By Florence Ebebe, Education Editor
The management of the University of Lagos has said that there is no substance in the allegation of sexual harassment made by a certain Miss Joy Nwanna against Professor S. Awonusi, a Professor in the Department of English at the University.
At a press conference held in the Senate building by the Vice Chancellor Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe to address the unfortunate issue, which has lingered for a while in the media, since the allegation was first reported in Linda Ikeji’s blog sometime in May this year, the university’s helmsman stated that:
“Following the publication and the resulting negative publicity experienced by the University community, Management set up a Fact Finding Panel to look into the allegation and make appropriate recommendations based on its findings. The Panel consisted of five Professors, three female and two male, drawn from different departments in the University.
“The Panel conducted its investigations and recently submitted its report. Preliminary findings indicate that the allegation of sexual harassment was not substantiated by the alleged victim or any other person.”
He said that the alleged victim was identified as Miss Joy Nwanna by Profesor Awonusi in the course of his interactions with the Panel, and that Student records of Miss Joy Nwanna reveal that she was admitted into the Department of English as a direct entry student in the 2012/2013 session. The panel also found out that Miss Joy graduated from the University in 2015/2016 academic session.
He said the university was worried that all attempts made by the Fact Finding Panel to contact Miss Nwanna by the telephone numbers in her student records and by mail proved abortive. The Panel, he added, also attempted to contact Linda Ikeji-publisher of the story, to convince the alleged victim to come forward but Linda Ikeji was not forthcoming in that regard.
He went on to state that the preliminary investigations have raised certain questions and issues that need to be investigated further, to this end, he urged the Press and general public to assist the university by impressing it on Miss Joy Nwanna to come forward to substantiate her claim.
‘The University assures both Miss Joy Nwanna and Linda Ikeji of necessary protection should they decide to come forward. In the interim the University will continue with its investigations and will leave no stone unturned in getting to the root of this matter. Regular updates will be made available to the public as events unfold,” he further assured.