Another Pastor exposed for sexual harassment


Another pastor, Boniface Igbeneghu, who heads a Foursquare Gospel Church in Lagos, was caught on camera sexually harassing a BBC undercover reporter who pretended to be a 17-year-old secondary school graduate.


“Switch off that light, I'll kiss you for a minute,” Igbeneghu told the student during her visit to his office after he had promised to help her with tutorials to pass her entrance exam into the University of Lagos (UNILAG). “Everything that we discussed here, be assured that your mother will not hear and anything that happens between me and you, nobody will hear about it,” he added.


The footage by BBC Africa Eye’s reporter Kiki Mordi was secretly filmed and investigated sexual harassment by lecturers at the University of Lagos and University of Ghana. Female reporters were sexually harassed, propositioned and put under pressure by senior lecturers at the institutions – all the while wearing secret cameras, BBC reported.


The BBC reported that nine months of investigation in UNILAG led the team to Igbeneghu, a senior lecturer and a former sub-dean of faculty of arts. In the 13-minutes secret filming, the “student” endured a couple of sexual harassment from Dr. Igbeneghu. The lecturer went to the bathroom and upon his return; he locked the door, switched off the light and embraced the student.


“You are too stiff. I can call you to come any day. If you don’t come, you know you are gone,” he threatened the undercover journalist posing as a 17-year-old. Igbeneghu quizzed the undercover journalist about her age and sexual life, things that are totally out of the purview of an academic mentor. A graduate of UNILAG also confessed to BBC that she almost committed suicide three times after being assaulted by Igbeneghu during her years in school. Other UNILAG students also gave accounts of their experiences with the pastor.


In a conversation with the undercover student, Igbeneghu described a 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 ladies must pay to have good grades. At the last visit, he told the undercover journalist that if she truly wants admission in UNILAG, “she must be obedient”.


When contacted, the university spokesperson, Taiwo Oloyede, told BBC that the institution has zero tolerance for sexual harassment. She did not provide any response to the “cold room” allegation. The Foursquare Gospel Church issued a swift denunciation thereafter, asking Igbeneghu, said to be one of its pastors, to “step down from all ministerial assignments.”


A statement by National Secretary Rev. Ikechukwu Ugbaja, reads: “The general public is hereby informed that as holiness and Bible-believing church, we do not condone such heinous and unscriptural act among our ministers. We totally dissociate ourselves from the purported conduct of Dr. Igbenoghu and promise to take appropriate measure as soon as the ongoing investigation is concluded.”


In what was the first publicised sex-for-marks scandal, Professor Richard Akindele, from the Obafemi Awolowo University, was dismissed after he was found guilty of requesting for sex to boost a student's mark. Miss Monica Osagie, undergoing her Masters of Business program, released a recorded telephone conversation, that went viral, which the lecturer, identified as Akindele, demanded five rounds of sex to enhance Monica’s marks.


This revelation comes months after Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo, the senior pastor of another Pentecostal church, COZA, was accused of rape by Busola Dakolo. The allegation by the photographer, who is married to the well-known musician Timi Dakolo, led to protests outside the different branches of Fatoyinbo's church the following Sunday.