Professor Joseph Opefiyitimi, a lecturer in the Department of African Languages at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), has stated that the accusation leveled by one of his students was a blatant lie, as she was the one who requested him to have an affair with her.
Remember that Professor Joseph was accused of sexually abusing one of his students, (name withheld) when she went to meet him in his office last month for an academic discussion.
How it all started; OAU student Narrates how Prof Joseph Opefeyitimi
A female student at Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Osun State, has revealed that her lecturer, Professor Joseph Opefeyitimi, sexually assaulted her.
The unnamed student claimed that after inviting her to his office, the professor rubbed his manhood on her in his office, saying he wanted orgasm.
She detailed this in a letter titled ‘Report of Sexual Assault and Molestation Against Professor Ayo Opefeyitimi’ and addressed to the Department of Linguistics & African Languages at OAU.
“My name is XXX, and my matric number is XXX,” she wrote. I am writing to inform you of an unpleasant experience I had with one of my lecturers, Prof. Opefeyitimi, on Friday, March 18, 2022.
“He sent me a WhatsApp message on Thursday, 17th asking me to see him in his office the following day between 8 am and 2 pm. As a lecturer who I respected so much, I obliged and never questioned his order.
“I got to his office around 1: 23 pm. He told me that he only wanted to ask about what was going on on the campus since he wasn’t on campus the previous day.
“I was astounded to hear that but I told him to take the Road 7 route when ready to go home because Road 1 was blocked.
“He asked me to sit down and he asked me the reason why the road was blocked then I told him that I didn’t really know and heard that it was all about the appointment of the new VC.
“He decided to leave the office immediately and he packed his things, saying that I was a godsend to him because it was almost 2 pm and he needed to pick up his son from school.
“He carried the bag and as we were about to leave the office, I offered to help him with the bag but he declined and I headed for the door.
“He grabbed me from behind and held me so tight. At this point I was in shock, then he said and I quote “Mo fẹ́ kí èmi àti ẹ jọ wà papọ̀ ni [thrice] but problem tí mo ní tẹ́lẹ̀ ni boy XXX yẹn but mi ò rò pé ó yẹ kó jẹ́ problem mọ́” meaning ‘I want us to be together, the problem was that boy (name withheld) but I don’t think that should be a problem any longer’.
“At this point, he had already dropped the big bag he was carrying and he held me with his other hand.
“He made me sit on his lap and was groping me, he then said again “Mi ò mọ bí a ṣe fẹ́ ṣe é tí o fi máa graduate pẹ̀lú 2:1 kí o lè padà wá ṣe master’s” (I don’t know how to ensure you graduate with a 2:1 so you can come back to this school for master’s degree).
“Then I told him that he should let me go and that I will come back to see him some other day just to free myself of him.
“He didn’t answer me when I said that but he stood up from the chair still forcefully holding me and dragged me to the couch in his office.
“By this time, he had already pulled down his trousers, (and) brought out his erect penis. He grabbed my right hand and used it to rub his sexual penis. It happened so quickly that I was petrified.
“He continued to rub his penis and I was so distressed by the entire situation that I lost count of time. In order to appeal to him to release his hold on me, I then told him that I needed to leave his office immediately because I was already taking too long and someone was patiently waiting for me downstairs.
“But he replied me and said ‘Gbogbo time tí mo ní pẹ̀lú ẹ báyìí kò ju 5mins lọ, jọ̀wọ́ bá mi ṣe é mo kàn fẹ́ come ni (I won’t stay longer than 5 minutes, please do it, I just want to come); I won’t touch you today please because I didn’t inform you before.’
“I begged him that I was not comfortable at all that he should please let me go, but he didn’t listen to me. He laid down on his couch and was using my hand to stroke his penis.
“At some point, he stood up, dragged me to his table, turned my back to him and was rubbing his manhood on me. At this point, all my pleas to him to please release me fell on deaf ears.
“He pinned me there against the table, rubbing his penis on my back, repeating over and over again, “O ṣe é, O ṣe é” (thank you).
“Taking advantage of my vulnerability because he is physically stronger than me, he sexually assaulted, molested, and violated me.
“He used both his physical strength and high office and power as a professor in the Department of African Languages and Literatures to sexually impose himself on me, despite my pleas to him that I did not want his violent actions and forced attack on me.
“For how long he was doing this to me, I could not tell because my heart was beating so fast out of fear, and I was drenched in sweat from a panic attack.
“When he finally freed me, he asked me if I would see him 8 am on Monday and I said ‘No’.
“He asked me why? Out of fear for my life and safety, I told him that it was because my place was far. I was trying hard to say whatever would make him release me. I had never been so terrified as I was that day in his office.
“He asked me where my place was. And I told him that I live at Aba Iya Gani. He then offered to come and pick me (up) but I declined, after which he asked me if I knew Olatoke Hotel at Opa. I said I did not know the place and he said that was no problem; that anytime I’m free to come on Monday, nobody will disturb him and then he gave me a thousand naira (N1,000) for transportation.
“I collected the money because I believed he wouldn’t have allowed me to go if I didn’t collect it from him. When we finally left the office, he sent me a message on WhatsApp thanking me and he asked if I would be on campus by 10 am on Monday and I told him that I didn’t think so.
“Then he said, ‘Okay, hope you are not traveling?’ And I didn’t reply him till now. The entire situation has left me feeling so traumatized. This is an obvious abuse of power in which my faith in someone who has been a teacher and mentor, someone that I look up to and had maximum respect for since the very day I entered this University, has been exploited.
“Professor Opefeyitimi teaches a class that I currently take, and he has the power to fail me or give me any grade that he pleases. In addition, I took another class with him, and he has not yet released the grade for that class.
“My career depends on the grades he gives me. I believe his failure to fully penetrate me in his office frustrated him, and I was lucky that I wore tight trousers that he was unable to yank down.
“I remain grateful to God that I was not wearing a dress or a skirt that day, otherwise, he would have succeeded in penetrating me, while rubbing his penis on my buttocks.
“Sir, I am writing this message to call your attention to this defiling act and wrongful use of his professorial power and influence.
“I ask that justice be served and to ensure that he does not further harm me physically or in any other way: including removing from my grades; shaming me during classes and learning activities, because I did not cooperate during his molestation, assault and molestation that fateful day in his office, which will never be erased from my memory.
“I expect that Prof. Opefeyitimi is brought to justice. His action was so quick and immediate that I believe I am not his first victim.
“He seemed to have practised this assault before because he seemed to know exactly what to say and what to do, as I looked stupefied before him, and he kept manipulating my body and using his genitalia as a weapon of assault.
“I look forward to hearing from you soon. Thank you.”
Prof Joseph Opefeyitimi denies any Wrong doing.
In a letter addressed to the school’s vice-chancellor, Prof. Tope Ogunbodede, Opefeyitimi denied the allegation of sexual assault, saying the female student was his fiancée and that ‘all that happened in my office was consensual’.
Professor Joseph stated to the panel of judges appointed by the school to investigate the matter that Hannah was his girlfriend even before she was admitted to the university and that he has been helping her both financially and academically for a long time.
He admitted that what occurred in his office was consensual, and he was surprised when the lady reported the incident to the school administration.
He went on to say that he had planned to marry the victim before she reported him.
The professor pleaded with the panel of judges to dismiss the petition because, in his opinion, Hannah staged it in order to avoid marrying him.