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Vice Chancellor Sam Uniamikogbo, Reconsider Sanctions on Student Judith Okosun of the Ambrose Alli University

Clearly the frenzy triggered by Engineer Peter Otubu and student Judith
Okosun in July, 2010 which not long ago rocked the institution just
before the very recent students ‘protest certainly warranted a very
strong administrative action to serve as a huge deterrence, and you
have done so, fully.

Clearly the frenzy triggered by Engineer Peter Otubu and student Judith
Okosun in July, 2010 which not long ago rocked the institution just
before the very recent students ‘protest certainly warranted a very
strong administrative action to serve as a huge deterrence, and you
have done so, fully.

As you may know, I also called for some type of crisis management in my
previous writing, by recommending some form of crisis counseling which
I hope was considered.

Sir, the recent news of Engr. Peter Otubu’s dismissal from the
institution is greatly welcomed as it demonstrates a leadership style
that is helpful in aggressively bringing professionalism and quality
assurance back to university governance.  Mr. Otubu’s action was a
clear sign of miscarriage of academic integrity.

Sir, Judith Okosun, the 400-level Mechanical Engineering student
reportedly got a suspension of six semesters, and all reasonable minds
will agree that the student certainly needed to be sanctioned as your
administration has noted in regards to the reality that Judith “was
aware of the university’s rules and regulations and once any student
violates any of the rules, that student will be disciplined.’’  Any
reasonable person will certainly agrees with you.

But here is the problem; this is not the first time that a lecturer had
demanded sex from students for grades, as the now former engineering
lecturer once helped the university authorities to stop a lecturer who
was in a hotel to prepare his grade book using the mode of sexual
molestation of students as a guide.

For those of us with experience in academic leadership and who see the
world through the prism of human psychology, it is generally accepted
that a professor at all times must avoid lapses in judgment or shun
lack of control when involved in any type of student situation.

Sir, you will agree that a university instructor is far more powerful
within the halls of any school; he or she is way more matured, and less
socially awkward than any student. And in his or her relationship with
students the spirit of legal and moral responsibilities must be his or
her guide in order to protect a student, no matter how troubled is the

Sir, even when you consider the fact that there are students that are
more socially sophisticated, physically advanced or romantically as
well as sexually experienced than an instructor, it is a serious
ethical breach for a lecturer not to act as a lecturer!
Sir, my point is simple, in any teacher/student connection the student
by history and the law, is the vulnerable partner.

This entire issue, however , is poisoned by societal challenges in a
country like Nigeria where the powerful prey on the weak due to an
ingrained spirit of bribery, mistrust, exploitation, poor policing, and
weak legal penalties, as a consequence, leaving institutions like the
universities closed-in, trapped in, stuck in the middle  and helpless.

The Peter Otubu and Judith Okosun sexual saga is a  latent, or even a
direct symptom  of limited funds,  lack of ethical teachers,  deficient
classrooms, and  poor learning resources  as these factors add up to
adversely affect the institutional health and educational  environment
of  higher institutions in a very challenging nation like Nigeria.

Many universities lack the resources to focus on professional
development and training of lecturers, as this is the main way to
strengthen an educational community like yours.

Sir, as an academic yourself, you will agree that to adequately modify
expectations and attitudes of both students and instructors as it
relates to the current case especially, constant training and brush-up
are required to steadily enhance faculty/staff quality. It is important
that all instructors become certified through mandated completion of
trainings in the areas of sexual harassment prevention, and student
education privacy.

Sir you will agree that the almost lifeless infrastructures that
currently exist in schools like yours have certainly contributed the
chronicity of stressors like the Otubu and Okosun mischief.

To enhance institutional effectiveness, especially for the students,
efficient water flow, stable electrical power and video monitors are
needed to ensure safety and security for all.

To the disadvantage of the university community, the institutional
environment lacks functional basic medical and mental health care
services that are required to help provide stress counseling and
physical examinations.  Also, lacking are recreational facilities
within the universities and students’ activity centers that meet
international standards.  As such, some students and even some
instructors find themselves responding to various stressors by turning
to prostitution, kidnapping and cultism as coping methods.

Sir, I humbly as that the school authorities provide  Judith Okosun a
rehabilitation plan  that meets her counseling needs as it relates to
her problems thereby  helping to  address her character weakness, and
not just the punishment aspects of this case.

Sir, using your discretion,  she should be asked to immediately write a
letter of apology to  the entire school, a hand written 2000 words
while in therapy and the  reported  suspension of six semesters should
be reduced to two semesters.

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Thank you or “Obulu” for all you are doing in the area of academic

John Egbeazien Oshodi, Ph.D., DABPS; FACFE; is a Licensed
Clinical/Forensic Psychologist; Diplomate of American Board of
Psychological Specialties; Fellow of American College of Forensic
Examiners (For Psy); Former Interim Associate Dean and an Assistant
Professor of Psychology, Broward College - North Campus, Florida.
[email protected]

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