The lecturer, who was sacked over alleged assault on a female student of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Ogba, Lagos, Tene John, has denied assaulting her.
John, who lamented that he had served the NIJ for 10 years without blemish, faulted his sacking, adding that the school admitted that the student’s claim could not be substantiated.
Newsmen had reported the announcement of John’s dismissal after the conclusion of the investigation launched into the victim’s petition by the school management.
The victim, Anjola Ogunyemi, had alleged that she was assaulted by John on December 13, 2019, in his office and thereafter petitioned the school management to demand an investigation into the incident.
Upon the receipt of the petition, the management of the NIJ set up a panel to probe the allegation and on January 20, 2020, announced John’s dismissal in a statement by its Registrar, Dotun Adeniji.
But the lecturer said in a Facebook post on Wednesday that there was no time he sexually assaulted Ogunyemi.
The lecturer added that an hour after Ogunyemi met him in his office, she replied to a Whatsapp chat and even came to his class around 9am.
He said if any harassment had taken place, the victim would not have been in the psychological state to come to his class.
The Facebook post read in part, “On December 17, 2019, I was verbally informed by the Dean of Student Affairs of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Mrs Kalesanwo, that I should appear before a panel over a sexual harassment claim by a student of the institute, Miss Anjola Ogunyemi.
“The said student had alleged that I sexually assaulted her in my office on December 13, 2019, around 7.20am. In her claims, she argued that after I tried to kiss her, I pinned her to the wall by holding her neck so tight, dropped to my knees, removed her panties and licked her down. I am placing it on the record that at no point did I sexually harass Miss Anjola Ogunyemi.
“The primary reason she was in my office on the said date was to sign the attendance register, which had to be re-written because the initial one was messed up. She wasn’t singled out for this. Other students before her had done the same. In the course of signing the attendance, she mentioned that she had got a job that would make attending classes difficult for her. I advised her to change from full-time to part-time to enable her to cope academically. I said I would help make inquiries about that.
“Before Miss Anjola left, she gave me her phone number at that point, I patted her on the back with assuring words, and she even asked if I would be taking the 9am class, in which I jokingly called her ‘olodo’ and answered in the affirmative.
“On the said date, after she left my office, I chatted her up on WhatsApp and she responded by thanking me. She attended my 9am class the same day she alleged that I sexually harassed her, and she also signed the class attendance. How could a person who left my office ‘shaking’, as she said on her social media post, reply to the chat I sent her at 8.46am and sat through my two-hour class? Only Miss Anjola Ogunyemi could explain the reason she chose to tarnish my image.
“However, it came as a shock to me that the institute I had served for over a decade decided to terminate my contract despite the outcome of the three-person panel. In the statement of the institute announcing my dismissal to the world, paragraph four says: ‘It was difficult for the panel to establish correctly a case of sexual harassment in its report, because there were glaring contradictions in the testimonies of the two parties and witnesses’. At this point, it is pertinent to ask the management of the NIJ that on what basis was my contract terminated?
“In my service to the institute, which spanned over 10 years, I had discharged my duties with all sense of responsibility. My next line of action would be communicated accordingly.”