A professor of Yoruba incantations and Stylistics, at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Joseph Opefeyitimi, has been accused of sexual assault by a female student of the Department of Linguistics and African Languages, Boluwatife Bababunmi.
A statement signed by the Public Relations Officer of the University, Abiodun Olarewaju, said the incident happened on March 18, 2022, and the student petitioned the school management three days later.
The statement titled, ‘Sex Scandal: OAU Not Foot-dragging’ revealed that upon thorough investigation, Opefeyitimi was found prima facie liable and won’t evade the appropriate sanction.
“Procedurally, after the receipt of the formal complaints, the first step was that the departmental committee sat on the matter and, after thorough investigation, Professor Opefeyitimi was found prima facie liable,” the statement partly reads.
“Second stage was the Faculty level and the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, professor Niyi Okunoye referred the matter to the anti-sexual harassment committee of the University. The committee, which also sat and clinically deliberated on this same matter, recommended appropriate disciplinary actions against professor Ayo Opefeyitimi to the University Management.
“Of course, the University administration would have to present its recommendations to the Governing Council which has the final say on the matter, considering the status of the staff involved.
“We want the general public to be rest assured and be reassured that the present University Management does not condone sexual rascality of any form, under any guise against any member of the University community from anybody. We also pledge to continue to protect our students, particularly the female ones, against any sexual predator, no matter how highly placed.
“As a mark of its zero tolerance for sexual harassment, the present University Management had summarily dismissed three lecturers who had committed similar sexual offences.
“The first lecturer to be dismissed was of the department of Management and Accounting while the second one was from the department of English Language. The third one, who was given his letter of dismissal last month, was teaching in the department of International Relations.”