Uncovering the Dark Truth: David Hundeyin’s Expulsion, Fraudulent Activities, and Denial of Deserving Opportunities

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David Hundeyin’s recent expulsion from Oxford University for running a fraudulent book launch on the university premises has brought to light his questionable character and history of misconduct. David Hundeyin, along with his accomplice Onyeka Nwelue, have been accused of exploiting people for financial gain, and it has now been revealed that he was given a fellowship that should have been awarded to one Rose Okeke, the true and the real winner of the James Currey Prize 2022.

Onyeka Nwelue, whose Academic Visitor status at Oxford and Cambridge was terminated last month, used his position at the two universities to set up a fellowship scheme for the benefit of his financial associates, an ongoing investigation by Cherwell has found. This comes after he established his own place at Oxbridge through payment of at least £12,000 in donations and academic visitorship fees. Before the recipients of this year’s James Currey Fellowships were announced, Nwelue posted about the scheme online, tweeting: “I am not a billionaire but I have established two Fellowships in Oxford and Cambridge” and “Philanthropy is a messy thing. If you’re a criminal, a fraudster (sic) … invest in things that will cleanse your stained heart”.

Cherwell found that both individuals who were awarded the James Currey Fellowships this year had existing financial relationships with Nwelue before receiving them.

David Hundeyin, was announced as the James Currey Fellow at Cambridge in October 2022, after signing a book deal with Nwelue’s publishing house Abibiman Publishers in September. Hundeyin later faced complaints for making misogynistic remarks to students at a launch event for this book in Oxford on 31st January 2023, which he promoted under the university logo without the university’s permission. He has also claimed on Twitter that Cambridge awarded him a “Fellowship” despite the university consistently denying any input in selecting the James Currey Fellows and confirming to Cherwell that Hundeyin’s status was that of an academic visitor.

Mitterand Okorie, the current James Currey Fellow at Oxford, co-founded the World Arts Agency, a Johannesburg-based literary agency, with Nwelue in 2019 as well as publishing his first book in 2017 with Nwelue’s company Blues & Hills. He also wrote Nwelue’s biography, Onyeka Nwelue: A Troubled Life, which he published through Abibiman in 2022.

Asked why the James Currey Fellowships had been awarded to these individuals, Nwelue said: “I have no answer to your questions.” However, after his associations with Oxbridge were terminated, Nwelue wrote in an email to Oxford staff: “I did not mean to tarnish the image of the African Studies Centre … I am very sorry to have brought the embarrassment I brought. About bringing David Hundeyin here, I didn’t read the signs properly. I am also sorry about that.”

The James Currey Fellowship was actually offered to another writer before being given to Mitterand Okorie, Cherwell discovered. In September 2022, aspiring Nigerian author Rosemary Okeke won the James Currey Prize, a competition she entered through the James Currey Society several months earlier. Along with prize money, one of the benefits of the prize was a funded James Currey Fellowship at Oxford, contingent on signing a book deal with Abibiman Publishers.

The James Currey Fellowship in Oxford was actually offered to another writer before being given to Mitterand Okorie, Cherwell discovered. In September 2022, aspiring Nigerian author Rosemary Okeke won the James Currey Prize, a competition she entered through the James Currey Society several months earlier. Along with prize money, one of the benefits of the prize was a funded James Currey Fellowship at Oxford, contingent on signing a book deal with Abibiman Publishers.

She told Cherwell: “There was, and is, a lot of confusion about the fellowship on my end, especially because people who weren’t even among the shortlisted candidates [for the James Currey Prize] were getting appointed fellowships by the Society. They seemed to be uncoordinated.”

One of the James Currey Prize jurors told Cherwell: “I was unaware that Rosemary Okeke never received the fellowship. This is unfortunate and unfair to Rosemary Okeke. The assessment process was very rigorous and time-consuming. It took two rounds of assessment, and to prevail as the winner means that Okeke deserved everything that was promised to her by the award organisers.”

The fact that Okeke was denied the fellowship that she rightfully won raises important questions about the accountability of those involved, within genuine literary circles. It is worrying and a scandal that talented and deserving individuals like Okeke can be denied opportunities because of the actions of dishonest and disreputable people like David Hundeyin and Nwelue.

What’s even more disturbing is the recent accusations that Hundeyin has made against other people and organizations, including the BBC, of offering positions for sex. It begs the question: Is it then fair to assume that Hundeyin offered sex for the award while robbing Okeke of her award? These accusations raise concerns about the safety and fairness some so-called literary communities, and it is important that we take steps to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.

It is clear that David Hundeyin and Nwelue are willing to exploit anyone, including university communities, to make a quick buck. But how can we ensure that the literary community is a safe and welcoming space for all voices, free from the influence of those with questionable character and motives? What measures can be put in place to prevent individuals like David Hundeyin and Nwelue from taking advantage of vulnerable people?

This ongoing saga involving David Hundeyin and Nwelue serves as a reminder that we must always be vigilant and hold those in positions of power and influence accountable for their actions. We must continue to strive for a literary community that is fair, just, and inclusive, and that values the voices and contributions of all.

Author: Adebisi Grange

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Author: Chief Editor

Nigerian Community,News, Events and more

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Nigerian Community,News, Events and more

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