Monday, 7 October 2019
FOURSQUARE CHURCH FORCES LECTURER IN ‘SEX FOR GRADES’ SCANDAL TO STEP DOWN
In one instance, Boniface is seen praying with the undercover journalist before asking her to kiss him and threatening to make life miserable for her on campus if she fails to honour his subsequent invitations.
“The attention of the leadership of The Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria has been drawn to a video clip trending on social media platforms titled “Sex for grades: Undercover in West Africa Universities- BBC News,” the church said in a statement.
“Wherein a lecturer in University of Lagos named Dr. Boniface Igbeneghu also described as a pastor in Foursquare Gospel Church was allegedly involved in sexual misconduct with some female students of the university.
“The general public is hereby informed that as a holiness and Bible-believing Church, we do not condone such heinous and unscriptural act among our ministers."
The church would go on to ask Pastor Boniface to vacate the altar with immediate effect.
“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.
“Meanwhile, the pastor in question has been asked to step down from all ministerial assignments,'' the church concluded in a statement signed by its National Secretary, Rev. Ikechukwu Ugbaja.
Pulse has been trying to reach Boniface for a reaction to the allegation. However, calls repeatedly placed to his mobile have returned unanswered.
Unilag denies its own
In a related development, the University of Lagos has also washed its hands off Prof Boniface, according to the BBC.
“Unilag told us it dissociates itself from the alleged behavior of Dr. Boniface and that it has a zero tolerance policy towards sexual harassment. It did not comment on the so-called ‘Cold Room," the BBC said.
Sexual harassment on campuses in Nigeria has gone on for decades unchecked. In 2016, the Nigerian senate put together a bill aimed at criminalizing the pandemic. The bill sits pretty, unpassed, in the national assembly.
Former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, says now is the time to dust the bill and grant it accelerated hearing and passage.
“As a father, I'm appalled by the actions of lecturers captured in the #SexForGrades exposé. We cannot allow this sort of deplorable behaviour to fester,” Saraki said in a series of tweets.
“In 2016, my colleagues and I in the 8th Senate passed the "Sexual Harassment in Tertiary Education Institution Prohibition Bill" to prescribe a 5 year jail term for any lecturer, educationist or person in a position of authority in any tertiary institution in Nigeria found guilty of such conduct.
“I appeal to the 9th Senate and President Buhari to revisit this bill so that we can implement the institutional reforms necessary to safeguard our children in educational institutions in the country.
“I also urge the institutions to conduct robust investigations, not only on the accused but also for all other reports and complaints that come in. We need to believe victims and make institutions safer for our students,” Saraki stated.