Sexual harassment, extortion and cultism have gripped a Nigerian university, its vice-chancellor has revealed.
Akwa Ibom State University yesterday named the eight lecturers it has sacked since 2015 over allegations of sexual harassment and extortion.
The revelations were made in a take the wraps off convocation by the vice-chancellor Prof Eno James Ibanga that was broadcasted on the varsity’s website.
It follows BBC Africa Eye October expose on the endemic allegations on sexual harassment by lecturers in West African countries.
BBC sent investigative journalists who posed as students in some universities and true to their inquest, some female reporters were sexually harassed.
According to the VC, the suspected randy lecturers have since been charged in court with sexual offences.
In the address, Prof Ibanga intimated that another don was under probe but declined to reveal the specificity of his offense.
“As we speak a notorious one is on the ground. For security reasons, we will keep it that way but I can assure you he won’t go scot-free.”
Prof Ibanga noted that they were thoroughly investigating the allegations before meting disciplinary action.
“I swore to run an institution that can stand the test of time anywhere in the world and this university can never be an exception,” he said.
As a case in point, Prof Ibanga revealed that an associate professor was reported to him over extorting money from a student in the previous semester.
“The student stood in front of the lecturer and told him on his face, ’you collected money from me'. How do you reduce yourself to this level that a student can address you this way?”
The university launched a helpline that students use to expose and report such cases of harassment. It is monitored by the vice-chancellor.
Once a complaint has been received, the VC sends a short letter called ‘query’ to the offender.
“Why did you do this (the alleged offense)? And if you don’t satisfactory tell us then that is the end of you,” the query will read.
Prof Ibanga also noted that the management caught at least ten students who are believed to be in a cult.
According to the VC, the ten were nabbed with a small coffin, pieces of red clothes and an axe heading to an initiation ceremony.
“We are aware of everything that happens in the university and before anything escalates, we move in to contain the situation.”