Published On: Wed, Jun 19th, 2013

Controversy as Disgraced DELSU Lecturer Opts for Civil Settlement

Disgraced DELSU lecturer Ifeanyi Ugwu Raphael

By Brisibe Perez
LAGOS JUNE 19TH ( URHOBOTODAY) The issue of the alleged rape involving one Mr. Ifeanyi Ugwu Raphael, a lecturer at the Theatre Arts Department of the Delta State University, Abraka, Delta State and a female 400 level student (Name withheld) of the same department took a different twist on Tuesday 18th June, 2013 at the Ughelli Area Command as the lecturer who had earlier reported the case at the Abraka Police Station through his counsel, suddenly opted for an amicable civil settlement of the matter, out of Court.
At the briefing held at the Ughelli Area Command which had in attendance, representative of the police, the female student in question, her parents and counsel to both parties, however Mr. Ifeanyi was conspicuously absent, though according to his counsel couldn’t avail himself at the meeting owing to his ill health.
At the end of the meeting held behind closed door, it was disclosed via counsel to Mr. Ifeanyi that his client has resolved to settle the matter in a civil manner. This, it was gathered that after the police from the Ughelli Area Command had sent an investigative team to the school to confirm the true facts behind the matter. To kick start the purported settlement, the police asked both parties to return on Friday for further briefing.
When contacted on the intended civil settlement, the Area Command Officer of the Ughelli Command, Mr. Aworisola Awotind said, “The issue of an intended civil settlement by both parties have not been brought to my table, so I am not aware of that.”
The case which was earlier reported at the Abraka Police Station had since been transferred to the Ughelli Area Command, owing to the fact that the female student in question resides within the command.
Meanwhile, in a quick reaction to the purported civil settlement, a Non-Governmental Organisation, Delta Women NGO which had earlier waded into the matter in what it termed as rape on the women, said it is wrong of the police in cognizance with the counsel to Mr. Ifeanyi to settle the matter in a civil manner.
Speaking in a phone chat with Urhobo Today, founder/CEO of Delta Women, Ms. Elsie Ijoroju-Reed said, “The issue of rape is a criminal matter and hence, should be treated as such. The lecturer in question should be punished for his deed.
“It doesn’t matter if he succeeded in raping the girl or not, what matters is that, there was a criminal act and he should be punished for such. Else it could happen to the next girl and if nothing is done; the next culprit could go unpunished. All we want is that the matter should be properly investigated and if any of the parties involved are found to be lying, either the girl or the lecturer, that person should be punished.
“Sexual harassment is a criminal matter, not a civil case were one has the liberty to ‘settle’ outside court. It is absolutely disheartening and shameful that the police, and even lawyers – the ones who actually seek to represent victims, collect money to cover up crimes. So much for scrupulous workmanship. Delta Women asserts that proper investigation should be carried out and the guilty should be punished.
“Even if the girl lied – not investigating is a slap to girls that are genuinely harassed. If it is found that the girl was lying, she should be punished because her conduct makes it dangerous for the girls who are seriously harassed. The lecturer should also be punished for going into the girls’ hostel!” She added.
It was gathered that, as a result of his (Mr. Ifeanyi) humiliation after the incident following his reporting of the incident at the Abraka Police Station, the victim reported herself on Thursday (13th June) at the Abraka police station, prior to the case being transferred to the Ughelli Command, she was detained and was release the next day.
In an SMS sent to the DELSU Dean of Student Affairs, Prof. Temi Akporuno by the NGO through its CEO, reads, “Sir, this is Elsie Ijorogu Reed CEO of Delta Women. We heard that till now, no disciplinary action has been taken against Ifeanyi and the school and the police that is supposed to protect our children are now treating this case as a civil matter. I want to let you know that we would not rest till justice is served and that such incident does not happen to another girl and your school is held accountable.”
According to her, on receipt of my SMS, the Dean called back stating that, the school is not part of the purported settlement.
“The school is dealing with the matter. Both parties have been queried and they have both responded. The lecturer in question is currently under suspension. whether they settle out of court or not, that is none of our business because the school has its ways of resolving such issues. They have no business taking the matter to Ughelli in the first instance, the name of the school is at stake in this matter,” he added.

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