EDUCATION

LASU: Three Lecturers Face Sack Over Sexual Harassment

Three lecturers at the Lagos State University (LASU) may be sacked anytime from now over cases of alleged sexual harassment of their students.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learnt in Lagos on Thursday that the governing council of the institution has concluded investigations into the matter.

NAN learnt that the sacking of the randy teachers would be announced after the next meeting of the council, slated for next month.

An authoritative source familiar with the development, revealed the identities of the lecturers in an interview with the NAN education correspondent.

The lecturers are from the Departments of Chemistry and Economics, while the third is from the LASU College of Medicine (LASUCOM) at Ikeja.

The source told NAN that two of the teachers allegedly told two female students, who they had been `eyeing’ to come and re-sit papers on a Saturday with intent to take sexual advantage of the students.

The source said that the students, however, reported the issue to the university’s security department, which reportedly advised them to play along with the teachers in a bid to catch them red-handed.

According to the source, the LASUCOM lecturer, similarly, directed two female medical students to buy an injection, which he allegedly ended up using on the students “to sedate them and take advantage of them sexually’’.

Reacting to the allegation, the LASUCOM lecturer, (name withheld), told NAN that the accusation of sexual harassment against him was the handiwork of mischief makers.

He, however, did not elaborate but confirmed that the LASU panel invited him to answer questions on unethical conduct, arising from a medical prescription he gave to students.

On their part, the two other accused lecturers, declined to make comments when NAN correspondent took them up on the matter.

NAN source also revealed that council would similarly, decide the fate of three executive members of the LASU Chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, accused of stealing a confidential document and committing other offences.

When contacted, the Chairman of the LASU Governing Council, Adebayo Ninalowo, declined to comment on the raging problem between the unionists and the university, directing NAN to the institution’s Corporate Affairs Unit for comments on the matter.

The spokesman for the university, Ademola Adekoya, however, confirmed the cases as revealed by NAN sources.

He said that the recommendations of the panel would be ratified by the council in its sitting next month.

Mr Adekoya described the issues, especially those relating to sexual harassment and stealing of official documents as regrettable, restating the determination of the LASU authorities to sanitize the system.

He described cases of misconduct as unacceptable to the university, saying that the institution had zero tolerance to such cases.

“The panel is ongoing. The joint committee of senate and council is already sitting and would make its recommendations to the governing council.

“Whatever they recommend would be considered by the governing council in its sitting next month and the decision of the council would be final,” the spokesman said.

Also, the Registrar of the university, Olayinka Amuni, told NAN that the punishment for sexual assault by a staff once established, was outright dismissal.

“Once we are able to establish that a staff engaged in an illegal relationship with any student, the person is dismissed from the system because it is the height of academic irresponsibility.

“We are an institution guided by rules and regulations and once we have an official report or an allegation of someone indulging in sexual harassment, the first thing we do is to issue query to the person.

“The query is to get information from the person whether indeed, that really happened or not.

“We would examine whatever response you give with the evidence before us and if the evidence is not genuine, we won’t push further.

“But if we can find element of truth in what is before us, the matter is sent to disciplinary committee and the sanction for such activity is dismissal,” Amuni said. (NAN)

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