March 5th, 2011
Clearly the frenzy triggered by Engineer
Peter Otubu and student Judith Okosun in July, 2010 which
not long ago rocked the institution just before the very
recent students ‘protest certainly warranted a very strong
administrative action to serve as a huge deterrence, and you
have done so, fully.
As you may know, I also called for some type of crisis
management in my previous writing, by recommending some form
of crisis counseling which I hope was considered.
Sir, the recent news of Engr. Peter Otubu’s dismissal from
the institution is greatly welcomed as it demonstrates a
leadership style that is helpful in aggressively bringing
professionalism and quality assurance back to university
governance. Mr. Otubu’s action was a clear sign of
miscarriage of academic integrity.
Sir, Judith Okosun, the 400-level Mechanical
Engineering student reportedly got a suspension of six
semesters, and all reasonable minds will agree that the
student certainly needed to be sanctioned as your
administration has noted in regards to the reality that
Judith “was aware of the university’s rules and regulations
and once any student violates any of the rules, that student
will be disciplined.’’ Any reasonable person will certainly
agrees with you.
But here is the problem; this is not the first time that a
lecturer had demanded sex from students for grades, as the
now former engineering lecturer once helped the university
authorities to stop a lecturer who was in a hotel to prepare
his grade book using the mode of sexual molestation of
students as a guide.
For those of us with experience in academic leadership and
who see the world through the prism of human psychology, it
is generally accepted that a professor at all times must
avoid lapses in judgment or shun lack of control when
involved in any type of student situation.
Sir, you will agree that a university instructor is far more
powerful within the halls of any school; he or she is way
more matured, and less socially awkward than any student.
And in his or her relationship with students the spirit of
legal and moral responsibilities must be his or her guide in
order to protect a student, no matter how troubled is the
Sir, even when you consider the fact that there are students
that are more socially sophisticated, physically advanced or
romantically as well as sexually experienced than an
instructor, it is a serious ethical breach for a lecturer
not to act as a lecturer!
Sir, my point is simple, in any teacher/student connection
the student by history and the law, is the vulnerable
This entire issue, however , is poisoned by societal
challenges in a country like Nigeria where the powerful prey
on the weak due to an ingrained spirit of bribery, mistrust,
exploitation, poor policing, and weak legal penalties, as a
consequence, leaving institutions like the universities
closed-in, trapped in, stuck in the middle and helpless.
The Peter Otubu and Judith Okosun sexual saga is a latent,
or even a direct symptom of limited funds, lack of ethical
teachers, deficient classrooms, and poor learning resources
as these factors add up to adversely affect the
institutional health and educational environment of higher
institutions in a very challenging nation like Nigeria.
Many universities lack the resources to focus on
professional development and training of lecturers, as this
is the main way to strengthen an educational community like
Sir, as an academic yourself, you will agree that to
adequately modify expectations and attitudes of both
students and instructors as it relates to the current case
especially, constant training and brush-up are required to
steadily enhance faculty/staff quality. It is important that
all instructors become certified through mandated completion
of trainings in the areas of sexual harassment prevention,
and student education privacy.
Sir you will agree that the almost lifeless infrastructures
that currently exist in schools like yours have certainly
contributed the chronicity of stressors like the Otubu and
To enhance institutional effectiveness, especially for the
students, efficient water flow, stable electrical power and
video monitors are needed to ensure safety and security for
To the disadvantage of the university community, the
institutional environment lacks functional basic medical and
mental health care services that are required to help
provide stress counseling and physical examinations. Also,
lacking are recreational facilities within the universities
and students’ activity centers that meet international
standards. As such, some students and even some instructors
find themselves responding to various stressors by turning
to prostitution, kidnapping and cultism as coping methods.
Sir, I humbly as that the school authorities provide Judith
Okosun a rehabilitation plan that meets her counseling needs
as it relates to her problems thereby helping to address her
character weakness, and not just the punishment aspects of
Sir, using your discretion, she should be asked to
immediately write a letter of apology to the entire school,
a hand written 2000 words while in therapy and the reported
suspension of six semesters should be reduced to two
Thank you or “Obulu” for all you are doing in the area of
John Egbeazien Oshodi, Ph.D., DABPS; FACFE; is a Licensed
Clinical/Forensic Psychologist; Diplomate of American Board
of Psychological Specialties; Fellow of American College of
Forensic Examiners (For Psy); Former Interim Associate Dean
and an Assistant Professor of Psychology, Broward College -
North Campus, Florida.