•Varsity parents’ forum meet Thursday on scandal
Again, the University of Lagos (UNILAG) yesterday suspended another lecturer, Dr. Samuel Oladipo, for alleged sexual harassment of female students.
This came 24 hours after the institution suspended a lecturer, Dr. Boniface Igbeneghu.
Oladipo and Igbeneghu were exposed in a sex-for-grade undercover report premiered on Monday by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Africa Eye team.
Oladipo, who is a lecturer in the Department of Economics, was featured in the second part of the BBC Africa Eye video entitled: “Sex for Admission”, where he is shown making sexual advances to an undercover in exchange for admission into the school.
On Monday, Igbenegbu, a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Arts of the institution, and a head pastor of local Foursquare Gospel Church was caught trying to sexually harass the undercover reporter who posed as a 17-year-old girl seeking admission into the university.
In the 52-minute documentary entitled: ‘Sex for Grades’, Undercover in West African Universities, the BBC investigative reporter, Kiki Mordi, revealed how students are sexually harassed in West African universities, showing UNILAG and the University of Ghana as examples.
Igbenegbu and Oladipo were screened from UNILAG while Ransford Gyampo and Paul Butakor from University of Ghana were revealed as culprits in the documentary.
In the latest episode, Oladipo was seen exchanging affectionate words with the undercover reporter who subtly approached him for assistance to secure admission into the university.
In the narration of the reporter, Oladipo invited her to his office three times for what he described as “tutorials” to improve her understanding of Economics, but was ‘inappropriate’ during all meetings. He was heard telling Mordi, who is supposed to be his student, that “and I want to love you”.
The investigator also alleged that Oladipo’s eyes were fixated squarely on her breasts during the encounter in his office, and as seen in the video, he was later captured stroking the undercover reporter’s hand upon noticing a mark of injection.
The Economics lecturer also took the undercover reporter to the much talked about ‘Cold Room’ at the Staff Club where lecturers allegedly grope students for marks and favour.
In the video, the Cold Room, which is also a senior staff room, has blacked-out windows with disco lights around it. The lecturers were seen dancing with female students and the undercover reporter was asked to dance by many of the lecturers in the room. They also revealed to her that all the women in the room were students.
While in the Cold Room, Oladipo was heard telling the female undercover that, “I really wanted to get closer to you but I hardly know you and you are not ready to let me.”
She then asked him if their closeness and his own conduct were approved by the university, to which he replied: “We are both human beings” and adults.”
The BBC investigator said Oladipo held her hand and touched her breast while they were leaving the staff quarters.
When confronted with evidence by BBC on alleged assault, Oladipo said that it was the undercover reporter who greeted him first and said she knew him. He also acknowledged that he held the undercover reporter’s hand as they walked to his office.
Oladipo, however, denied attempting to seduce the “student” in question or touching her breasts, saying he attempted to hold her hand.
Meanwhile, the authorities of UNILAG suspended Oladipo from the university pending when he and Igbenegbu would face a panel of enquiry.
An emergency meeting of the leadership of Parent Forum, UNILAG, has been scheduled for Thursday, October 10, at the university.
The meeting is based mainly on the latest sex harassment allegation levelled by a BBC Africa female reporter, who posed as an admission seeker against a lecturer of French Language Studies and former Sub-Dean of the Faculty of Arts of the university, Igbeneghu.
The Chairman of the forum, Mr. Babatunde Majekodunmi, stated this yesterday.
He added that the parent forum was totally in support of the action taken so far by the management to get to the root of the matter.
Meanwhile, chairperson of the Anti-Sexual Harassment Committee of the University of Ghana (UG), Margaret Amoakohene, said that there was no evidence that two of its lecturers seen in the sex-for-grades video documentary slept with their alleged victims.
Amoakohene was quoted as saying though she agreed that the lecturers’ behaviour was unacceptable and should be investigated, there was no evidence that they slept with any student.
“If you look at the transcript that they added, there is no evidence of sex for grade. I agree that the lecturers misbehaved and so you will discuss these as unacceptable behaviours that should be investigated but there was no indication of sex for grades,” Amoakohene was quoted to have said.
“In one case, it was about the national service placement. Who needs grades at national service? She completed and she was looking for placement.
“In the other case according to the transcript, the lady approached him and said she wanted him to be a mentor. She actually confirmed she wasn’t his student but asked that he mentors her. So where is the grade involved in this?
“You are able to discuss grades and sex when you find a lecturer who is dating his own students, and either unnecessarily giving them grades that they don’t deserve or marking them down because they have refused your advances. But in the two cases that are cited, I don’t see sex for grades.”
Cybercrime: Court jails MAPOLY student
A Higher National Diploma (HND) Mechanical Engineering student of the Mashood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY), Abeokuta, Ogun State, Olalekan Oladapo Ogunremi, was yesterday found guilty of criminal impersonation and sentenced to six months in prison.
Justice Patricia Ajoku of the Federal High Court, Ibadan Division, commuted the one year punishment proposed for the 21-year-old student to six months.
The judge succumbed to his lawyer’s passionate plea that his client had missed two examination sessions owing to the criminal charge filed against him by the Ibadan zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Ogunremi had pleaded guilty to the one-count amended charge based on a plea bargain arrangement between him and the EFCC.
According to the anti-graft commission, the offence contravenes Section 22(2)(b) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act, 2015, and punishable under Section 22 (2)(iv) of the same Act.
Following his ‘guilty’ plea, the prosecution counsel, Babatunde Sonoiki, prayed the court to sentence the accused according to the terms contained in the plea bargain agreement which he and the defence lawyer, Tunde Lawal, jointly signed.
Though the judge reduced the jail term, she upheld other proposed punishments contained in the agreement, including forfeiture of items recovered during his arrest and investigation, and restitution of sums in foreign currency to his victims.
In a related development, the commission’s Ibadan office also arraigned two other accused before Justice Ajoku.
The accused – Samuel Tanimowo Owolabi (aka Dr. Keilah Forgey, Jame Romero, Romero Williams) and Ekene Kingsley Odinamba – were separately arraigned on charges bordering on obtaining money under false pretence and possession of fraudulent documents with the intent to defraud.
Their offences are contrary to Section 6 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.
Owolabi, according to the 30-count charge preferred against him, swindled his victims of over $21,000. Odinamba’s four-count charge said he defrauded his victims to the tune of about $2,700.
The accused pleaded not-guilty to the charges when read to them.
Due to their not-guilty plea, prosecution counsel, Sanusi Galadanchi, prayed the court for a trial date and an order to remand them in prison.
The court fixed November 21 and 22 for the hearing of the first and second defendants’ bail applications, as she ordered that they be remanded in prison custody pending the dates.
Robbers kill sergeant, injure principal in Edo
Armed robbers on Tuesday killed a policeman, Sergeant Yusuf Igoche, and injured a school principal on the Benin-Lagos Expressway, Edo State.
The policeman and the principal were travelling together from Enugu State to Lagos, when they ran into the gunmen operating on the expressway.
The bandits laid ambush for victims when the ugly incident occurred. Sources close to the police command said the incident occurred about 3p.m. near the Benin-bypass.
The gunmen, who came out of surrounding bushes, rained bullets on the Lexus GX470 Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) in which Igoche and the principal were travelling.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. DanMalam Mohammed, confirmed the incident.
Igoche, with Force Number F/462248, who served as an escort to the school principal, died during a gun duel with the robbers. The principal sustained gunshot injuries. He was rushed to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) in Benin.
“The sergeant and school principal were returning from Enugu, when they ran into the robbery ambush. The sergeant was an escort to the principal. The sergeant confronted the robbers, but lost,” Mohammed said.
The commissioner pointed out that the case was under investigation and that a formal report had been made to the Edo State Police Command on the incident.
He said: “As I’m speaking with you now, we have already started investigation. I just sent a combined team of police officers into the bush. On that day, our men pursued them. The robbers abandoned their car, while other things were recovered from the car. I told our men to smoke the forest and used long range tear gas.
“When the robbers saw our policemen, they ran into the bush, but they didn’t know the terrain. They reached a dead-end and then abandoned their car there. Our men went there yesterday, but I sent them back today. There is the possibility that they will come out because wherever criminals operated and succeeded, there was almost 100 per cent possibility that they will come back.”
Operatives of the police command, in collaboration with other sister agencies, had a few months ago, with the assistance of the Edo State government cleared all forests and bushes which before now, served as hideouts for criminals on the Lagos-Benin Expressway.
The move was to make visible all dark spots and to allow motorists clearer view of the road.
Auto crashes claim 351 in Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau – FRSC
Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) yesterday said that road traffic crashes killed 351 persons, while 2,413 were injured between January and September in Benue, Nasarawa and Plateau states.
The FRSC Zonal Commanding Officer (ZCO) in-charge of Jos, Mr. Ayobami Omiyale, disclosed this while presenting a paper entitled: “FRSC and Road Traffic Management in Nigeria,” at the Police Staff College, Jos, Plateau State.
Omiyale, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said 4,446 persons were involved in 756 auto accidents across the three zones within the period under review.
The ZCO attributed the crashes to over-speeding, wrongful overtaking, underage driving, use of phone while driving, burst tyres, break failure and bad state of the roads.
According to him, the number of road traffic crashes reduced by 8.3 per cent in 2019 from the similar incidents in 2018.
He said: “The number of people injured also reduced by 9.7 per cent, but the number of deaths increased by 22.3 per cent.’’
Omiyale added that the number of people involved reduced by 7.9 per cent in 2019 relative to 2018.
Toddler Investments takes possession of Planet One
A fter almost three years of legal tussles, Toddler Investments Limited yesterday took possession of the building housing Planet One, a popular hospitality centre on Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, Maryland, Ikeja in Lagos.
The management team of Toddler Investments Limited, accompanied by court officials, lawyer and security agents, took possession of the land about 2.30p.m. by writing “MIK/935/19 possession taken today 16/10/19 by Court Order” on some parts of the wall and building of Planet One Hotel.
Planet One was shut in April 2017 following a legal tussle between Wema Bank and Planet One Entertainment Limited.
The possession of the land was taken by Toddler Investments Limited, who leased the property to Planet One Entertainment Limited based on the Execution Order of the Lagos State Magistrates’ Court in Suit No. MIK/935/19.
Speaking with journalists after taken possession of the land, a legal representative of Toddler Investments Limited, Augustine Ezenwankwo (Esq) of Maclems Law Firm, said the property worth N4.56 billion had been destroyed, vandalised and looted since the Planet One was shut in April 2017 and handed over to a receiver/manager.
Ezenwankwo, therefore, called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and security agents to investigate sales of the property in May 2018 as well as vandalism and looting of the assets while the suit was still in court.
He said: “We are here for takeover of part of the asset of this property that belongs to Toddler Investments Limited. We leased part of the property to Planet One Entertainment Limited and there is a suit in court between Wema Bank and Planet One Entertainment Limited. The matter is still on pending and Wema Bank went as far as disposing the asset while the matter is still in court. And Toddler Investments Limited went to court and got judgement to take over their side of the property and that is what we have come to do.”
FRSC: Tanker fire destroys six buildings, shops in Onitsha
No fewer than six buildings and shops were burnt on Wednesday at Upper Iweka, on Onitsha/Awka Road in Onitsha, after a 33,000-litre diesel tanker fell and caught fire.
The Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Commission, Anambra Command, Mr Andrew Kumapayi, confirmed this to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka.
He stated that the incident occurred at around 12:44 p.m. Kumapayi said that the Fire Service Officials got to the scene of the fire promptly but could not put out the fire as their water pump developed a fault.
“The tanker lost control due to brake failure, the head of the vehicle pulled out while the tank containing diesel fell into the gutter spilling its content on the road and it caught fire due to the spill.
“The fire spread through the gutter and affected about six houses on the road and shops in Ochanja Market.
“No life was lost and no other vehicle was affected.
“The fire service got there on time but their pump developed a fault, they left the scene to fix the pump and restrategise.
“If the pump had functioned, the fire wouldn’t have spread to the houses and shops,” he said.
Kumapayi warned tanker owners and drivers to ensure that their vehicles were in good condition before plying the roads.
“The saving grace was the road bumps constructed by the state government; it prevented the tanker from ramming into buildings around the area,” he said.
Kumapayi said that policemen and FRSC officials were on ground to maintain order and ensure the free flow of traffic.
Lagos to prosecute of four police officers over extra-judicial killings
The Lagos State Government on Wednesday assured the public that it is ready and willing to prosecute four police officers indicted in an alleged extra-judicial killing of two people in Lagos.
The four dismissed police officers were identified as Inspector Fabiyi Omomayara, Sergent Olaniyi Solomon, Sergent Solomon Sunday and Constable Aliyu Mukaila.
According to the families, their late children, Ayodele Solaja and Ogheneovo Ebobo were murdered in the cold blood by a police team led by one Inspector Fabiyi Omowayowa at Iba New Estate Lagos on Monday, August 19, debunking claims by the police that the victims were robbers.
The two families had earlier cried out to the Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu, who launched an independent probe into the killings of their children by the police, as well as appealed to the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to look into the complicity of the advice given by the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in the matter.
Meanwhile, the four policemen, who were earlier charged to court on a count of murder, were later released on a “no case to answer” advice by the DPP.
Ogun to demolish Amosun’s model school, revive abandoned Gateway Hotel
Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, on Wednesday, said one of the model schools built in Ilaro by his predecessor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, will be demolished for allegedly being structurally defective.
Abiodun, who dropped the hint at the Ogun West senatorial district town hall meeting on 2020 budget, however, assured that the school would be reconstructed.
At the event held in Ilaro, Yewa South Local Government Area, the governor also promised to revisit and revive the abandoned Gateway Hotel, Ota whose concessioning was terminated by the Amosun administration.
The meeting, attended by traditional, religious and political leaders as well as representatives of market associations, professional bodies, civil society organisations and student unions, was held to harness the contributions of citizens across all critical sectors for the 2020 budget.
Abiodun vowed not to allow the resources of the state used for capital projects to be frittered away under any guise.
He assured the gathering that his administration will replace the structurally defective model school in Ilaro with a standard facility to serve as technical and vocational education training centre.
Cybercrime: MAPOLY student jailed
A Higher National Diploma (HND) Mechanical Engineering student of the Mashood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY), Ojere in Ogun State, Olalekan Oladapo Ogunremi, was on Wednesday found guilty of criminal impersonation and sentenced to six months in prison.
Justice Patricia Ajoku of the Federal High Court, Ibadan Division, commuted the one year punishment proposed for the 21-year-old to six months.
The judge succumb to his lawyer’s passionate plea who informed the court that his client had missed two examination sessions owing to the criminal charge filed against him by the Ibadan zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Ogunremi had pleaded guilty to the one-count amended charge with which he was arraigned on Wednesday consequent upon a plea bargain arrangement between him and the Commission.
Toddler Investments takes possession of Planet One in Lagos
After almost three years of legal tussles, Toddler Investments Limited on Wednesday took possession of the building that housed Planet One, a popular hospitality centre located at Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, Maryland, Ikeja in Lagos base on a court order.
The management team of Toddler Investments Limited, who were accompanied by court officials, lawyer and security agents took possession of the land around 2:30pm by painting “MIK/935/19 Possession taken today 16/10/19 by Court Order.” writing on some parts of the wall and buildings of Planet One Hotel.
It would be recalled that Planet One, an integrated entertainment center with a boutique hotel, different themed restaurants, bars, a night club and a spa & wellness center, was shut down in April 2017 following a legal tussle between Wema Bank and Planet One Entertainment Limited. But after the close down there has been legal tussles for the ownership of the land and control of the hospitality centre.
The possession of the land was taken by Toddler Investments Limited, who leased the property to Planet One Entertainment Limited based on the Execution Order of the Lagos State Magistrate Court in Suit No. MIK/935/19
Speaking to journalists after taking possession of the land, a Director of Toddler Investments Limited, Jimmy Odiamehi, said he is happy taking back his property.
Attack on free speech: Group writes Ikpeazu, demands sack of aide
…As blogger goes into hiding
Following the trending audio recording in which an aide to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State allegedly threatened to deal with a blogger if he did not desist from writing about the state government, a group, South-East Equity Alliance (SEA) has written to Ikpeazu urging him to defend his oath of office.
The group also demanded that the governor immediately sacks his Senior Special Assistant on General Duties, Mr. Uchenna Erondu whose voice is said to have been captured in the audio recording intimidating a student blogger, Ogochukwu Nwaokeoma and threatening to whisk him to Abuja if he dares write anything else about the activities of the Abia State government.
However, there are unconfirmed indications that the blogger, Nwaokeoma, has since fled the state and gone into hiding for fear of his life.
In an open letter to the Abia State governor signed by the National Coordinator of the group, Comrade Ekeh Ifeanyi Chimezie (Imo State); National Secretary, Okoro Williams (Ebonyi State) and the National Public Relations Officer, Debby Tochi Joy (Abia State), the group urged Ikpeazu to rise up in defence of democracy, constitutional governance and his oath to protect lives and properties of Abia citizens.
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