For decades, the issue of sexual harassment of female students at the hands of university professors and lecturers in West Africa has continued to plague the academia. It is an endemic that is prevalent among male lecturers, and one where a deserving student is often denied the reward of her hard work when she fails to succumb to the pressure of sexual advances from her lecturer(s).
BBC Africa Eye set out to investigate the malpractice with the aid of undercover journalists posing as students and what they uncovered is perplexing, to say the least. The reporters chose to investigate the vulgar behaviour first in the University of Lagos, in the course of which the name of a particular lecturer kept surfacing as a notorious sex-for-grades lecturer.
Dr Boniface Igbeneghu, who is a lecturer and former sub-dean at the Faculty of Arts in Unilag is also the head pastor of the local Foursquare Gospel Church, not aware that he was been secretly filmed was caught red-handed propositioning a student (an undercover reporter) for sex to make her pass.
Nigerian reporter, Kiki Mordi who led the undercover investigation to UNILAG said their investigation saw female reporters “sexually harassed, propositioned and put under pressure by senior lecturers at the institutions – all the while wearing secret cameras.”
In the secretly recordedvideo, Dr Boniface is seen telling the BBC reporter who posed as a 17-year-old girl seeking admission that he is a pastor in his 50s but can get a beautiful girl like her who is 17 with just “sweet tongue” and “money”.
He invited her to his office a second time where he said a prayer with her. But it was no ordinary prayer. While praying, he is seen suggestively thrusting his hip as his already erect male member pressed against his trouser.
He then promised to help her with admission then asked her about her sex life.
“At what age did you start having sex,”
he asked her.He also told her that lecturers in the institution have a place where they take students to smooch and have sex with them.
He said it’s called the “cold room” and female students who have sex with lecturers there get favoured by such lecturers because they’ve paid with their body. He went on to defend this practice.
During the reporter’s fourth visit to his office, Dr Boniface became really vulgar;
“Do you want to kiss me?”
he asked. She tried to evade but he asked again,
“Answer. Do you want to kiss me?”
“Do you want a kiss. If you want me to kiss you, switch off this light, lock the door, I’ll kiss you for a minute. That’s what they do in the ‘cold room’. “
He then went into the bathroom. When he emerged, he said to the undercover reporter,
“Time for cold room experience.”
He then switched off the light and locked the door to his office before going to join the student on the couch and began forcing her to come close to him.
Dr Paul Kwame Butako, a lecturer at the University of Ghana’s College of Education was also one of those exposed. In a video, he is seen propositioning the undercover reporter for sex. Dr. Butako was caught on camera saying:
“How many guys have told you you’re beautiful today?”
“Let me be your side boy; side guy. Men have side chics. maybe you’ll be my side and I’ll also be your side. Because I’m married. My wife is not in the country though. My wife is out of the country.”
Watch the video below: