Authorities of the University of Energy and Natural Resources in Sunyani have suspended a student indefinitely for blackmailing female students with their nude pictures and videos.
Benjamin Ofoe, a Level 400 Mechanical Engineering student, was cited for gross indiscipline and insubordination following Joy News investigation into his alleged involvement in the possession and distribution of the pornographic materials.
The scandal forced some traumatised female students to abandon their courses at the University.
Though the attention of authorities was drawn to the misconduct of the final year student, who also served as a Student Representative Council (SRC) executive, no disciplinary action was taken.
All Level 100 and 200 female students, first, received Whatsapp messages inviting them to join Hook Up, a dating network on campus, promising them rich, white partners.
New entrants were required to send nude pictures and videos to an unidentified person via a Tigo, Vodafone or MTN number to facilitate the process.
The unsuspecting students, after sending the nude materials later received threatening messages from unidentified numbers, asking them to pay between GHS800 and GHS4,300 or risk seeing the nude photos leaked.
They are also asked to offer sex to the anonymous persons when such a demand was made of them.
Benjamin Ofoe had earlier been charged by the police and arraigned in court for the offence.
He was also charged with defrauding by false pretence, contrary to provisions in the Criminal Offences Act of 1960 (Act 29).
The University clarified that “Your suspension is based on the following ground: (i) You have been criminally charged by the police on charges of “possession and distribution of nude pictures and videos and attempt to commit crime to wit: defrauding by false pretences contrary to sections Section 281(1) A, 18(1) and 131 (1) of the Criminal Offences Act 1960”.
Benjamin Ofoe denied the allegations in an interview with Joy News in March this year
The action, contained in a letter dated April 25, 2019, and signed by Vice-Chancellor and Chief Disciplinary Officer, Professor Harrison Dapaah, cited Mr Ofoe for bringing the name of the university into disrepute by maligning the institution and some officials on various media platforms contrary to Section 19.0 of the Student Handbook.
“You have brought the name of the university into disrepute by maligning the university and some of its officials on various media platforms contrary to Section 19.0 of the Student Handbook (Revised and Reprinted in September 2016)”, the statement stressed.
It also urged the Disciplinary Committee to resume work following the dismissal of an application for an injunction filed by Mr Ofoe.
The statement said Mr Ofoe’s refusal to appear before the university’s Disciplinary Committee constituted to investigate various allegations of sexual blackmail is one of the reasons for his suspension.
He has been challenging at a Sunyani Court over attempts by university authorities to summon him before the Disciplinary Committee.
He said his invitation to face the Committee “amounted to double jeopardy” for which he filed for an interlocutory injunction but the court on April 16, 2019, dismissed the injunction.
The sanction letter was copied to Pro Vice-Chancellor, Registrar, Dean of Students and fifteen other officials of the university.
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