A LECTURER at the Obafemi Awolowo University’s International Relations Department, Olabisi Olaleye, who has been fingered in a case of sexual harassment divorced his wife years ago because “man cannot survive on only one type of food”, a source close to the former couple has disclosed to our Correspondence.
The source, who asked to be kept anonymous in order not to strain family relationships, said Olaleye met his wife, Adebisi Joko, sometime in 2005 when they were both undergraduates at Obafemi Awolowo University. She, a practising nurse, studied Nursing and Midwifery while he was a student of International Relations.
Motunrayo Afolayan, a fourth-year student IRS department, recently filed a complaint against him, alleging that he failed her in IRS 305 (Diplomacy) for refusing his sexual advances.
PREMIUM TIMES reported that when she registered for the course the following session, the lecturer warned that “she would fail again and again if she refuses to sleep with him”.
According to the source, Olaleye hails from Ekiti State and his former wife is from Ijebu-Ode, Ogun state. They had two children while married. When he was appointed as a lecturer shortly after his graduation in 2007/8, “he started womanising and drinking first-class”.
“He stopped coming to Ijebu. Later, he called his wife and said he wanted a divorce,” the source narrated.
“They asked why and he said he prefers a life where he can sleep around with women to staying with one woman. What he had was more psychological, but the problem with OAU is I don’t think they profile most of their lecturers before appointing them.
“He told his wife and people who bothered asking in confidence. He said in Yoruba that one cannot be eating amala every single day, you have to add other meals, and a man cannot do without being promiscuous.”
At various times, Joko discussed her problems with senior lecturers and professors at the university, but the attitude she met shocked her: Many said as a lecturer it is normal to be lustful.
“They said, besides, they’ve done all those things too and that he will eventually get back his senses. So that place was like a cesspit of sexual harassment.
“It got to a stage that his wife had to fight a student on campus and they were like what is happening? Is it that bad? Is he not just befriending her? She got there one evening and saw the student. She had to report to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC) then, and the wife of the DVC told her what I don’t believe any sane person would say.
“She was like, ‘Our own daddy too, that is how he did then before he grew old. Old age will collect the habit from him. You cannot tell a lecturer not to have affairs with students at OAU. It has become endemic at the university and that is why it is very hard for them to mete out sanctions. Everybody has a dossier of everybody’s secrets.”
His wife said after a couple of visits to the school, a female professor, who was married to another lecturer, called her and said, “See, Mummy Femi, all this you’re saying, you see when you finish, they all used to make a mockery of you. That’s how they behave.”
Olaleye reportedly told his former wife he needed to divorce because he did not want to cause her pain as he could not stop having extramarital affairs. Our source said the lecturer disclosed in past conversations that he is not the only university employee who prefers to be unmarried in order not to feel guilty about their sexual profligacy.
When reached out to Joko, she declined to give comments and said she has decided against speaking to journalists about the matter.
“I prefer my girls slim”
Since PREMIUM TIMES published its report on Wednesday, fresh pieces of evidence have been leaked and circulated on the Internet, especially containing conversations said to be between Olaleye and a number of female students.
“When are we screwing?” he asked point-blank in one of the chats.
In a conversation with a different student, also undisclosed, he wrote: “Do you know I wanted you to allow me view some other good images of yours. I like your stature … so good.” And in yet another chat, “Mr Bisi” said he gets horny each time he comes in contact with the female student. “I want to fuck you,” he said. “Missing your sexy pussy o.” After hours of silence from the student, he added: “You go kill person o. Baby. I miss you.” On a different date, he asked the girl, whom he referred to as Veevee, to send pictures of her breasts and genitals though she said she was menstruating.
Also, in a leaked audiotape, reportedly of a conversation between the lecturer and Afolayan, Olaleye repeatedly propositioned the student and urged her to hug him though she was audibly uncomfortable. Another man, identified in the tape as Sikiru, was in the office with the duo. Referring to the lecturer as “Uncle B”, Sikiru said he has the power to change her B to A and her C to B if she complies.
“So nothing good will emerge from your Nazareth?” the lecturer asked her. He then turned his attention to Sikiru and enquired about a different female student.
“Is she slim or big?” he asked.
“Ah no,” he continued after Sikiru said she was not slim. “This girl is big o, and one person is enjoying this? Look at her neck. Ah ah! Ah, it seems you also like fat girls? Not me. I prefer them slim. Ehn ehn! The girl who is seated there looks like my mom… But she cannot be a virgin.”
“Hug me. If you don’t hug me, I won’t leave you. At least, hug me a little,” he urged Afolayan. “Don’t annoy me. Come here. Don’t you want to hug me? Hug me. But once you do so, you will treat me very well. If you know you won’t do that, don’t bother hugging me. Be fast; hug me from the back and kiss me.”
Olaleye’s phone(s) was switched off when dialled two of his numbers on Monday, and texts sent to him have yet to be replied.
OAU’s possible violation of harassment policy
Obafemi Awolowo University through its Anti-Sexual Harassment Policy published in 2013 has committed to maintaining decent relationships between staff, students, and members of the university community. The policy recommends sanctions for misconducts ranging from suspension, demotion, loss of remuneration, loss of promotion, dismissal, and, for students, expulsion, warning, and eviction from the halls of residence.
It also states that sanctions shall be implemented within the shortest time possible, “preferably four to 10 weeks of the report”. But it is possible the case against Olaleye has already stretched beyond this recommended timeframe.
PREMIUM TIMES reported that Olaleye appeared before the probe panel in November and Afolayan, the complainant, told our correspondence she lodged the petition a month earlier—making it already over 12 weeks with the management still yet to reach a final resolution.
Abiodun Olanrewaju, the university spokesperson, however, said the clock starts ticking when a panel is set up not when a complaint is lodged.
“We are the ones that know when we set up the panel without external prompting,” he said.
“So allow us to do what we want to do. All the parties, in this case, will get justice. We wouldn’t want to stampede into doing anything, neither do we have the intention of coercing anybody into doing anything negative either. We want to give everybody a long rope to pull so by the time the recommendation of the panel comes out, everybody will know that we have done justice to all parties.”
He declined to say exactly when the panel was established and said that piece of information is for “internal consumption”.
Last week, the university said though Olaleye has not been indicted yet, it has decided to suspend him and halve his salary “based on preliminary evidence”.
Meanwhile, a student leader at the International Relations department who does not want his identity disclosed, said many students are sceptical and suspect the university management might sweep the case under the carpet.
“My evaluation so far is that students are not ready to back down on this until there is a verdict,” he said. “And with the way things are, based on the popular agitation, what they want is total dismissal.”