Africa Eye, a regular documentary video serving of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has exposed how a senior lecturer of the University of Lagos, Dr. Boniface Igbeneghu made sexual advances towards an undercover ’17-year-old girl seeking admission into the prestigious institution.’
In the video, Dr. Igbeneghu, a former sub-dean in the Faculty of Arts was also shown to be the Head Pastor of a Lagos branch of Foursquare Gospel Church.
The BBC journalist questioned current and past students of the institution for a period of nine months on the state of sexual abuse by lecturers and Boniface was fingered as a prime culprit.
BBC Africa Eye then sent an undercover reporter to approach the lecturer, claiming she was fresh out of secondary school and in need of admission.
In Lagos State and other parts of Nigeria, 17 years is below the legal age of consent. This means having a sexual relationship with a person of such age is classified as child abuse or better, child sexual abuse.
The lecturer then invited her to his office for a number of tutorials. As a safety measure, the decoy had a panic button with her which would alert her colleagues in case of any danger.
“So sit down, how old are you?”, Dr Igbeneghu was seen asking when the girl first visited him in his office.
When she replied she was 17-years-old, he asked excitedly: “Seventeen? And you look very big like this? Don’t you know you are a beautiful girl? Do you know that? You are not beautiful, you’re very beautiful. Do you know I am a Pastor?
And he continued:“Do you know 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 [talk] her and put some money in her hand and I will get her.”
In the second meeting with the ‘student’, the lecturer assured her that he would assist her secure an admission but towards the end of the meeting, he inquired about her sex life.
“At what age did you start knowing men? At what age did you start having sex? Look, anything that we discuss, be assured that your mother will not hear of it. Anything that happens between me and you, nobody will hear of it,” he said.
In another recorded meeting, Igbeneghu described a section of the school’s Staff Club known as the Cold Room where lecturers make out with female students.
“There’s an upper part of the Staff Club there, where lecturers when they take girls there, they go there to go and smooch them and romance them,” he explained.
During one of the meetings recorded by the BBC Africa Eye, he locked the door and ordered the girl to come closer after which he wrapped his arms around her, promising he won’t harm her.
He released her when she took an excuse to use the toilet. The BBC report however noted that the lecturer did not respond when confronted with the facts of his misconduct
‘Sex for grade’ is a plague which has infested the tertiary education system in Nigeria and other African countries. Earlier this year, a lecturer at the Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, Prof. Richard Akindele was dismissed, tried by a court of law and sentenced to a jail term after the story of his sexual advances to a graduate student trended on the social media.