UNILAG lecturer caught on camera in sexual harassment video

Boniface Igbeneghu (Photo: Academia)

A senior lecturer in the Department of European Languages at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) has been caught on camera sexually harassing a female “student”.

Dr Boniface Igbeneghu, who is a former sub-dean at the Faculty of Arts at the institution is also a senior pastor at Foursquare Gospel Church in Lagos.

He was seen on the latest BBC Africa Eye documentary released on Monday focused on lecturers in some West African universities harassing their students for sex in exchange for academic benefits.

Using undercover journalists posing as students at both the University of Lagos and the University of Ghana, the BBC said it did that after gathering dozens of testimonies of the harassment issues.

The 13 minute video showed that the female reporters who wore secret cameras were sexually harassed and put under pressure by senior lecturers at the institutions.

BBC journalist, Kiki Mordi posed as a 17-year-old candidate who sought an admission into UNILAG.

The “student” endured a couple of sexual harassment from Igbeneghu.

The UNILAG ‘cold room’

In a clip of the video, Igbeneghu made reference to a “cold room” where students were tossed and passed around for sex at the university’s Senior Staff Club.

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At some point also, he held a prayer for the lady in his office during his invitation for a number of tutorials before he began having inappropriate conversations with her.

On their first meeting, he commented on her appearance.

“Do you know that you are a very beautiful girl,” he asked her.

He also revealed his ability to manipulate the teenager.

“Do you know that I am a pastor and I’m in my fifties? What will shock you is that even at my age now, if I want a girl of your age – a 17-year-old, all I need is to sweet tongue her and put some money in her hand and I’ll get her,” Igbeneghu added.

A recurring decimal

Sexual harassment is a recurring decimal in Nigerian universities. But few eventually get addressed.

In 2018, a professor at UNILAG, Olusegun Awonusi was accused by a former student of the school, Joy Nwanna of repeatedly harassing her.

Investigations into that controversial claim remained inconclusive as the accuser failed to show up before the university’s investigative panel.

Same year, a professor at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Richard Akindele recorded in a phone conversation demanding sex for grades from a student, Monica Osagie was eventually jailed after pleading guilty to using his position of power inappropriately.

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UNILAG dissociates self from lecturer

The BBC said that Igbeneghu refused to comment on the controversial discoveries in the video despite multiple requests.

Also, authorities at UNILAG dissociated the institution from the lecturer’s actions.

It reiterated that the institution had a zero-tolerance policy on sexual harassment but refused to comment on the alleged “cold room”.

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