#SexForGrades: UNILAG dismisses lecturers indicted in scandal

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Boniface Igbeneghu (Photo: Academia)
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Two lecturers of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, who were involved in a sex-for-marks scandal, Boniface Igbeneghu and Samuel Oladipo, have been dismissed by the institution.

The university’s new governing council, which is headed by Lanre Tejuoso, took the decision on Monday during its meeting in Lagos.

This decision was taken almost two years after the two lecturers were exposed in a 52-minute documentary by BBC Africa where an undercover journalist, Kiki Mordi, disguised as a teenage candidate seeking admissions, to expose the antics of the randy lecturers.

A statement issued on Wednesday by the university’s communication unit, corporate affairs division at the office of the vice-chancellor, said the dismissals were effective from Monday, May 31.

The statement reads in part; “The Governing Council of the University of Lagos, at its meeting on Monday, May 31, 2021, approved the immediate dismissal of Dr. Boniface Igbeneghu of the Department of European Languages and Integration Studies, Faculty of Arts and Dr. Samuel Omoniyi Oladipo of the Department of Economics, Faculty of Social Sciences, from the services of the University.

“Council, at its meeting, considered the report and findings of the Senate Committee set up to investigate allegations of sexual harassment levelled against them in a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) World Service Investigative Series titled AFRICA EYE (which centred on sexual harassment in tertiary institutions)

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“The Council consequently decided and approved that both Dr. Boniface Igbeneghu and Dr. Samuel Omoniyi Oladipo be dismissed from the services of the university for misconduct, with effect from Monday, May 31, 2021 in line with section 18 of the University of Lagos Act 1967.”

The university added that the council had mandated the university authorities to review its sexual harassment policy “as may be necessary and institute effective strategies to prevent future occurrence.”

On October 7, 2019, the BBC released the documentary which focused on the inappropriate sexual advances of four lecturers from both the University of Ghana and UNILAG.

The quartet, Ransford Gyampo and Paul Butakor from the Ghanaian university and Messrs Igbeneghu and Oladipo from UNILAG were captured in the video which went viral.

The two West African universities immediately announced the suspension of the lecturers involved.

And in the case of UNILAG, Virgil Onyene, a professor, was appointed to chair the investigative panel to unravel the circumstances surrounding the allegations and make recommendations.

However, more than one year after the panel had submitted its report to the Senate of the university through the Oluwatoyin Ogundipe-led management of the university, no action was taken by the institution.

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This is believed to connected to the prolonged crisis that rocked the university over disagreements between the management and the university’s sacked governing council aside the COVID-19 pandemic and academics strike in 2020.

About the lecturers

Mr Igbeneghu, a PhD holder, is a former sub-dean of Faculty of Art and head pastor of a local Foursquare Gospel Church in Lagos.

In the video, he invited the ‘admission seeker’ to his office for ‘tutorials’ and at their first meeting he asked: “how old are you?”

After responding, the lecturer commented 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.

He later continued with the harassment of the undercover reporter oblivious that he was being filmed.

On his part, Mr Oladipo, also a PhD holder, is a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University.

He was a lecturer at the Bells University of Technology (BELLSTECH), Ota, Ogun State, a private university owned by a former President, Olusegun Obasanjo. He later joined the department of economics at the University of Lagos.

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Mr Oladipo’s offence as captured in the video was that he took the undercover reporter to a popular joint for the lecturers on the campus which they nicknamed “cold room.”

The university management immediately shut down the “cold room” as soon as the documentary was released.

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