fbpx
HomenewsSexual Assault: OAU Recommends Disciplinary Sanctions Against Professor Accused Of Sexually Assaulting...

Sexual Assault: OAU Recommends Disciplinary Sanctions Against Professor Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Student In Office

Joseph Opefeyitimi, a professor of Yoruba Incantations and Stylistics in the Department of Linguistics and African Languages in Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) has been accused of sexual assault.


The departmental committee of the school which sat on the matter recommended that appropriate disciplinary sanctions should be taken against Opefeyitimi.

A statement signed by the Public Relations Officer of the university, Abiodun Olanrewaju, noted that the victim, Boluwatife Bababunmi, of the same department, had petitioned the university management, alleging that Opefeyitimi, whom she had placed so highly by virtue of his position, sexually assaulted her in his office.


Olanrewaju said, “The unwholesome incident, which happened on March 18, 2022, prompted Boluwatife Hannah Bababunmi of the Department of Linguistics and African Languages, to write a petition to the university management against Joseph Ayo Opefeyitimi, a professor of Yoruba Incantations and Stylistics, of the same department, on March 21, 2022.
 
“Procedurally, after the receipt of the formal complaints, the first step was that the departmental committee sat on the matter and, after thorough investigation, Professor Opefeyitimi was found prima facie liable.
 
“Second stage was the faculty level and the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Professor Niyi Okunoye, referred the matter to the anti-sexual harassment committee of the university. The committee, which also sat and clinically deliberated on this same matter, recommended appropriate disciplinary actions against Professor Ayo Opefeyitimi to the university management.
 
“Of course, the university administration would have to present its recommendations to the governing council which has the final say on the matter, considering the status of the staff involved.”


The first lecturer to be dismissed from the school was from the Department of Management and Accounting, and the second was from the Department of English Language.


The third, who was dismissed in March 2022, was from the Department of International Relations.
Victim’s Account
 
Bababunmi, in her account, said she was “violated” by the professor.
 
She said Opefeyitimi sexually molested her during a visit to his office on March 18, 2022.
In a letter addressed to the Department of Linguistics & African Languages, OAU, titled, ‘Report of Sexual Assault and Molestation Against Professor Ayo Opefeyitimi,’ she said the professor invited her to his office and as she was leaving, he grabbed her from behind and asked her to be his lover.
The female student said the professor continued to grope her after which he exposed his already erect penis which he forced into her hand.
 
She said the professor pleaded with her to give him a ‘hand-job’ and despite her pleas to be left alone, the professor pulled her to himself, rubbing his penis on her buttocks.
 
The aggrieved student said she was so petrified and traumatised all through the period of the incident as she called for justice. She said the Professor is the lecturer-in-charge of one of the courses she’s enrolled in and might fail her.
 
She wrote, “My name is XXX with matric no. XXX. I am writing to inform you about the unpleasant experience I had with one of my lecturers in the person of Prof. Opefeyitimi on Friday, 18th of March, 2022.
 
“He sent me a WhatsApp message on Thursday, 17th asking me to see him in his office the following day between 8 am and 2 pm. As a lecturer who I respected so much, I obliged and never questioned his order.
 
“I got to his office around 1: 23 pm. He told me that he only wanted to ask about what was going on on the campus since he wasn’t on campus the previous day.
 
“I was astounded to hear that but I told him to take the Road 7 route when ready to go home because Road 1 was blocked.
 
“He asked me to sit down and he asked me the reason why the road was blocked then I told him that I didn’t really know and heard that it was all about the appointment of the new VC.
 
“He decided to leave the office immediately and he packed his things, saying that I was a godsend to him because it was almost 2 pm and he needed to pick up his son from school.
 
“He carried the bag and as we were about to leave the office, I offered to help him with the bag but he declined and I headed for the door.
 
“He grabbed me from behind and held me so tight. At this point I was in shock, then he said and I quote “Mo fẹ́ kí èmi àti ẹ jọ wà papọ̀ ni [thrice] but problem tí mo ní tẹ́lẹ̀ ni boy XXX yẹn but mi ò rò pé ó yẹ kó jẹ́ problem mọ́” meaning ‘I want us to be together, the problem was that boy (name withheld) but I don’t think that should be a problem any longer’.
 
“At this point, he had already dropped the big bag he was carrying and he held me with his other hand.
 
“He made me sit on his lap and was groping me, he then said again “Mi ò mọ bí a ṣe fẹ́ ṣe é tí o fi máa graduate pẹ̀lú 2:1 kí o lè padà wá ṣe master’s” (I don’t know how to ensure you graduate with a 2:1 so you can come back to this school for master’s degree).
 
“Then I told him that he should let me go and that I will come back to see him some other day just to free myself of him.
 
“He didn’t answer me when I said that but he stood up from the chair still forcefully holding me and dragged me to the couch in his office.
 
“By this time, he had already pulled down his trousers, (and) brought out his erect penis. He grabbed my right hand and used it to rub his sexual penis. It happened so quickly that I was petrified.
 
“He continued to rub his penis and I was so distressed by the entire situation that I lost count of time. In order to appeal to him to release his hold on me, I then told him that I needed to leave his office immediately because I was already taking too long and someone was patiently waiting for me downstairs.
 
“But he replied me and said ‘Gbogbo time tí mo ní pẹ̀lú ẹ báyìí kò ju 5mins lọ, jọ̀wọ́ bá mi ṣe é mo kàn fẹ́ come ni (I won’t stay longer than 5 minutes, please do it, I just want to come); I won’t touch you today please because I didn’t inform you before.’
 
“I begged him that I was not comfortable at all that he should please let me go, but he didn’t listen to me. He laid down on his couch and was using my hand to stroke his penis.
 
“At some point, he stood up, dragged me to his table, turned my back to him and was rubbing his manhood on me. At this point, all my pleas to him to please release me fell on deaf ears.
 
“He pinned me there against the table, rubbing his penis on my back, repeating over and over again, “O ṣe é, O ṣe é” (thank you).
 
“Taking advantage of my vulnerability because he is physically stronger than me, he sexually assaulted, molested, and violated me.
 
“He used both his physical strength and high office and power as a professor in the Department of African Languages and Literatures to sexually impose himself on me, despite my pleas to him that I did not want his violent actions and forced attack on me.
 
“For how long he was doing this to me, I could not tell because my heart was beating so fast out of fear, and I was drenched in sweat from a panic attack.
 
“When he finally freed me, he asked me if I would see him 8 am on Monday and I said ‘No’.
 
“He asked me why? Out of fear for my life and safety, I told him that it was because my place was far. I was trying hard to say whatever would make him release me. I had never been so terrified as I was that day in his office.
 
“He asked me where my place was. And I told him that I live at Aba Iya Gani. He then offered to come and pick me (up) but I declined, after which he asked me if I knew Olatoke Hotel at Opa. I said I did not know the place and he said that was no problem; that anytime I’m free to come on Monday, nobody will disturb him and then he gave me a thousand naira (N1,000) for transportation.
 
“I collected the money because I believed he wouldn’t have allowed me to go if I didn’t collect it from him. When we finally left the office, he sent me a message on WhatsApp thanking me and he asked if I would be on campus by 10 am on Monday and I told him that I didn’t think so.
 
“Then he said, ‘Okay, hope you are not traveling?’ And I didn’t reply him till now. The entire situation has left me feeling so traumatized. This is an obvious abuse of power in which my faith in someone who has been a teacher and mentor, someone that I look up to and had maximum respect for since the very day I entered this University, has been exploited.
 
“Professor Opefeyitimi teaches a class that I currently take, and he has the power to fail me or give me any grade that he pleases. In addition, I took another class with him, and he has not yet released the grade for that class.
 
“My career depends on the grades he gives me. I believe his failure to fully penetrate me in his office frustrated him, and I was lucky that I wore tight trousers that he was unable to yank down.
 
“I remain grateful to God that I was not wearing a dress or a skirt that day, otherwise, he would have succeeded in penetrating me, while rubbing his penis on my buttocks.
 
“Sir, I am writing this message to call your attention to this defiling act and wrongful use of his professorial power and influence.
 
“I ask that justice be served and to ensure that he does not further harm me physically or in any other way: including removing from my grades; shaming me during classes and learning activities, because I did not cooperate during his molestation, assault and molestation that fateful day in his office, which will never be erased from my memory.
“I expect that Prof. Opefeyitimi is brought to justice. His action was so quick and immediate that I believe I am not his first victim.
 
“He seemed to have practised this assault before because he seemed to know exactly what to say and what to do, as I looked stupefied before him, and he kept manipulating my body and using his genitalia as a weapon of assault.
 
“I look forward to hearing from you soon. Thank you.”
In a letter addressed to the school’s vice-chancellor, Prof. Tope Ogunbodede, Opefeyitimi denied the allegation of sexual assault, saying the female student was his fiancée and that ‘all that happened in my office was consensual’.

RELATED ARTICLES

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular