UNILAG suspends another lecturer over ‘sex for grades’ scandal

The University of Lagos (UNILAG) yesterday suspended another lecturer, Dr. Samuel Oladipo, for alleged sexual harassment of female students.

This came 24 hours after the institution suspended a lecturer, Dr. Boniface Igbeneghu.

Oladipo and Igbeneghu were exposed in a sex-for-grade undercover report premiered on Monday by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Africa Eye team.

Oladipo, who is a lecturer in the Department of Economics, was featured in the second part of the BBC Africa Eye video entitled: “Sex for Admission”, where he is shown making sexual advances to an undercover in exchange for admission into the school.

On Monday, Igbenegbu, a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Arts of the institution, and a head pastor of local Foursquare Gospel Church was caught trying to sexually harass the undercover reporter who posed as a 17-year-old girl seeking admission into the university.

In the 52-minute documentary entitled: ‘Sex for Grades’, Undercover in West African Universities, the BBC investigative reporter, Kiki Mordi, revealed how students are sexually harassed in West African universities, showing UNILAG and the University of Ghana as examples.

Igbenegbu and Oladipo were screened from UNILAG while Ransford Gyampo and Paul Butakor from University of Ghana were revealed as culprits in the documentary.

In the latest episode, Oladipo was seen exchanging affectionate words with the undercover reporter who subtly approached him for assistance to secure admission into the university.

In the narration of the reporter, Oladipo invited her to his office three times for what he described as “tutorials” to improve her understanding of Economics, but was ‘inappropriate’ during all meetings. He was heard telling Mordi, who is supposed to be his student, that “and I want to love you”.

The investigator also alleged that Oladipo’s eyes were fixated squarely on her breasts during the encounter in his office, and as seen in the video, he was later captured stroking the undercover reporter’s hand upon noticing a mark of injection.

The Economics lecturer also took the undercover reporter to the much talked about ‘Cold Room’ at the Staff Club where lecturers allegedly grope students for marks and favour.

In the video, the Cold Room, which is also a senior staff room, has blacked-out windows with disco lights around it. The lecturers were seen dancing with female students and the undercover reporter was asked to dance by many of the lecturers in the room. They also revealed to her that all the women in the room were students.

While in the Cold Room, Oladipo was heard telling the female undercover that, “I really wanted to get closer to you but I hardly know you and you are not ready to let me.”

She then asked him if their closeness and his own conduct were approved by the university, to which he replied: “We are both human beings” and adults.”

The BBC investigator said Oladipo held her hand and touched her breast while they were leaving the staff quarters.

When confronted with evidence by BBC on alleged assault, Oladipo said that it was the undercover reporter who greeted him first and said she knew him. He also acknowledged that he held the undercover reporter’s hand as they walked to his office.

Oladipo, however, denied attempting to seduce the “student” in question or touching her breasts, saying he attempted to hold her hand.

Meanwhile, the authorities of UNILAG suspended Oladipo from the university pending when he and Igbenegbu would face a panel of enquiry.

An emergency meeting of the leadership of Parent Forum, UNILAG, has been scheduled for Thursday, October 10, at the university.

The meeting is based mainly on the latest sex harassment allegation levelled by a BBC Africa female reporter, who posed as an admission seeker against a lecturer of French Language Studies and former Sub-Dean of the Faculty of Arts of the university, Igbeneghu.

The Chairman of the forum, Mr. Babatunde Majekodunmi, stated this yesterday.

He added that the parent forum was totally in support of the action taken so far by the management to get to the root of the matter.

Meanwhile, chairperson of the Anti-Sexual Harassment Committee of the University of Ghana (UG), Margaret Amoakohene, said that there was no evidence that two of its lecturers seen in the sex-for-grades video documentary slept with their alleged victims.

Amoakohene was quoted as saying though she agreed that the lecturers’ behaviour was unacceptable and should be investigated, there was no evidence that they slept with any student.

“If you look at the transcript that they added, there is no evidence of sex for grade. I agree that the lecturers misbehaved and so you will discuss these as unacceptable behaviours that should be investigated but there was no indication of sex for grades,” Amoakohene was quoted to have said.

“In one case, it was about the national service placement. Who needs grades at national service? She completed and she was looking for placement.

“In the other case according to the transcript, the lady approached him and said she wanted him to be a mentor. She actually confirmed she wasn’t his student but asked that he mentors her. So where is the grade involved in this?

“You are able to discuss grades and sex when you find a lecturer who is dating his own students, and either unnecessarily giving them grades that they don’t deserve or marking them down because they have refused your advances. But in the two cases that are cited, I don’t see sex for grades.” – The News.

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