The UNN Lecturer Who Was Dismissed Might Not be Guilty. Here is Why

The UNN Lecturer

The UNN Lecturer that has been dismissed has been a controversial issue for days. The truth is that he might not be guilty, here is the argument. Read Every line well, to understand Nwankwo Nwaezeigwe’s view.

The UNN Lecturer: Why an Nze na Ozo cannot be Freely Brought to Trial in his Own Obi? – Nwankwo T. Nwaezeigwe, PhD, DD

Once upon a time, in a faraway village in Southeast Nigeria. A furious crowd gathered outside the grand compound of a respected man called Nze Obibundo. They accused him of being caught in a compromising situation with a woman named Mgbeke. Who happened to be the wife of Okonicha. Before the situation escalated, the village elders intervened. However, they reminded everyone that according to their customs, once someone entered the inner chambers of an esteemed man’s home, they became part of his household. Therefore, Mgbeke was now considered Nze Obibundo’s wife and the crowd dispersed.

The Allegations of Sexual Harassment Against University Lecturers

I have been watching with interest the recent wave of allegations of sexual harassment against university lecturers across Nigeria. From Lagos to Akwa Ibom, and from Rivers to Nsukka, it seems that university administrations are struggling to handle the accusations levelled by female students and their supporters. Nevertheless, these students often resort to blackmail and false accusations when they don’t get the grades they desire.

It is concerning to see university administrations immediately involve law enforcement without first addressing these allegations internally. Nonetheless, this not only undermines university autonomy. Furthermore, it leaves lecturers vulnerable to false accusations by students who may not understand the complexities of the lecturer-student relationship.

Sexual harassment allegations should not be taken lightly, but they must be handled with care and fairness. Simply catching a lecturer in a compromising situation does not automatically make them guilty, especially that of Prof Mfonobong Udoudom, the UNN lecturer. The dynamics of the university environment, where some female students seek independence or engage in promiscuous behaviour, must be taken into account.

The Prima Facie Evidence

Although, it is unjust to rely solely on prima facie evidence to determine guilt. Internal university mechanisms are better suited to handle these cases, as they understand the nuances of lecturer-student relationships. Additionally, the academic performance of the alleged victims should be considered, as many of them may be seeking to manipulate the system for better grades.

There is no law prohibiting amorous relationships between lecturers and students, as evidenced by cases where such relationships have led to marriage. However, students who falsely accuse lecturers of sexual harassment should face consequences for their actions.

In my own experience, I have faced false accusations and attempted setups by both students and colleagues. These incidents highlight the need for thorough investigations and protections for lecturers.

Succumbing To Public Pressure

University authorities need to uphold their autonomy and not succumb to public pressure. Bringing cases of sexual harassment to external courts undermines trust between lecturers and students. The university should remain a place of learning and inquiry, not a battleground for legal disputes.

Furthermore, universities must be vigilant in addressing allegations of sexual harassment while ensuring fair treatment for all parties involved. It is essential to follow established procedures and avoid succumbing to public pressure. Just as an elder cannot be easily tried in his own home, university lecturers should be afforded the same respect within their academic institutions.

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