The cliché that ‘anything goes‘ is one that we are quite familiar with in this part of the world; it is a saying that clearly highlights the poor state of the reverence for the rule of law and/or justice system. Time and again, we have seen and heard of how perpetrators of dastardly acts walk free and left off the hook as though nothing happened. This has often left those have been directly short-changed - with respect to having an unbiased judgement - as well as a number of concerned Nigerians frustrated about the unbalanced/ineffectual structure of the justice system.
While the voices of many persons might have been drowned by the prominence of the ‘high and lofty‘ subverters but there remains a few that would not be silenced and with these ones have found a great help in a ‘lousy and never-tiring‘ medium called the Internet.
As you read the topic of this particular discourse, you must have perceive or have an inkling of what inspired the write-up that is about to follow, and as the persons involved have no hiding place to save their shamed faces so has the hand-writing been made profound.
Long before I became a University undergraduate, the issue of sex-for-grade had pervaded the university community and while I traversed my university campus, the matter was never unheard of - then, with the news currently trending, it could be assuredly concluded that the last of the such incidences is yet to be seen or heard of.
The common thing about these events is that we kept hearing the stories of different students that have been alleged abused but never got to hear of concrete disciplinary action(s) being taken against the ‘high-handed‘, erring lecturers that were involved. This alone makes the whole issue look like a norm - a course that further highlights the rot that exists in the justice system firstly in the universities and then the country at large.
It is the lacunae that is noticeable in seeking justice for (female) students who have been picked on by lecturers with wanton desires that spurred Kiki Mordi - with the backing of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) - into action to unravel the faces of perpetrators as we now have on videos that have gone viral on the internet. And, the vastness of this ‘unforgiving‘ tool (that is, the internet), has now drawn huge attention with many persons now raising their voices to call for justice. But then how much of an elixir could this act of public shaming be in a system with long history of unresolved cases surrounding social justice?
It is quite obvious that the purpose of the one-year investigative journalism anchored by Kiki Mordi has achieved its aim - maybe in the interim though. However, in order to achieve a far-reaching outcome, it is incumbent that the authorities [in various universities and other tertiary institutions], as well as, the government take issues hovering around sex-for-grade to heart and work out an effective means of curtailing such incidences in the future. More so, avenues to have students safely report lecturers with illicit advances should be put in place, and such students should be given assurances that there will be no reprisal attack(s) to their life or academics. The ethics committee in these institutions has to be proactive in dealing with these cases to adequately protect the interest of the student body and the institution on the whole.
Without making any attempt to water down the magnitude of the infamy attached to sex-for-grade, it has to be emphasized that there are other forms of abuses that lecturers often subject students to without them (that is, lecturers) being call to order. In such circumstances, these lecturers play ‘god‘ over the students and end up putting students that dared to cross their path into some sort of academic misery. This kind of scenario has sometimes driven some students who could not handle the problem suicidal. All these abuses obviously show the lapses that exist in institutions of higher learning where you expect a high degree of sanctity.
In the meantime however, it is apparent that it is no longer business as usual and issues like we have in the sex-for-grade cases cannot be swept under the carpet. Even if there be any attempt to do so, those that are aiming to do so should be reminded that the internet never forgets.