Unizik VC Removes Lecturer Accused of Sexual Harassment,Begins Investigation

By Ikeugonna Eleke

The Vice Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Prof Charles Esimone, has removed a lecturer in the Faculty of Law, Mr Afam Ezeaku, over allegations of sexual harassment.

The Special Adviser to the Vice Chancellor on Public Relations and Special Duties, Dr Emmanuel Ojukwu, stated this in a press release issued to journalists, August 25.

Ojukwu however stated that it was not true that students of the university protested against sexual harassment in the institution.

Media reports had quoted protesters as indicting the Vice Chancellor of not acting on a report by a panel headed by Prof Obi Oguejiofor which indicted the lecturer, Ezeaku.

‘It is important to state that there was no protest of any sort in the university.

‘However, there is an ongoing investigation concerning alleged sexual harassment by some lecturers. The Vice Chancellor immediately removed the affected lecturers from their official positions and issued those affected strong warning letters in the affected departments,’ Ojukwu said.

He said that the handicap of the university was that the students who alleged sexual harassment were not forthcoming to testify before the investigation panel.

Ojukwu said the Vice Chancellor additionally summoned the affected departments to a meeting where he expressed the university’s displeasure and warned lecturers and staff to desist from all actions that would bring the name of the university to disrepute.

He said the VC warned that the university management would severely punish erring staff, especially those who were molesting or sexually harassing their students.

Ojukwu said: ‘The Vice Chancellor has therefore made a dedicated telephone number available to enable students to report all forms of harassment by staff, especially sexual harassment.

‘He further assured students of the renewed determination of the university to protect them and treat all forms of allegations of sexual harassment with the seriousness it deserves and confidentially.’