come from the atrocities committed by some lecturers in our higher institutions of learning, if the appropriate authorities will not take his letter with a pinch of salt and act to check the growing menace.
Below is an open letter addressed to His Excellency, Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, on the issue of s*xual harassment and corruption by some lecturers in Lagos State University (LASU).
The issue of intimate harassment and misconduct by lecturers in Nigerian universities has always been reoccurring in some of our universities and many lecturers have been found culpable in this ignoble act to the detriment of students. So many students have been victims of lecturers’ escapades and we can no longer keep quiet over this issue that has ruined the lives of many students who have been our classmates or school mates as the case may be.
At the Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, we have so many dedicated lecturers who take their job seriously and discharge their duties accordingly. But there are those who capitalize in s*xually harassing students they are meant to teach. At the Faculty of Law in LASU, the Sub-Dean of the faculty, Mr. A. O. Ogunseye is one lecturer who has been known to be involved in the victimization of students and intimate harassment of girls.
Your Excellency, I want to bring your attention to this issue and the attention of Nigerians to what we are passing through in the hands of Mr. Ogunseye because we are tired of this extortion, victimization and intimate harassment by him.
He has been doing this for a long time and for over five years without any form of reprimand from the school management thereby causing many students grief, pain and delays in their academic pursuit. The Vice-Chancellor of LASU, Professor John Oladapo Obafunwa is a man of integrity and I believe that if he is aware of this act, he will not hesitate to deal with such lecturer accordingly. Mr. Ogunseye has committed so many atrocities against we students in the Faculty of Law and I think it is time to let you and the whole world know that we have suffered enough in silence.
He gives many girls 5 points after taking them to bed and many other brilliant students who deserve to have 5 or 4 points he would deny them this and would give them 1 or 2 points at most, even when it is glaring that these academically sound students deserve more than what he gave them. He collects huge amount of money from students in order to falsify and upgrade their results for them. Recently, he told a girl doing her undergraduate programme in Law and who is supposed to graduate with a third class degree to pay him one hundred and fifty thousand naira in order for him to upgrade her grade to second class upper. But when the girl told him she didn’t have the money, he advised her to sell her blackberry phone in order to bring the money to him. He is obsessed with money and s*x and has slept with so many girls in the Faculty of Law in order to give them marks they don’t merit and many of them have suffered too much in his hands.
He also collects two hundred and fifty thousand naira from some students doing their Masters in Law (LL.M) programmes in order to upgrade their score to a higher score or grade which they don’t merit. Every year, Mr. Ogunseye abandons his official duty and travels abroad and spends up to two months without leave or any approval from the faculty and he would assign his course to junior lecturers who are not competent to handle the course. His stock in trade is to continually extort money from students and he has agents who usually solicit on his behalf for other students to pay him money for marks. As a result of his dishonorable role in upgrading scores for students, the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Dr Olatokunbo Obadina had to change the password of the portal used by lecturers in the Faculty of Law for uploading students’ results so that Mr. Ogunseye will not have access to carry out his despicable acts.
Mr. Ogunseye was my project supervisor and for over four months he kept tossing me up and down and refused to approve my project even after collecting over ten thousand naira from me despite all the efforts I put in researching, writing, re-writing and typing the project and all the money I spent in doing this. Later when I discovered he was not ready to approve my project and was only interested in continuing to extort money from me, I had to apply for another project supervisor, Barrister Gbenga Ojo, who supervised my project and approved it without delay and without collecting any money from me. But I had to write another project for Barrister Ojo since his own department is different from that of Mr. Ogunseye.
It is so frustrating the type of pain, both emotional and psychological, which Mr. Ogunseye has put many students through. By his conduct, he is a disgrace to the Faculty of Law and the Lagos State University as a whole. People like this should not be entrusted with positions of authority because they end up abusing their power and corrupting the minds of young and upcoming students and jeopardizing the future of many of them.
I hereby call on you sir, as the Visitor to the Lagos State University, to institute a proper and thorough investigation into this issue of intimate harassment, intimidation, victimization, dereliction of duty and extortion by Mr. Ogunseye, the Sub-Dean of the faculty of Law and if found culpable, he should be dealt with accordingly.
We recall that some lecturers were sacked recently by the University of Benin for these same issues of intimate harassment and extortion of students. Any lecturer who engages in this dishonorable behavior does not deserve to be a lecturer and should be shown the way out of the university system to avoid bringing down the image of the university.
I hereby call on the Nigerian media to also investigate this matter discreetly using their tool of investigative journalism and I want the media to come to LASU Faculty of Law and interview many students on this issue especially girls who have been s*xually harassed and abused on several occasions by Mr. Ogunseye.
This matter must not be swept under the carpet by the Lagos State government, the media and all well meaning Nigerians because enough is enough. We have suffered enough and we can no longer keep quiet in the face of flagrant abuses and misconduct by our own lecturers who should be role models to the youths.
It is my hope that this letter will be given adequate publicity by the media to let Nigerians know what we are passing through in LASU in the hands of randy lecturers even after the school fees were increased to a whooping two hundred and fifty thousand naira per student.
From: Adeshina Johnson.
Faculty of Law, LASU, Lagos