The authorities of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, have dismissed a senior lecturer at the Department of English, Adebayo Mosobalaje, for allegedly sexually harassing a former student of the institution.
This is coming barely two weeks after PREMIUM TIMES exclusively reported an attempt by the university management to give Mr Mosobalaje softlanding based on the recommendations of the university's senate to the governing council.
The university announced the lecturer's dismissal through a statement issued on Tuesday afternoon by its public relations officer, Abiodun Olarewaju.
The statement reads in part: "In its avowed determination to rid the university of any form of sexual intimidation, harassment and, or coercion, the Governing Council of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, has dismissed another lecturer who was found guilty of sexual demeanor against a female student."
The statement added that the "decision to dismiss Dr Adebayo Mosobalaje of the Department of English Language in the Faculty of Arts, was taken by the University Council at its last sitting that was held on Monday and Tuesday, September 6 and 7, 2021."
"Having exhaustively deliberated on the report of the Joint Committee of Council and Senate, which investigated the case of sexual harassment against Dr Mosobalaje, the University Council, unambiguously declared its zero tolerance for sexual harassment in any form or guise and, accordingly, applied the appropriate university sanctions for such an offence as contained in the university regulation," the statement added.
BackstoryThis newspaper had on August 25 reported the allegations against Mr Mosobalaje, who is popularly called "Mosob" on th campus, and how the institution's Senate had attempted to circumvent the law by recommending lesser punishment for the indicted official.
The lecturer was specifically accused of breaching the provisions of the university's Code of Conduct "in the manner he related with a student of the department, Rachel Momoh."
A verdict passed by the university's joint committee of council and senate noted that "in the process of its deliberations, the Committee FOUND Dr Mosobalaje culpable and was deserving of the highest punishment of dismissal."
But in its recommendations, many feel the committee was lenient with the lecturer as his punishment included a warning letter, and forfeiture of cumulation of half of his salaries which have been continued to be held by the university since he was suspended.
The committee also said he should not be allowed to hold any management position on the campus for the next five years.
Also, he will not be promoted for two years.
These recommendations, which formed a subject of debate at the Senate meeting of the university three weeks ago, led to a division among members in attendance.
While some endorsed the recommendations, others queried the reasons behind the committee's alleged inconsistency.
They asked why the committee allegedly 'bent the rule' when it already concluded that Mr Mosobalaje's culpability "was deserving of the highest punishment of dismissal."