The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos ( UNILAG ), Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe has urged Joy Nwanna, a former student, and blogger, Linda Ikeji, to appear before its sexual harassment panel.
The VC who made the appeal Monday at the Senate chambers said the appearance of the duo would help the Prof Chioma Agonmo-led panel to unravel Joy’s allegations of sexual harassment against Prof Segun Awonusi of the university’s English department.
He assured them of protection should they come forward.
In May, Linda Ikeji featured a post of semi-nude photographs of Awonusi sent by Nwanna who accused him and others in the university’s English department of sexual harassment.
Nwanna was a student of the University between 2012/2013 and 2015/2016 academic sessions.
In investigating the matter, Prof Ogundipe said the five-member panel dug into contacts from Miss Nwanna’s student records and tried reaching out to her and her next of kin but met a brick wall.
“She gave us the name of the next of kin, Samuel Nwanna. His number is 08060971976. We called but it did not go through.
Her sponsor is as Idighisai Grace. The phone number is 07033543627. We got in touch but it was another person that responded.
The number with us concerning Joy Nwanna is 07035574747. It was one Yakubu Idris that picked the call.
This particular individual had different personalities. If she is ready to attend to the request of the panel, we will give her necessary cover.
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And even Linda Ikeji, who is an alumnus, we are appealing that as a proud alumnus of this university, she should assist this university to get to the bottom of this issue so that the name of the University will not be ridiculed.
“The email address she used to getting across to our University man (Awonusi), we sent a mail but got no reply.”
The VC said Awonusi on his part had appeared before the panel twice.
“Awonusi submitted a written report; the committee looked at the report. He submitted the email she sent to him and appeared before the panel twice,” he said.
Unfortunately, Ogundipe said the panel got no response from any other students regarding the sexual harassment case.
“The panel called on other students who had information about the case or others to come forward but nobody came forward,” he said.
Ogundipe said the University would not rule out using law enforcement agencies to trace Nwanna.
The VC urged members of the public with relevant information on the victim to help the University with the investigation.
He said: “The alleged victim was identified as Miss Joy Nwanna by Prof Awonusi in the course of his interactions with the Panel. Student records of Miss Joy revealed that she was admitted into the Department of English as a direct entry student in the 2012/2013 session.
She graduated from the University in 2015/2016 academic session.
“All attempts made by the fact finding panel to contact Miss Nwanna by the telephone numbers in her student records and by e-mail proved abortive.
The panel also attempted to contact Linda Ikeji to convince the alleged victim to come forward but Linda Ikeji was not forthcoming in that regard.
“The preliminary investigations have raised certain questions and issues that need to be investigated further. Investigations are ongoing. The University is making efforts to confirm the authenticity or otherwise of the pictures that were released.
The University also requires Miss Joy Nwanna to come forward to substantiate the allegations.
“The Press and general public are urged to assist the University by impressing it on Miss Joy Nwanna to come forward to substantiate her claim.
An appeal is also made to Linda Ikeji to convince the victim to appear before the panel and state her side of the story.
“The University assures both Miss Joy Nwanna and Linda Ikeji of necessary protection should they decide to come forward.”