An undercover documentary released by the the BBC Africa Eye on Monday, has exposed certain strategies employed by lecturers in West African universities, especially in Nigeria and Ghana, in harassing their students for sex in exchange for grades and marks.
The BBC Africa Eye in the documentary video said it found out that students in academic institutions in West Africa have increasingly been facing allegations of sexual harassment by lecturers, which it considered to be endemic, but that “it is almost never proven.”
Then, after it said it gathered dozens of testimonies from victims, BBC Africa Eye said it sent undercover journalists posing as students inside the University of Lagos and the University of Ghana.
It said in the two popular institutions, female reporters were sexually harassed, propositioned and put under pressure by senior lecturers at the institutions, and all the while wearing secret cameras in a 13-minutes video documentary released.
Later on after gathering information from current and old students of the institution who have fallen victims, BBC Africa Eye said it sent reporter Kiki Mordi, who knows first-hand how devastating sexual harassment can be, and she revealed what happens behind closed doors at some of the region’s most prestigious universities.
At the University of Lagos (UNILAG) a senior lecturer, Faculty of Arts, who is also said to be head pastor of a Foursquare Gospel Church in Lagos, Dr. Boniface Igbeneghu, had been exposed as one of the culprits in the documentary video, by a 17-year-old undercover journalist who posed as student seeking an admission at the University of Lagos.
In the documentary, the undercover “student” endured a couple of sexual harassment from the Dr. Igbeneghu.
According to the documentary, Dr Igbeneghu, was said to have invited the teenager to his office for a number of tutorials, after which h3 began to establish conversations and threw complimentary words to who her, as on their first meeting, he commented on her appearance.
Later on in the video documentary, said was secret filmed, the lecturer revealed how his colleagues tossed and passed around UNILAG female students for sex.
Dr Igbeneghu disclosed further how his colleagues patronised UNILAG Staff club “Cold room” to commit series of atrocities on female students.
“Do you know that you are a very beautiful girl,” he asked her.
“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,” Dr Igbeneghu said to her on camera.
However, when approached in a repeated requests, it was said the lecturer failed to react to the BBC’s allegations.
It was said that the authorities of UNILAG have dissociated itself from the lecturer’s actions, as according to BBC, it said the institution had a zero-tolerance policy on sexual harassment, while it refused to comment on the alleged “cold room.”
Another lecturer, Dr. Paul Kwame, lecturer from College of Education in Ghana, had also been indicted in sex for grades and marks in the BBC Africa undercover documentary.
“For the past year, BBC Africa Eye has been secretly investigating sexual harassment by lecturers at West Africa’s most prestigious universities,” the BBC Africa Eye said In a Twitter post by its official handle, @BBCAfricaEye.
According to the BBC Africa Eye Reporter, @kikimordi who conducted the investigations, she revealed that the investigation was carried out due to the clamour to expose these bad lecturers.
She said: “Hundreds of you asked us to do this investigation. We heard your call #SexForGrades”
Kiki Mordi, who was once a victim of sexual harassment, revealed what happens behind closed doors at some of the region’s most prestigious universities in the video documentary.
Over the years, there have been issues of female students being harassed for sex in return for marks in Nigerian Universities.
Sex-for-mark practice is a common problem in Nigerian institutions, which over the years may had been encouraged by Nigerian universities due to their failure to appropriately sanction erring lecturers.
It will be recalled that in 2018, a former lecturer of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Prof Richard Iyiola Akindele, was sentenced to two years in prison for sexually molesting female students.