After the final examination of her two-year National Diploma (ND) programme, Laide Johnson (not real name), a 21-year-old student of Geology at the Polytechnic Ibadan travelled home to Ilaro, Ogun State, for a short holiday.
She was excited to be back home with her parents after about two years away from her loved ones..
As is the practice with other polytechnics, in her school, every graduate at the National Diploma level is required to undergo a compulsory one-year Industrial Attachment (IT) before proceeding for the Higher National Diploma (HND).
So, after spending a few days with her parents, Laide decided to return to school to get a letter of introduction and application for a place for an internship with an organisation of her choice.
She was accompanied by Joke Adeola, her cousin, also a student in the school. At the time, some of her colleagues had collected the same letter from the Industrial Trust Fund (ITF)/SIWES office of the institution and were already making moves to start their industrial attachment.
However, Laide’s case was different—securing a letter for her IT became a Herculean task.
She had what she described as her worst nightmare after an official of the polytechnic told her to have sex with him to collect the IT letter.
On March 3, she visited the ITF office at about 10:00 am but, to her surprise, the officer in charge, identified as Adebayo Akande, told her the collection period had lapsed.
But, after much persuasion, Akande, a non-teaching staff, demanded N1,000 rather than the N200 fee charged for the form and payable to the school’s Micro Finance Bank.
Adeola, Laide’s cousin got her IT letter as far back as December 23, 2019, and paid N200 into the same MFB account. But, Akande, according to her, demanded N1, 000.
“Last year December 23rd, when I wanted to do my IT, I visited the ITF office and I paid N200 into the school microfinance bank,” Adeola disclosed.
But in the case of Laide, at the point of collection, the school official responsible for the issuance of the letter swiftly twisted his demand and asked if he could have his way with either student.
“… he asked if my cousin can ‘play’ with him. And I asked how?” Laide recounted.
“He then responded saying if I know I wanted to get my IT letter, one of us must ‘play’ with him. So, he requested my name and that of my cousin.”
“I told him I was willing to give him any amount but he insisted that he wanted sex by all means.”
For long, Akande troubled Laide, pressuring her via phone calls. So she decided to play along in order to gather evidence against her tormentor.
The ICIR reached out to Adeola to verify claims made by her cousin and she affirmed what her cousin said.
“The man said the letter was finished, so as we were about to leave, he called us back and charged N1,000. Eventually, he collected my cousin’s number that whenever he is through, he would call her.”
Asked if Akande did make sexual advances to them, “Yes, the man said it,” Adeola affirms. “He said I should give him my number but I did not because I did not have anything to do with him, Not until this morning that he said she should come to a hotel to collect the IT letter but before that he would have to have intercourse with her.”