The Oasis Reporters
October 7, 2019
Boniface Igbeneghu is not the first priest who also doubles as a University lecturer that would be caught hands down, humiliated, disgraced and sacked over sexual indiscretion with young female students on campus. Technology that these staid lecturers perhaps know very little about, is giving young female undergraduates voice and action to deal with pestering teachers who demand for indiscriminate and illegal sex. And it is costing the academia, loss in terms of staff, whose indiscretions cannot be denied, with electronic evidence.
Take the case of Boniface Igbeneghu, a lecturer at the University of Lagos who was caught on camera making sexual demands to offer admission to a ‘student’.
The lecturer was exposed in a 13 minutes video by BBC Africa where an undercover journalist, Kiki Mordi, disguised as a 17-year-old admission seeker.
According to PREMIUM TIMES, the investigation is part of a broader one that uncovers the sex for grade crises in West African Universities.
The lecturer, Boniface Igbeneghu, is a former sub-dean of Faculty of Art and head pastor of local Foursquare Gospel Church.
Mr Igbeneghu invited the ‘admission seeker’ to his office for ‘tutorials’ and at their first meeting asked: “how old are you?”.
After responding, the lecturer started commenting on her appearance.
“Don’t you know you are a beautiful girl? Do you know I am a pastor and I am in my 50s but if I want a girl of 17 years, all I need is a sweet tongue and put some money,” he said.
From the documentary published on Facebook by BBC Yoruba the lecturer invited the ‘student’ for a second meeting where they held prayer session together.
After the prayer, he simply asked: “what age do you start knowing men. Be assured that your mother will not hear.”
While the reporter was yet to respond, Mr Igbeneghu described the secret place where lecturers meet to “touch students breast” at the staff club of the university.
“They call the place cold room,” he said. He then explained that ladies must pay to have good grades.
At the last visit, he told the undercover journalist that if she truly wants admission in UNILAG, “she must be obedient”.
“Do you want me to kiss you? Switch of the light, lock the door and I will kiss you for a minute. That’s what they do in cold room.”
The lecturer went to the bathroom and upon his return, he locked the door, switched off the light and embraced the ‘admission seeker’.
“You are too stiff. I can call you to come any day. If you don’t come, you know you are gone,” he threatened the undercover journalist.
This revelation is coming a year after a student of Department of English, accused a professor of the same university of sexual harassment.
In May 2018, Joy Nwanna, a student of the institution, accused Olusegun Awonusi, a professor of English and former Vice-Chancellor of Tai Solarin University of Education, of “habitual sexual harassment”.
When contacted, the university spokesperson, Taiwo Oloyede, told BBC that the institution has zero-tolerance for sex scandal.
She did not provide any response to the “cold room” allegation.
Now, The Foursquare Gospel Church has asked Boniface Igbeneghu, a senior lecturer at the University of Lagos, Akoka, to step down from all ministerial assignments.
In a statement on Monday, October 7, 2019 by the National Secretary of the church, Ikechukwu Ugbaja, the church dissociated itself from Igbeneghu, saying appropriate measures would be taken against him.
The associate professor had been filmed making amorous advances at a ‘prospective student’ of the University of Lagos.
The ‘student’ who was actually an undercover reporter, had introduced herself to Igbeneghu as an admission seeker.
The video had attracted criticisms from Nigerians, who demanded that the lecturer be punished.
The church’s national secretary said action was being taken on the matter.
He said, “The attention of the leadership of the Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria has been drawn to a video clip trending on social media platforms titled, ‘Sex for grades: Undercover in West Africa Universities – BBC News’ wherein a lecturer at the University of Lagos named Boniface Igbeneghu, also described as a pastor in Foursquare Gospel Church, was allegedly involved in sexual misconduct with some female students of the university.
“The general public is hereby informed that as holiness and Bible-believing church, we do not condone such heinous and unscriptural acts among our ministers. We totally dissociate ourselves from the purported conduct of Dr Igbeneghu and promise to take appropriate measures as soon as the ongoing investigation is concluded.
On April 14, 2018, The Oasis Reporters had published the analysis about Female Undergraduates Devicing Ingenious Methods To Trap Lecherous Lecturers
“Female university students are designing ingenious methods to fend off the aggressive advances of randy lecturers by entrapping and scaring them off with electronic bugging devices, such that the incidences of sex-for-marks would face a decline as time goes on.
A strike at the ugly spectre of sexual harassment on university campuses happened recently at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife in Osun state, South West Nigeria, when an unnamed female student ( Monica Osagie) secretly recorded her phone conversation with professor Richard Akindele, a lecturer in the Department of Management and Accounting in the University, who insisted on making love with the final year female student five times before scaling her marks up from the lowly 33% score to a pass level. She pretended to play along so as to get the audio evidence by calling the professor by name to his protestations, and courageously turning the proposal down. Preferring to fail, rather than be graded on bed.
Prof. Richard Akindele, who is also a priest in the Anglican Church deleted his Facebook account, it was gathered.
In the audio recording obtained by The Oasis Reporters, the conversation began with the student asking the lecturer about his previous demand to pass a particular course he lectures so as to scale up and avoid ‘repeat’ the following academic year.
The lecturer was heard saying, “I gave you an opportunity and you missed it, forget about it. You will do it next year. Me that agreed to do something. I know what I meant. If you don’t trust me forget about it. If I wouldn’t do it, why should I give you audience in the first place. If I am not interested in doing it, I won’t give you audience. The other person has come and I told her straight away because there is nothing I can do to bail that person out and her mark is even better than your own. The person scored 39 while your own is 33.”
The lecturer then accused the student of claiming that she was having her period the day he made the sex-for-marks proposition. The girl responded that she was really on her period.
She said, “I was really seeing my period Professor Akindele.”
At this point, the lecturer told her to stop mentioning his name.
He then asked if she was still on her period and she responded that she wasn’t.
Prof Akindele replied by asking her if her boyfriend had had sex with her.
She responded, “Is it every time that someone will be ‘doing’ with the boyfriend?
Is it every time you do it with your wife?” “Yes,” he answered but the girl exclaimed. “It’s a lie,” “Not possible.”
The first known open humiliation of a randy lecturer happened at the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma several years ago and it was a video recording with the lecturer caught pants down, being taunted and made a mockery of before he was forced to issue bank PHB cheques of varying amounts to the female student in question and the boys who made the recording possible.
By year end, Professor Akindele had been axed from the University and jailed for six years by an Osun State Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo, the state capital.
Justice Onyetenu who spoke with emotion, said,
“This kind of issue is too rampant in our tertiary institutions. We send children to school, they come home telling us that lecturers want to sleep with them.
We can not continue like this. Somebody has to be used as an example. Even primary schools pupils are complaining.”
“It is time for the court to start upholding the right of the children, especially female students. The case is endemic.”
With the University of Lagos lecturer, Professor
Boniface Igbeneghu and the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, both of them, pastors biting the dust, would the ugly specter of sexual harassment stop In Nigerian Universities ?
While it may not, lecturers now know that ubiquitous electronic devices in different shades are watching and analyzing them. May be it is time for them to concentrate on their primary duties and their wives, unless they want to recklessly ruin their careers.