Prof. Richard Iyiola Akindele, who was recently sacked as a lecturer in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun State, Nigeria after he was taken to court by one of his students, Monica Osagie, for demanding sex in return for higher grades has been sentenced to two years imprisonment.
The verdict was passed by Justice Maureen Onyetenu of the federal high court in Oshogbo who found the accused guilty of all four counts brought against him. She said despite the plea bargain agreement reached by both parties, there was a need to make a scape goat out of the lecturer in order to serve as a deterrent to others alike who molest university students by requesting for sex.
She sentenced Prof. Richard Akindele to 24 months in jail for requesting sex from his student, Monica Osagie, and another 24 months’ jail term for soliciting sexual benefit from the student to pass her.
The judge who could not hide her annoyance and displeasure also sentenced the professor to a 12 months jail term for deleting parts of a WhatsApp conversation between him and Monica Osagie in a bid to conceal evidence against him, and sentenced him to another 12 months jail term for falsification of age.
The judge, however, said the sentences would run concurrently amounting to 24 months.
Speaking during her verdict, the judge said:
“The menace is getting to secondary and primary schools. I am a pastor and counselor. I know the mental torture that many of our female students have been subjected to by the likes of the respondent.
“The adverse effect of such action is huge. Many of his likes have been awarding marks to students that are ready to warm their bed, thereby releasing half-baked graduates into the society.”
Before the judgment, Prof. Akindele who had all along pleaded not guilty informed the court of his decision to plead guilty, but this seemed not to have affected the judge’s decision in any way as he was found guilty on all four counts.
The prosecutor, Mr. Shogunle Adenekan, who is the deputy commissioner of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offenses Commission (ICPC) - the agency that handled the case, informed the court that both parties had reached a plea bargain and begged the judge to suspend the sentence for the respondent.
Prof. Akindele was defended in court by Francis Omotosho and eight other lawyers.
Prof. Akindele’s charge which he later pleaded guilty to, read:
“That on the 16th day of September, 2017, or thereabouts, you corruptly asked for sexual benefits for yourself from one Monica Osagie for a favour that would be thereafter shown to her by upgrading her academic record from fail to pass, thereby committing an offense contrary to and punishable under Section 8(1)(a) and 2 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Commission Act 2000.
“That you solicited sexual benefits from the victim on the 16th of September, 2017, or thereabouts for a favour to be given to you, the act contrary to and punishable under Section 18 (b) of the ICPC Act.”
The court rejected the terms of the plea bargain.
Adesina Olaniyan, one of the lawyers that defended Prof. Akindele said his client would not appeal the judgment.
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