Vice–Chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, has said that conclusive investigations into alleged sexual harassment against a lecturer may not be possible if the victim fails to show up.
Ogundipe made the clarification in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on the sidelines of the Sixth Prof. Babatunde Sofoluwe Memorial Lecture on Tuesday in Lagos.
Ogundipe said 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 before taking decision and making recommendations,” Ogundipe said.
He stressed that the university has a standing policy on such issue and would not compromise the investigation in any way.
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 behaviour of our students, lecturer to lecturer and lecturer 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 through the laid down policies,” he said.
NAN reports that a former female student of English Language in the university had, on May 23, released semi nude photographs of Prof. Segun Awonusi on the social media, accusing him of molesting female students of the department.
The lady, 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, Awonusi, a former commissioner in Ogun State and one time Vice Chancellor of Tai Solarin University of Education, Igbesa, 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 on his phone that was stolen.