Nigeria Varsity dismiss 4 professors, 14 others over Sexual misconduct
A lecturer in the Department of Media and Theatre Art at the Federal University of Oye-Ekiti was fired for sexual misconduct in June 2021.
The management of the University of Lagos announced the dismissal of two lecturers for a related offense that same month.
The firing of a lecturer from the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature for sexual misconduct was revealed by the University of Port-Harcourt in August of that same year.
Two educators from the Departments of Nutrition/Dietetics and General Studies were fired in October 2021 as a result of sexual misconduct, according to a separate announcement made by the Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi.
Having an unplanned pregnancy with a female student led to the dismissal of a lecturer from the sociology department at Ignatius Ajuru University of Education.
Kwara State University, Malete reported in December 2021 that a lecturer had been dismissed for assaulting a student in the Department of Pure and Applied Sciences.
According to The PUNCH’s assessment of media reports, no less than 18 teachers in the country’s tertiary institutions have been charged with and fired for sexual misconduct in the past year.
A 2018 survey by the World Bank Group’s Women found that 70% of female graduates from tertiary institutions in Nigeria had experienced sexual harassment at school, with classmates or lecturers being the main offenders. This indicates that the issue of sexual harassment has been reoccurring in Nigerian institutions.
The Senate enacted a bill in 2021 mandating a 21-year sentence for unruly lecturers, but according to The PUNCH, the majority of those charged and convicted after the bill was passed were simply fired.
Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife topped the list of institutions with the largest number of instructors accused of sexual misconduct, according to information collated by The PUNCH.
Three lecturers from the English Language, International Relations, and Accounting Departments were fired by OAU in 2021 for sexually harassing students.
The Kaduna State University reported in January 2021 that a lecturer in the Department of Geography had been sacked for sexually harassing a student.
For sexually harassing a female student taking a 100-level course, the Rivers State College of Health, Science, and Management Technology suspended a professor for three months.
Elechi Amadi Polytechnic in Rivers State declared in January 2022 that an instructor had been fired for harassing a female student.
OAU opened an investigation into claims of sexual harassment made against a lecturer in the Department of Linguistics and African Studies in April 2022. Two OAU academics have been impacted thus far.
The expulsion of two academics for sexual misconduct was announced by Prof. Abdul-Raheed Na’allah, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Abuja, in June 2022.
They are both professors.
A lecturer at the Yaba College of Technology is the subject of an investigation into charges of sexual harassment.
Ayodamola Oluwatoyin, the Programme Director for Reform Education Nigeria, stated in an interview with The PUNCH that it is essential to make sure that educational institutions have clear sexual harassment policies available.
“One of the problems we have is that there are no explicit policies against sexual harassment in our institutions,” Oluwatoyin added. Additionally, harsher sanctions must be applied.
There should be harsher penalties, such as incarceration, rather than simply dismissing a lecturer for sexual misbehavior.
It is quite regrettable that we continue to report instances of sexual harassment in our colleges and universities.
Ben Goong, the Federal Ministry of Education’s spokesman, told The PUNCH that while the ministry doesn’t interfere with the day-to-day operations of tertiary institutions, it always steps in when it comes to policy matters.
“The government stays out of disputes involving the regular operation of tertiary institutions. We defer to the National Board for Technical Education, the governing councils of the institutions, and the National Universities Commission in this matter.
Councils, however, are in charge of formulating policy. For example, when I served on the council at the Federal University of Technology in Owerri, we developed a code of conduct regarding sexual harassment, Goong recalled.
Calls to Profs. Abubakar Rasheed and Idris Bugaje, the executive secretaries of the NUC and NBTE, went unanswered because they were unavailable.
As of the time this report was filed, they still hadn’t replied to the texts sent to them.