The case involving a lecturer at the Ogun State College of Health Technology, Ilese, Ijebu, Dr Seyi Adu, who allegedly impregnated a female student of the school, Mosunmola, is far from over.
While the state Ministry of Health said it had set up a panel to probe the matter within seven days, the college said Mosunmola was not a student of the school when she got pregnant.
The school further added that Adu was not an employee of the college, but just an “associate lecturer.”
Although Nigerians who read the story on PUNCH Online and different social media platforms took different sides, they agreed that the Ogun State Government must investigate the case and bring culprits to book.
PUNCH Metro had reported that Adu and Mosunmola had sex in a hotel sometime August 2016, which both parties did not deny.
However, while Adu, who is married with two children, accused the 28-year-old of seducing him, Mosunmola said the lecturer coerced her into the relationship as a precondition to passing his course which she failed.
Efforts by the college’s provost, a dean and head of department, to mediate in the dispute were said to have met a brick wall.
A human rights lawyer with the state ministry of justice was said to have successfully brokered a deal between the duo, wherein Adu agreed to pay Mosunmola a monthly stipend of N5,000 in addition to N7,000 for her ante-natal registration.
Within two months, the agreement broke down after Mosunmola presented a list of items required for her delivery, which she valued at N50,000.
Adu was said to have accused Mosunmola of wanting to turn him into a cash cow.
The Commissioner for Health, Ogun State, Tunde Ipaye, on Tuesday said a panel had been set up to investigate the claims of both parties.
He said, “I heard about the case for the first time from your (The PUNCH) report. I have instructed the Permanent Secretary to invite the lecturer, who is primarily a worker at the ministry. He is just a part-time trainer at the school of health technology. I have asked the PS to set up a committee and I have given him one week to feed me back on the result of the committee. That started yesterday (Monday).
“We are not unmindful of what the requirements of ethical practices are. And we will do the needful. The first thing we will do is to establish culpability. But if our investigation shows he is guilty, we will act. The ministry will handle the case appropriately and whatever the law says we should do, we will do.
“This is a ministry that will not run away from its responsibility. We have handled many cases like this in the past and appropriate actions were taken. Professionalism is professionalism and we will not allow anybody to bring down any institution of government.”
The Public Relations Officer of the college, Ayodele Alaga, said the issue was between two adults, adding that the school had nothing to do with it.
He said, “Damage has been done to the name of our school over this matter. We are talking about two adults who had a mutual agreement. What happened between them was not a case of rape; there was consent. I see no reason why the name of the school has to appear in a situation like that. Are you telling me that what happened between Adu and the lady in question is something that should not happen? I mean, there are lecturers that do marry their students and news will not generate from there. This is not fair and it is not journalism.
“Did you know that the so-called lecturer is not our lecturer, he’s not a worker here? He is just a visiting lecturer and he works in the ministry of health. Are you also aware that as of the time that the pregnancy occurred, the girl in question had graduated from the college? She was not our student and you can come to check our records.”
But readers of The PUNCH Online asked the state government to act on the case and redeem the image of the state.
One Onye Obosi, said, “That is why corruption in our society will never cease. Imagine this man Adu boldly affirming that he slept with his student. What are the school authorities doing about this? He obviously slept with her for marks from the account of this lady. This is common even in the school; a medical school for that matter.
“The issue is not just about the pregnancy. It is unethical for this man Adu to sleep with his student for marks. You see why our degrees and certificates are not worth more than the paper it is written? The Medical Council of Nigeria, the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health, and the appropriate regulatory bodies should properly investigate this issue and apply the necessary sanction…”
Another reader, Dr Jegede Ebenezer, said the lecturer had no excuse for his action, adding that he could have resisted the temptation to sleep with Mosunmola.
“What an absurdity. You were seduced right from your private room to the hotel where the ‘butchery’ took place; seduced to take a personal room at the hotel; also seduced to pay for the room; seduced to lie on the bed and climb on the lady; seduced to leave the hotel and evading the girl thereafter. You better pick up your property as contained in the tummy of the lady before you push yourself into a national trouble.”
But another reader, Chibuzor Ezeuchegbu, said the lecturer was not to blame for the incident.
He said, “I really don’t like the idea of people quickly claiming victim when a transaction didn’t work in their favour. The girl knows she is in a weaker position, people will be eager to listen to her and close their ears to the stronger opponent. Wherever a poor man and a rich man fight, people are bound to quickly submit that the rich man is just intimidating the poor. My stand is that two of them had consensual sex. This is at least one area they both agreed. The other stories, two of them are on different sides, each claiming he or she was seduced. Why should I just believe one?”
The Ogun State Police Command had yet to respond to enquiries on the assault reported by Mosunmola at the Ilese Police Station.