The authorities of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, have suspended an associate professor in the Department of Philosophy, Dr. Monday Ibafen for alleged misconduct bordering demanding sex for marks.
News of his suspension was contained in a statement dated February 13 and signed by the university’s spokesman, Mr. Edward Aihevba.
In the statement entitled ‘Suspension of Dr. M.L. Igbafen, Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy, the university said the lecturer had been summoned before the senior staff disciplinary committee and was found blameworthy.
It said a relative of one of the victims had threatened to take the institution to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), if Igbafen wasn’t prosecuted.
“The university community is hereby informed that Dr. M. L. Igbafen, associate professor in the Department of Philosophy, has been suspended from duty following his arraignment before the senior staff disciplinary committee on allegation of gross misconduct bordering on sexual harassment and threats of marks-for-sex.
“He had earlier been accused of this offence and an investigative panel set up, which found him culpable and indicted.
“Recently, there was petition by the family of the female student involved asking that Dr. M. L. Igbafen be brought to book, failing which the university management would be reported to ICPC for failure to act.
“On receipt of the petition, the university management asked for his comments. His response was found unsatisfactory. He was, therefore, arraigned before the senior staff disciplinary committee. As due process demands, he has been suspended from the university pending the determination of the allegation leveled against him.
“He is, therefore, not allowed to participate or be involved in any university duties, activities or functions, except those related to senior staff disciplinary committee during the period of suspension,” said the university.
However, Ibafen, who is AAU’s branch chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), denied the allegation saying it is orchestrated to smear his name in order to cow him.
Speaking in an interview, Ibafen said: “If you have been monitoring developments in AAU, Ekpoma, you will not be surprised that a paper like that is coming from the university administration. It is the climax of a desperate vice chancellor who has so many things to hide, which we will bring to the press.
“We have been battling the vice chancellor who wants to impose himself on the university. I’m doing my job as ASUU chairman. There have been several attempts to make me compromise, but I refused; and when they discovered that they were unable to compromise me, the next thing was to resort to blackmail.
“Ask the vice chancellor, when did this issue of sexual harassment happen? The issue at stake is an attempt to cow the ASUU chairman. We will address a world Press conference to address the issue.”