Utitofon Ekanem has accused Kunle Afolayan, a filmmaker, of stealing her story and using it in his Netflix movie, ‘Citation’.
She claimed she had a phone call with Afolayan in 2015 about her sexual harassment ordeal and the filmmaker promised to follow up the conversation the following day.
Ekanem, who was surnamed Hanson at the time, said he never got back to her. She said she was shocked when her friends urged her to watch Citation as it was very similar to her story.
In a chat with The Punch, Ekanem said she endured sexual harassment from an associate professor at the Political Science Department, Dr. Sunday Akindele, between 2004 and 2007.
She said Akindele was subsequently dismissed by the school authorities, making her the first to get a lecturer sacked for sexual harassment.
“I called Kunle Afolayan sometime in 2015 and I told him I had a story on sexual harassment based on my experience in OAU and I said I wanted to make a movie out of the true story and he said someone would contact me and he gave me an assurance that someone would call me. Our conversation was for about two minutes.
“This year, I started receiving calls from friends, telling me to watch a movie titled ‘Citation’ which was directed by Kunle Afolayan starring Temi Otedola. Temi Otedola, who was the victim of sexual harassment in the movie, was actually me in real life,” The Punch quoted her to have said.
She explained that the movie had only a few differences from her actual experience.
The teacher said unlike in the movie, the lecturer who harassed her was neither a foreigner nor fluent in French.
Ekanem further stated that she was a student of Political Science and took elective courses in International Relations while the student in the movie was a Masters student in the Department of International Relations.
“The panel that was set up was taking place during school hours. The lecturer told the school that my allegations were false. The issue of students supporting and opposing me was the same as the movie. In the movie, someone gave the actress a letter and asked her to ensure that she wasn’t being used. That was my experience
“People were putting my posters all over the school over the issue. It also happened in the movie. In the movie, Joke Silva was giving support to the main actress through an NGO. I also had such a person.
“In the movie, it was established that the lecturer had sexually harassed women in his previous school. All that happened to me. The lecturer I had a problem with was a lecturer at a polytechnic in Ikire before coming to OAU.
“I got in touch with someone in Ikire who also confirmed that the lecturer harassed her. So, there are many similarities. At the end of the movie, when the main actress entered the class at the end, students were drumming on the table to praise her and were calling her name. That happened to me as well.”
Afolayan however denied her claims. He told The Punch that he never spoke to her, daring her to go to court as she has threatened.
He explained that the script was written by Tunde Babalola and it was conceive two years ago.