A lecturer at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Richard Akindele, jailed for sexual harassment has been released from prison after serving a two-year term.
The Cable, an online newspaper, reports that Akindele, a professor of management accounting, was released about two weeks ago.
A Federal High Court in Osogbo, Osun State, in 2018 had sentenced Akindele to prison after he pleaded guilty to four counts filed against him by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission. The Commission had investigated sexual harassment allegations levelled against the professor by a female student, Monica Osagie.
Justice Maureen Onyetenu, who had to stand down the case two times, before finally giving her judgement, rejected a plea bargain agreed by the parties involved and insisted that the professor must be punished as a warning to higher institution lecturers in the habit of molesting female students.
Justice Onyetenu sentenced Akindele to 24 months imprisonment for asking Osagie for a sexual benefit and another 24 months jail term for soliciting sexual benefit from the victim to pass her.
The judge also sentenced Akindele to 12 months imprisonment for deleting parts of the WhatsApp conversation between him and Osagie to conceal evidence against him and sentenced him to another 12 months for falsification of age.
She held that the jail terms would run concurrently implying that the convict would spend 24 months.
In an audio which went viral online, Akindele was heard demanding five rounds of sex from Osagie to award her a pass mark in a course she failed.
Efforts to get official comment from the Nigerian Prisons Service on Friday proved abortive but a reliable source at the NPS confirmed Akindele’s release.
“He was released about two weeks ago having completed his jail term,” the source said.
Akindele appealed against his conviction and the hearing is scheduled at the Court of Appeal, Akure, Ondo State, on May 19.