A Nigerian court sentenced a university lecturer to jail after he demanded sex from a female student to boost her marks in a landmark ruling designed to address “rampant” sexual harassment on campuses.
Judge Maurine Onyetenu at the Federal High Court in Osogbo found Richard Akindele, a professor at Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, southwest Nigeria, guilty of corruption and sexual harassment on Monday.
His lawyers had asked for a plea bargain after his arraignment on November 19 but the judge rejected the request.
“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,” judge Onyetenu said.
Akindele was found guilty on all four charges and sentenced to two years in jail.
“We cannot continue like this. Somebody has to be used as example. Even primary schools pupils are complaining,” Onyetenu said.
“It is time for the court to start upholding the right of the children, especially female students. The case is endemic,” she added.
A student had come forward in April with a recording of the management and accounting lecturer demanding that she sleep with him or fail the course.
Akindele was arrested and sacked from his job in June.
The ‘sex for marks’ case has struck a nerve in Nigeria, where sexual harassment is an issue but is rarely talked about in public.