For his alleged inappropriate sexual overtures to a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reporter posing as a 17 years old admission seeker, a lecturer of the University of Lagos and pastor with the Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria, Dr Boniface Igbeneghu, has been hammered by the two institutions.
He has been sent on suspension by the university, while the church advised him to step down from his office.
Igbeneghu was seen in a video by BBC Africa with undercover journalist, Kiki Mordi, attempting to touch her after discussions that centred around sex and how students of the school are preyed on by lecturers.
A statement by the National Secretary of the church, Rev Ikechukwu Ugbaja, the church 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.
“Meanwhile, the pastor in question has been asked to step down from all ministerial assignments.”
The University of Lagos has also announced the indefinite suspension of Igheneghu, while shutting down the “Cold Room” of the University’s Staff Centre where lecturers allegedly harass female students who desire to make good grades.
The University’s spokesman, Mr. Taiwo Oloyede, announced the developments adding that “The so-called ‘Cold Room’ is a Functions Room that may have been abused because this is a deviation from the purpose for which it was created (meetings, seminars, events, etc)”.
Igbeneghu, in the BBC undercover documentary, 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 female students must pay to have good grades.
Igbeneghu, who teaches in the Faculty of Arts and doubles as a pastor at Foursquare church, was caught after a reporter had sought the help of the lecturer to gain admission.
Igbeneghu, a former sub-dean in the faculty had invited her for tutorials several times in his office.
When she eventually honoured the invitation, he asked her age and she said 17.
While saying she appeared older than 17, he complimented her look, saying she was beautiful.
“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 (sic) her and put some money in her hand and I’ll get her,” he told her on camera.
Igbeneghu later prayed with the ‘student’ as he feigned to be leading her to Christ.
In the 13-minute clip, he told her about a cold room in the UNILAG Staff Club where he said lecturers usually have sex with female students in return for marks.
The ‘student’ had protested the practice, saying it was wrong, as the lecturer said the students paid for the marks with their body.
In the final shot, the lecturer told the ‘student’ that she must be obedient if she wanted admission into the school.
“Do you want me to kiss you? Switch off the light, lock the door and I will kiss you for a minute. That’s what they do in cold room,” he said.
He had drawn closer to the ‘student’ and was about to abuse her when she asked for permission to use the toilet.
When she came out, the lecturer smiled and said he had only shown her what happens in the “cold room,” ridiculing her for behaving like a baby.
The BBC stated in its report that the lecturer did not respond when confronted with the allegation of sexual harassment.