Justice Maurine Onyetenu of the Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo, Monday sentenced former lecturer of Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Prof. Richard Iyiola Akindele, to six years imprisonment for demanding sex to pass her student, Monica Osagie.
The accused had pleaded not guilty to the charge of sexual harassment preferred against him by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offenses Commission, ICPC. He had since then been remanded in prison custody following objection to his bail by the prosecution ICPC.
When the case came up on Monday, Akindele opted to change his earlier plea and admitted guilty of the offences as charged. He was arraigned before Justice onyetenu on November 19 for alleged sexual harassment.
Meanwhile, efforts by the defence counsel to suspend the sentencing and negotiate for plea bargain failed, as Justice Onyetenu frowned at the rampant cases of students harassment by lecturers.
Justice Onyetenu said “the plea bargain is not absolute. The court still have discretion.
“This kind of issue is too rampant in our tertiary institutions. We send children to school, they come home telling us that lecturers want to sleep with them.
“We can not continue like this. Somebody has to be used as example. Even primary schools pupils are complaining. Telling me to suspend sentence does not arise. Plea bargain does not arise. May be the case continue to occur and reoccur because someone has not been used as example.
“It is time for the court to start upholding the right of the children, especially female students. The case is endemic. Counsel to the defendant, Mr. Francis Omotosho, informed the court that the defendant has lost his job and has learnt his lesson.
He told the court that the University has discovered the mistake in the marking of the examination paper of the victim and has concluded plans to compensate her. The Counsel further told the court that plans are ongoing to make offices of the lecturers open by building the front side with glasses at OAU.
But, the Judge, who apparently not convinced with the prayer of the Counsel, said “do you think they do it in the office? They go to hotel. Counsel to the ICPC, Mr. Shogunle Adenekan, urged the court to confiscate the mobile phone of the defendant and forfeit it to the federal government, saying that sensitive materials were discovered there during forensic.
He also urged the court to grant order, releasing the mobile phone of the victim, Monica. After considering the plea bargaining entered and signed by the Counsels, the Judge said there is a need to deter other people because of the nature of the case.
In her judgement, Justice Onyetenu sentenced the convict to 24 months on count one, 24 months on count two, 1 year on count three and 1 year on count four. She said the jail term should run concurrently.
She also ordered that the Samsung X4 of the victim should be returned to her and the Samsung X8 of the convict should be forfeited to the federal government.
BREAKING: I Remain Lagos Police Commissioner, It’s A New Order From Abuja – Edgal Imohimi Declares
Edgal Imohimi, has declared that he remains the Lagos State Commissioner of Police.
Imohimi told members of the press on Tuesday during a handover-takeover ceremony between him and supposed incoming CP, Kayode Egbetokun, that they were about concluding the process when a directive came from Abuja asking them to suspend the action.
Imohimi, who addressed journalists in the presence of Egbetokun at the Lagos State Police Command’s headquarters, said, “I am sure that you know Mr Kayode Egbetokun, he is an old timer in the command.
“You all know that our first job is about order and direction; we were about concluding the handing and taking over procedure when we were instructed by our bosses from Abuja to suspend action for now. So, there will be no change of guard for now. Of course, we would keep the press briefed about any development.
“But I am happy, humbled that you find it serious enough for you all to come to witness what we are doing here. I consider it an honor.”
JUST IN: Buhari Formally Names Mohammed Adamu New IGP, Decorates Him In Aso Rock [PHOTOS]
President Muhammadu Buhari has officially named Mohammed Adamu as acting Inspector-General of Police, IGP.
Buhari decorated him with the new rank during his meeting with the outgoing Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris
Mohammed had served as the Commissioner of Police in Enugu State.
He was one-time director of peacekeeping operations of the Force.
He had been the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone Five, in Benin, Edo State.
EFCC Nabs Bishop Defrauding People In God’s Name
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Benin Zonal Office has arrested a Bishop and suspected fraudster, Giniko Obi, for allegedly defrauding thousands of people of millions of naira, in the guise of helping them “fight poverty”.
Obi, founder of Beloved Gideon Foundation, based in Agbor, Delta State, with outreaches in Bayelsa, Onitsha, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Abuja and Benin City, however, denied any involvement in fraud claiming that he was only “doing the will of God by trying to help the people fight poverty”.
According to him, it was his desire and God’s will to see people prosper that led him into operating what appears to be a Ponzi Scheme. Obi who claim to be a consecrated Bishop, possessing a diploma in theology explains thus:
“We write books such as ‘24 Nuggets for Successful Living’, ‘36 Nuggets for Successful Living’, ‘48 Nuggets for Successful Living’. We organise seminars and conferences on how to be successful. We tell the people to subscribe to these publications. If you subscribe with N10, 800, we give you N15, 000. If you subscribe with N18, 000, we give you N23, 000. I had about 30,000 subscribers and I was paying them”.
According to him, when he left Agbor for Lagos, his desire was to expand his subscription base but his subscribers were impatient.
“If they allowed me to hold the conference in Lagos, I would have paid them,” he claimed.
However, some of his victims who have continued to throng the EFCC office, since his arrest, described him as a “fraud”.
One of them, Janet Amaka Okafor, said the Bishop sold a dummy to them by claiming that he was from the famous Gideons International, based in the United States.
She said: “He organised seminars in Agbor market that he was from Gideons International and that their mission was to help eradicate poverty in Nigeria.
“He told us that unlike in the past when Gideons International distributed Bibles and Christian literatures, their mission now was to eradicate poverty”.
On how she became a victim of the scheme, Okafor, 35, who claims she has never participated in any Ponzi scheme in the past said she fell for his tricks because the “Bishop” swore with the Bible.
“The Bishop knelt down and swore with the Bible. He convinced us that he was from Texas, USA and we believed him. I subscribed with N10, 800 and he paid me N15, 000. It was after this that he engaged over 60 of us as canvassers. I brought many people including my relations and friends. All together, they invested over N5 million”.
Another victim, Bessie Nwadibire, 67, said the Bishop was very deceptive from the beginning.
“When he came to the market he gave out drinks and dashed some people money as much as N50, 000 as he said the poverty rate in Nigeria was too high,” Nwadibire said, praying and hoping that the Bishop will be made to refund her money.
Expressing gratitude that the EFCC has arrested the Bishop, she said, “Before he was arrested, we went into hiding, because all the people who invested their money into the business through me have threatened to kill me unless I refund their money. The money is over N8, 000, 000 (Eight Million Naira) only”.
The same tale of woes has become the lot of Wisdom Aderemor Okpuzor, a civil servant based in Agbor.
Okpuzor who said she had to flee her home for fear of being attacked described the Bishop as “callous and evil”.
The suspect will soon be arraigned in court. (NAN)
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