By Ikeugonna Eleke
Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (COOU) has instituted a five-man panel to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct levelled against some lecturers in the university.
This is even as Fides has learnt that the university may sack six lecturers fingered by some female students and ex-students of the university for involvement in the sex-for-grades racket.
The university’s spokesperson, Dr Christian Chukwuebuka, said the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof Greg Nwakoby, had instituted a five-man committee to look into the allegations.
Following the uncovering of sexual exploitation of female students by university lecturers by a BBC undercover reporter, some female students and ex-students of COOU had fingered six lecturers in different departments for their believed culpability in same practice.
A press release by the victims had said a particular lecturer in the university (name withheld) turned his office into a sex den, where he engaged in sex with his female students in exchange for marks.
The statement by the students titled, ”Sex for Grades in Anambra State University: A Scandal of Gigantic Proportions”, read in part: ‘This shameful act is happening in departments such as English, Political Science, Mass Communication, Banking and Finance, Micro Biology, Philosophy and so on.
‘We recommend that close-circuit television (CCTV) cameras be mounted in and around staff offices in the institution. Dear amiable Vice Chancellor, a lot is happening in our alma mater; but many female students are afraid to speak out because of the fear of victimization by other lecturers who are friends to the exposed ones.
‘We suggest that you set up a more accessible process, where such evil cases could be reported. Also, plant your spies in all departments, if you can. These monsters will fight back and deny, but we want them to know that we are fully armed to the teeth and ready for them.’
Though Chukwuebuka, COOU’s image maker, said he did not know what would happen to the six lecturers if the allegations against them were established to be true, Fides found from a female student of the university that the lecturers would earn outright sack.
Chukwuebuka who said the university had a code of conduct, advised that the committee should be allowed to conclude their job before the right punishment could be determined.
‘I am not holding forth for anyone, but I think those are mere allegations. If they were serious about their allegations, why did they not speak up before now? Why did they wait for the BBC investigation that unraveled such practices in Lagos before coming up with their own?’ Chukwuebuka queried.
But a female student of the university who refused to be named, said if those involved were found guilty, they should be sacked.
‘In Lagos, the professor who was caught on tape has been sacked. In other institutions where the same thing happened, the erring lecturers have been sacked; so why will that of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University be different?’ she wondered.
She further said the victims had been mobilizing and were waiting for the report of the committee.
‘We have evidence too. We are sure the six lecturers will leave the university,’ she stated.