13th April, 2018.
A STATEMENT BY THE NIGERIAN FEMINIST FORUM (NFF) ON THE ALLEGED SEXTORTION BY PROFESSOR RICHARD AKINOLA OF MANAGEMENT & ACCOUNTING DEPARTMENT OAU, ILE IFE, OSUN STATE.
The Nigerian Feminist Forum (NFF) is dismayed and alarmed by the leaked audio phone recording in which a male lecturer in the person of Prof. Richard Akinola, a professor in the management and accounting department of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) is heard to demand sex from a female student for a pass in an examination. This event occurred on Monday April 9, 2018.
The mass abuse of females in Nigerian universities is exacerbated by the lack of a consistent and clear policy by university governing bodies concerning sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape of female students. Student handbooks and codes of conduct for staff and students are generally ‘silent’ on this and do not adequately address issues of violence against women. Sexual assaults are hardly mentioned during orientation for first year students neither are there any dedicated channels of redress or support for students who experience this form of violence whilst on campus.
The Nigerian Feminist Forum, NFF is demanding accountability from ASUU, NUC and the wider community of Universities.
By calling on the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to;
(a) Adopt and enforce a comprehensive sexual harassment policy for its members;
(b) Penalize by delisting any of its members convicted of an act of sexual offense;
(c) Sensitize its members on the debilitating effect of sexual harassment/ violence and rape of female students.
The governing bodies of NUC and tertiary schools should immediately;
(a) Adopt policies and measures to address the issue of sexual violations of female university students by fellow students and members of staff;
(b) Operationalize a comprehensive policy on eradicating sexual harassment and violence on campus;
(c) Put in place a victim’s response mechanism for reporting, investigating and prosecution of perpetrators of sexual violence againstfemalestudents;
(d) Conduct a mass sensitization on sexual violence across all campuses in Nigeria.
Members of the CSOs and theMedia should continue to;
(a) Support victims to report cases of sexual harassment and abuse;
(b) Ensure the full prosecution of perpetuators of sexual crimes against women;
(c) Ensure that the ongoing case of the OAU university lectureris not swept under the carpet;
(d) Victims of sexual abuse are given the right support and care and;
(e) Issues of sexual abuse are kept in the front burner of national concern.
The NFF is ready to offer its support and expertise to the National Universities Commission (NUC), Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), body of Vice-Chancellors, ministries of education and other policy makers at federal and state levels as well as the police and law enforcement agencies, in developing appropriate skills, standards, protocols and processes to urgently respond to this growing epidemic of sexual violence in educational institutions in Nigeria.
About the Nigerian Feminist Forum (NFF)
The Nigerian Feminist Forum (NFF) is a biennial public policy forum that brings together feminists from the six geo-political zones, government officials, and other strategic partners to deliberate on issues of key concern to the development of and emancipation of women in Nigeria.
We can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and via twitter: @nff2008
Nigerian Feminist Forum Secretariat