The management of the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE) has suspended the immediate past Head of the Department of Theatre and Media Arts who is an Associate Professor, Dr. Desen Jonathan Mbachaga, over allegation of sexual molestation of his supervisee.
According to reports it was had revealed that Dr. Mbachaga, was facing a panel set up by the Faculty of Arts for allegedly sleeping with a female student.
Mbachaga was fond of sexually harassing female students, especially those under his supervision.
He was said to be in the habit of deliberately failing female students that refused his sexual overtures. It was learnt that the case that finally landed him in trouble involved a student in the department who he made to lose one academic year because she refused to yield to his sexual demands.
The student, it was learnt, was initially assigned to be supervised by a former head of the department, Dr, Femi Adeseye. However, upon his assumption as Head of Department, Dr. Mbachaga, was said to have re-assigned the student to himself. It was learnt that he had been asking the girl out since she was in 200 Level but she did not succumb.
However, a statement by the media office of FUOYE Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Abayomi Sunday Fasina, on Tuesday and signed by the Chief Information Officer to the Vice-Chancellor, Mr. Foluso Ogunmodede, said Mbachaga was suspended on the grounds of a prima facie evidence of sexual harassment established against him by a panel set up by the institution’s Faculty of Arts, which investigated the allegation.
The suspension is with immediate effect. However, a five-member Committee has been set up by the Vice-Chancellor to further probe the allegation with a view to getting to the root of the allegation of sexual molestation.
Ogunmodede said, “The Vice-Chancellor of FUOYE, Prof. Abayomi Sunday Fasina, who has zero-tolerance for indiscipline and any form of sexual harassment against students of the institution, has consequently approved the suspension of Dr. Mbachaga to allow for proper investigation into the matter.”
“The VC has also mandated the Dean Faculty of Arts, Prof. Tajudeen Opoola, to conduct a proper investigation into another allegation of sexual harassment against another lecturer in the same department and submit a report in due time for necessary actions.
“The current management of the University will do its best to clean the system of all social vices.”
The embattled lecturer had earlier resigned his appointment but his letter was rejected. The university insisted that he could not go until the ongoing investigation is completed.
A competent source close to the panel, who spoke to the press on the issue said the university needed to let the whole world know that it does not condone sexual harassment.
The source, who explained that the panel report was still a tentative report, added that the embattled lecturer would still face two other panels.
“The lecturer will still face the university disciplinary council, which will make the final recommendations before anything can happen.
“The university has a process, he was asked to go on suspension, it is easy to hire but it’s not easy to fire. We must also ensure that he too has a fair hearing. Everybody is entitled to a fair hearing.
“We invited the student, we called for her results, she was a weak student too, she has two other carry-overs, but we have to treat her case on its own merit. That is why the lecturer was suspended,” the source added.