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NIGERIA FACTOR: OAU speaks on Prof. Akindele’s whereabouts, says he’s not a criminal

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The Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun State, has declared that Professor Richard Akindele, who was accused of demanding sex from a female student, is not a criminal.

The Professor was said to have demanded sex from a female student of the institution in return for marks.

There are reports that the lecturer had been in hiding since his leaked conversation with the female student went viral on the social media.

The Professor was said to have just finished his sabbatical and had returned to the campus before the scandal broke out.

However, the institution’s Public Relations Officer, PRO, Abiodun Olanrewaju, who spoke with Punch, said it would be difficult to tell if the professor was hiding or not.

He maintained that Prof Akindele was not a criminal, adding that the committee investigating the matter had started sitting.

He said, “For now, the Prof. has finished his sabbatical, but he has some accumulated leave. It is only his head of department that can say categorically if he has been coming to the office or not.

“I don’t know if he has gone into hiding because he is not a criminal. We are still investigating the allegations levelled against him. He has not been convicted and he is not before any court of competent jurisdiction.

“We have set machinery in motion to identify the characters in the audio tape. Obafemi Awolowo University is the best ICT university in Nigeria and we have the apparatus to determine the veracity or otherwise of the audio tape.

“If any student comes out to tell the university that certain things happened to them, the university will investigate it.
“As a university, we don’t rely on speculations, neither do we dwell on rumours.

“But if we receive a formal complaint from anybody, either student or worker, that has to do with harassment–whether sexual, political, social or religious–we will take it up . But there must be a complaint before we know what to do.

“The girl that recorded the audio, we are still working on her identity and when she comes forward, we will know. But it won’t be in the interest of members of the panel to preempt that.
“However, they have started sitting on the issue.”

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