Unizik VC removes lecturer accused of sexual harassment, begins investigation

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By Joe Chukindi

Vice Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Prof Charles Esimone has removed a lecturer in the faculty of Law, Mr Afam Ezeaku, over allegation of sex harassment.

Special Adviser to the Vice Chancellor on Public Relations and Special Duties, Dr Emmanuel Ojukwu, stated this in a press release issued to journalists on Friday.

Ojukwu, however, stated that it was not true that students of the university protested against sexual harassment in the institution.

Media reports had quoted protesters as saying the Vice Chancellor of not acting on a report by a panel headed by Prof Obi Oguejiofor, which indicted Ezeaku.

“It is important to state that there was no protest of any sort in the university.

“However, there is an ongoing investigation concerning alleged sexual harassment by some lecturers. The Vice Chancellor immediately removed the affected lecturers from their official positions and issued those affected strong warning letters in the affected departments,” he said.

He said the handicap of the university is that the students who alleged sexual harassment were not forthcoming to testify before the investigation panel.

Ojukwu said the Vice Chancellor additionally summoned the affected departments to a meeting where he expressed the university’s displeasure and warned lecturers and staff to desist from all actions that will bring the name of the university to disrepute.

He said the VC warned that the university management will severely punish erring staff especially those who are molesting or sexually harassing students.

Ojukwu said: “The Vice Chancellor has therefore made a dedicated telephone number available to enable students report all forms of harassment by staff especially sexual harassment.

“He further assured students of the renewed determination of the university to protect them and treat all forms of allegations of sexual harassment with the seriousness it deserves and confidentially.”

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