Centre for Basic Rights Protection and Accountability Campaign has described the suspension of a lecturer from the Captain Elechi Amadi Polytechnic Rumuola, Port Harcourt, Mr. Tamunotonye Zoe Solomon, as a right step in the right direction.
National coordinator of the group, Prince Wiro commended the management of the institution for taking seriously, issues of sexual harassment and exploitation.
Wiro also urged the investigation committee set up by the institution to carry out a thorough investigation and give appropriate recommendation to the school’s management.
Tamunotonye was suspended by the school management in connection with allegations of harassment and exploitation of female students and other acts of misconduct, which management described as prejudicial to the good name of the polytechnic.
According to the institution’s registrar, Chris A. Woke, his suspension took effect from January 10, 2022 and would last for three months, even as the investigation committee is expected to submit its report in one month’s time. The school also disassociated itself completely from the alleged conduct of its staff.
Speaking with TNN in an interview, Wiro said “I think it’s a right step in the right direction, because any institution that takes seriously issue of sexual harassment or sexual exploitation when such issue is brought to the notice of the school, the school is supposed to investigate and to determine if the person or the lecturer that is being accused is culpable.
“I think the school has done well and we are saying that the members of the investigation committee should do their investigation devoid of sentiment, devoid of bias, they should ensure that all side to the issue are thoroughly investigated and give appropriate recommendation to the management of the institution.”
Wiro stressed that the reason why issues of sexual harassment has become rampant in Nigeria institutions is because, “it’s in two ways, one, it appears to be rampant because most times the supposed victims do not speak up, that is one, then secondly, management of some institutions in most cases act in such a manner that portray them as if they are shading the suspect, so some institution’s management do not melt out serious punishment to persons that have been found to have committed such crimes, that is why it’s on the increase because if there are crimes and people perpetrating such crimes are not punished, many others will want to commit same crime, believing that nobody will punish them, so I think that is some of the issues.”
Tamunotonye, a lecturer in Public Administration, before now, had earlier arrested a year two student of accounting department, Blessing Lucky Audu, on Wednesday, December, 29, 2021.
Blessing who spent two nights at the Abacha Road Police Division was accused of collecting N250,000 from the lecturer.
Her mother, Ruth Lucky Audu who debunked the lecturer’s claim and ensured the release of her daughter reported that in April 2021, Blessing informed her that the lecturer employed her as office assistant.
Mrs Audu said her daughter resigned two weeks after she started working for the lecturer, claiming the lecturer started making advances towards her, saying he wanted to marry her.