UNN, UNICAL, & UNILAG… Nigerian universities that trended over sexual harassment claims

 UNN, UNICAL, & UNILAG… Nigerian universities that trended over sexual harassment claims

In 2023, there was a surge in accusations of sexual harassment against lecturers at tertiary institutions across Nigeria, surpassing the numbers from the previous five years.

Oga Lecturer’s survey revealed that between 2018 and 2023, at least 43 lecturers faced accusations or indictments for sexual harassment. 

Media reports tracked by Oga Lecturer documented a minimum of 15 lecturers being accused in 2023 alone.

The cases:

Former Dean of the Law Faculty at the University of Calabar, Cyril Ndifon, and Tai Solarin University of Education lecturer Balogun Olaniran face charges of sexual harassment by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC). 

Ndifon’s arrest, prompted by a protest by UNICAL female students, sparked social media allegations against four other lecturers: Frank Enor, Otora Agbor, Elvis Okorn, and Okoi. In the same period, Federal College of Forestry, Plateau state, suspended four lecturers, while University of Lagos (UNILAG) suspended senior lecturer Kadiri Akeem Babalola. 

Ambrose Ali University and Kogi State Polytechnic dismissed one lecturer each for similar offenses, while Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK) took action against two lecturers. 

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These incidents coincide with challenges facing the passage of a bill to criminalize sexual harassment in Nigerian universities, introduced eight years prior. Although passed by lawmakers in 2023, the bill lapsed with the inauguration of a new assembly shortly after, requiring reintroduction and passage for presidential assent.

In 2022, allegations of sexual harassment led to disciplinary actions against several lecturers across Nigeria. The University of Abuja dismissed two lecturers, while Elechi Amadi Polytechnic suspended Tamunotonye Solomon. 

Obafemi Awolowo University investigated Joseph Ayo Opefeyitimi and found him liable, and UNILAG suspended Babatunde Oseni. 

Similarly, in 2021, there were numerous cases, with twelve lecturers dismissed, including Adebayo Mosobalaje and two others from OAU, Musa Baba Abubakar and Adebusoye Michael Sunday from Federal Polytechnic Bauchi, and Boniface Igbenegbu and Samuel Oladipo from UNILAG following a BBC News documentary

Additionally, the University of Port Harcourt, Kwara State University, Covenant University, and Kaduna State University each dismissed one lecturer for sexual harassment.

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