The Consumer Protection Council (CPC) has charged authorities of higher institutions in Nigeria to diligently confront sexual harassment and other related conduct within the institutions with a view to ensuring a conducive learning environment for students, who are consumers of the schools’ educational services.
The Council’s Director General, Mr. Babatunde Irukera made the assertion in a statement released in Abuja on Thursday while commending the on-going prosecution of the dismissed lecturer of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Professor Richard Akindele by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
Irukera said such a commitment from the leadership of the institutions would not only be re-assuring to students, who are primary consumers of the educational services of the schools, but would also restore institutional reputation.
According to him, the “Council re-emphasizes the need for learning institutions to assiduously address sexual harassment and other ancillary conduct in order to promote or restore institutional reputation, and ensure that students, being consumers of educational services, can pursue scholarship on campuses that provide safe and liberal environments where the relationship between faculty and students leads to robust and confident knowledge sharing.”
The Director General expressed the Council’s delight to “the news that Professor Richard Akindele has been arraigned by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), and is being prosecuted for his gross and abusive conduct.
“The diligent prosecution and cooperation of all relevant stakeholders is vital to deterring others with this type of abhorrent tendencies from perpetrating such conduct”, he added.
The Council had on April 30, 2018 issued a statement condemning the alleged act reported to have been perpetrated by the lecturer, requesting the university authorities to thoroughly investigate the allegations.
Similarly, the Council, in a swift reaction to the dismissal of the professor by the university after a transparent investigation, on June 21, 2018, “commended OAU authorities while insisting that appropriate retribution for the conduct in accordance with extant criminal laws be pursued to the fullest extent”.