A student of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) has said many lecturers in the institution have “comfortable sofas” in their offices.
Speaking on the sex for grades scandal rocking the institution, she said sexual harassment is no news on the campus.
A lecturer of the University of Lagos, Boniface Igbeneghu, has been in the news for sexually harassing an undercover journalist who posed as an admission seeker.
The senior lecturer, who is also pastor of a Foursquare Gospel Church, was exposed in a documentary released by the BBC Africa Eye on Monday.
In the documentary, Igbeneghu narrated how he and some of his colleagues patronise the UNILAG Staff club “cold room” to commit several sexual atrocities with female students.
The student, who craved anonymity for the fear of being punished by her lecturers, said many senior lecturers engage less in lecturing because there are situations when more than one lecturer take a course.
She accused some of them of using the time expected to be used for research and community service for meeting with students for sexual gains.
“I have heard of a lot of cases of sexual harassment. It’s no news on campus. It is a normal thing,” she told online medium, The Cable.
“One of our lecturers will invite female students over and tell them to come in the evening to do things that are 18+… they do it in their offices. Time is not a barrier, but most times it is around 6pm. The lecturers have comfortable sofas in their offices. The sofas are really long, three-seater in some of the offices.”
She also narrated an instance of sexual harassment during her conversation with the medium.
“There was a time a friend of mine did a group work. They were unable to submit the group work because the lecturer wanted a lady, who is a member of the group, to submit the work so she can see him,” she said.
“But the ladies in the group objected and told others that they would have to forfeit the mark and pray hard to pass the course.”
She added that students who are victims of sexual harassment are scared to speak up.
“Everybody is scared to speak up. If such happens to me, I don’t know if I will come out to say anything,” she said.
“That is the truth. The problem is that it is not safe to speak to school authorities because you don’t know who is who.”
The school authorities have since suspended the lecturers indicted in the BBC report while the “cold room” where some of the atrocities took place have been shut.
When The Cable visited the “cold room” on Tuesday, a security official refused to allow the reporter in.
The reporter also observed that the office of Igbeneghu at the department of linguistics in the faculty of arts was locked.
When contacted, the spokesperson of the institution, Taiwo Oloyode, told the medium to send a text message because she was in a meeting.
She had not replied the text message as of the time this report was filed.
…mgt sets up panel to probe lecturers
The management of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) has set up a panel to investigate the allegations against two of its lecturers indicted in the sex-for-grades scandal.
Boniface Igbeneghu, a senior lecturer, and Samuel Oladipo, a lecturer in the department of economics, were exposed in a documentary on sexual harassment released by the BBC Africa Eye on Monday.
The two lecturers have been suspended by the university.
In a statement yesterday, the principal assistant registrar, communication unit of UNILAG, Taiwo Oloyede, said the panel is headed by Ayodele Atsenuwa, a professor and dean of the faculty of law.
The school said the process will be transparent and appropriate sanctions would be meted out if the need arises.
The university also encouraged students and members of staff that have relevant information concerning the incidents to come forward, assuring that their security is guaranteed.
“The Panel will probe into the allegations of sexual harassment levelled against Dr. Boniface Igbeneghu of the Department of European Languages and Integrated Studies, Faculty of Arts and Dr. Samuel Oladipo of the Department of Economics, Faculty of Social Sciences as well as other related cases,” the statement read.
“As previously announced in the University’s Press Release dated Monday, October 7, 2019, Dr. Samuel Oladipo who was featured in the full version of the BBC broadcast, has been suspended from work with immediate effect and barred from the University academic areas until conclusion of the Panel’s assignment.
“Students and members of staff who have relevant information are encouraged to come forward. Their protection is assured. We firmly reassure all our students, staff, alumni, parents and guardians that this matter will be tackled with every sense of responsibility, and the seriousness it deserves. The whole process will be transparent and appropriate sanctions will be meted out to anyone found culpable.”
The statement added that the panel set up to investigate another allegation of sexual harassment involving a professor in the university in June 2018 still subsists and is awaiting further information that will aid in concluding the investigation.