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From UNILAG to UNICAL: Sex scandals that shook Nigeria



By Henry Umahi

Last month, about 50 female law students of University of Calabar (UNICAL) protested with placards bearing various inscriptions such as “Enough of law school list manipulations,” “We are tired of sucking dicks,” “Law girls are not bonanzas,” “Let the girl with big breasts breathe” and “Stop suffocating us,” among others.

The embryonic lawyers picketed the Vice-Chancellor’s office to lay their complaints and demanded the removal of the then Dean, Faculty of Law, Prof. Cyril Ndifon, over allegation of high handedness and sexual harassment, among others.

A year-two student, who did not want her name in print, claimed she has “suffered humiliation for not playing ball with the Oga at the top” and that she would stand her ground even if it meant failing the course taught by the dean.

She alleged: “The dean forces us to buy law journals. Some lecturers don’t come for lectures in class and some even harass us sexually and if you fail to succumb, they fail you.”

Another female student, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “The Vice Chancellor should come to our aid. We are being humiliated in the faculty and treated as if it is an offence to come and study law in UNICAL. We are pleading with the management to please remove the dean and bring in a fresh dean. I think he has overstayed as faculty dean.”

But Ndifon debunked the allegation of high handedness and sexual harassment. He said the protest was masterminded by his adversaries who have vowed to pull him down because they lost the election to become the dean of the faculty.

Ndifon, who had won the faculty election twice, told newsmen that the allegations against him are baseless and cannot hold water, adding that it is an insider’s job being executed by some students who may have been tricked into participating in the protest.

He challenged the students to produce the alleged victims of sexual harassment, saying his colleagues who lost elections are totally out to tarnish his reputation and wondered how the students got to know that the faculty was holding a meeting with the Vice-Chancellor and they decided to carry placards at that point in time to give a false representation about his person.

He disclosed that he does not teach year 2B class of students, maintaining that the protest was aimed at dragging his name in the mud even as he strived hard to reposition the faculty to meet the university’s standard.

Following the students’ protest, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Florence Obi, issued Ndifon a query and, perhaps, not satisfied with his response, the management subsequently suspended him for alleged violation of the provisions of the extant laws and policies of the institution.

Of course, UNICAL is not the only tertiary institution where a toxic atmosphere exists or persists in the country. In fact, many lecturers have been described as predators looking for ladies to devour. So, students who refuse to give sexual gratification are frustrated beyond measure.

In July 2023, Daily Sun reported that students of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU), Abia State were lamenting about the non-release of results eight months after exams, as lecturers allegedly demand bribe in cash or kind.

While some randy lecturers have bitten the dust through suspension, sack and even jail terms, some still act like the irresponsible dog that ate the bone hung around his neck. Incredibly, some mothers have become preys too. Take this: Not long ago, one lecturer in a university in the South East reportedly slept with mother and daughter over marks.

While male lecturers are forcing female students into bed, some vice chancellors are also accused of sexually harassing their female lecturers.

Richard Akindele, a professor of management accounting at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, served a two-year jail term for sexual harassment.

In 2018, a Federal High Court in Osogbo, Osun State, sentenced Akindele to prison after he pleaded guilty to four counts filed against him by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission. The commission had investigated sexual harassment allegations levelled against the professor by a female student, Monica Osagie.

Justice Maureen Onyetenu, who had to stand down the case on two occasions, finally convicted Akindele. In the course of the trial, she rejected a plea bargain agreed by the parties involved. She was resolute that the lecturer must pay for his sin so that lecturers like him, who had cultivated the habit of turning female students to sex toys, will know that there could be consequences for such forbidden acts.

For asking Monica for a sexual benefit, Justice Onyetenu sentenced Akindele to 24 months imprisonment and another 24 months jail term for soliciting sexual benefit from the lady to pass her.

An investigative report soon showed that some wild sex enthusiasts in the classroom had learned nothing from Akindele’s experience. The report led University of Lagos (UNILAG) to dismiss two senior lecturers who were indicted in a sex-for-grade scandal that rocked the institution in 2019.

A BBC report exposed Dr. Samuel Omoniyi Oladipo and Dr. Boniface Igbeneghu for demanding sex from an undercover reporter acting as an admission-seeking ‘student.’  In fact, the escapade was recorded.

Oladipo was a lecturer in the Department of Economics, Faculty of Social Sciences while Igbeneghu was a lecturer in the Department of European Languages and Integration Studies, Faculty of Art.

The statement from UNILAG read: “The Governing Council of the University of Lagos, at its meeting on Monday, May 31, 2021, approved the immediate dismissal of Dr. Boniface Igbeneghu of the Department of European Languages and Integration Studies, Faculty of Arts and Dr. Samuel Omoniyi Oladipo of the Department of Economics, Faculty of Social Sciences, from the services of the University.

“Council, at its meeting, considered the report and findings of the Senate Committee set up to investigate allegations of sexual harassment levelled against them in a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) World Service Investigative Series titled AFRICA EYE (which centred which centred on sexual harassment in tertiary institutions).

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“The Council consequently decided and approved that both Dr. Boniface Igbeneghu and Dr. Samuel Omoniyi Oladipo be dismissed from the services of the University for misconduct, with effect from Monday, May 31, 2021 in line with Section 18 of the University of Lagos Act 1967.”

Sex scandals are not restricted to schools. One of the sex scandals to remember involved the then Managing Director of First City Monument Bank, Mr Adam Nuru, and a former employee of the bank, Mrs Moyo Thomas. Nuru allegedly fathered two children with the married Mrs Thomas.

The allegation unfolded in 2020 when friends of Mrs Thomas’ husband launched a petition, asking the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to remove Nuru, alleging that he caused the death of their friend.

The petition, which had thousands of signatures, alleged that Mr Thomas was betrayed by his wife, which led to his death. It also asked that Nuru be relieved of his responsibilities at the bank and investigated.

While Nuru proceeded on leave to allow an investigation by the bank’s Board of Directors on the allegations to proceed unhindered, a press statement signed by Mrs Thomas said Tunde Thomas is the father of her children and that on no occasion did she tell him it was not so.

Similarly, a 16-year-old secondary schoolgirl alleged in a video on Facebook that Abiodun Abudu-Balogun, the then Commissioner for Environment in Ogun State, tried to violate her.

She alleged that Abudu-Balogun, who was a member of the House of Representatives, connived with her uncle and a teacher on December 31, 2020 to lure her to the commissioner’s residence at Ita Otu, Ogun Waterside Local Government area on the pretence that he would assist her secure a job as a computer operator.

The girl alleged that Abudu-Balogun touched her breasts and tried to force himself on her when she refused to succumb. She further alleged that when she screamed, he forced N2,000 into her hands and asked the teacher, Austin, to take her home.

However, the commissioner, in a signed statement, described the allegation as “political blackmail” masterminded by his “adversaries.” He said: “Let me state emphatically that I never attempted to sexually harass anyone.”

But a statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Tokunbo Talabi, announced the commissioner’s suspension from office “pending the conclusion of an independent investigation into the allegation of sexual harassment.”

Later, in two separate videos, the schoolgirl and her father, Melojuekun Monsuru, said they were no longer interested in pursuing the case One major scandal that rocked the nation involved three members of the House of Representatives, who were accused of sexual harassment during a trip to the US.

On June 9, 2016, Mr. James F. Entwistle, the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, petitioned Speaker Yakubu Dogara, accusing three members of the Green Chamber of improper conduct, attempted rape and soliciting for prostitutes while participating in a programme in America.

The Ambassador’s petition reads in part: “It is with regret that I must bring to your attention the following situation. Ten members of the Nigerian National Assembly travelled to Cleveland, Ohio, as participants in the International Visitor Leadership Programme on good governance. We received troubling allegations regarding the behaviour of three members of the delegation to the U.S. Government’s flagship professional exchange programme.

“The U.S. mission took pains to confirm these allegations and the identities of the individuals with the employees of the hotel in Cleveland.

“The conduct described above left a very negative impression of Nigeria, casting a shadow on Nigeria’s National Assembly, the International Visitor Leadership Program, and to the American hosts’ impression of Nigeria as a whole. Such conduct could affect some participants’ ability to travel to the United States in the future.”

The Ambassador requested “in the strongest possible terms” that the Speaker should share his government’s apprehension with the National Assembly so that the members will understand the “potential consequences” of their actions.

He accused Mark Gbillah (APC-Benue) and Samuel Ikon (PDP-Akwa Ibom) of seeking help from car park assistants to arrange for them the services of prostitutes.

Entwistle also said Mohammed Gololo (APC-Bauchi) sexually harassed a hotel house keeper in his Cleveland hotel room.

A spokesperson for the House said: “The leadership of the House has commenced its own part of the investigation. When it is concluded, we will brief Nigerians further on this issue.”

The honourable members, however, denied the allegations and were later cleared after an investigation by the House of Representatives Ethics and Privileges Committee.

A nude video alleged to be of then member of Nasarawa State House of Assembly went viral in March 2019. The lawmaker was shown being molested in a 16-second clip in which he was stripped naked. In another video, he was seated naked in a car, with only a ripped vest on. As he was being pummelled by two people, he repeatedly said, “Sorry.”

It was alleged that he was caught with the wife of his political godfather in a hotel in Maitama, Abuja.

In November 2020, a security officer in the Nigerian Embassy in Berlin, Germany, Mr Martins Adedeji Oni, was sacked after being found guilty of sexual abuse and other criminal activities after a probe committee’s investigation.

In a series of tweets on its official handle, the embassy said Oni’s sack is coming one month after a viral video on social media showed him in a hotel room, half-naked, arguing with an unknown person who accused him of demanding sex from females, who applied for passport renewals.

Reacting to the viral video, the Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Yusuf Tuggar, said that the embassy has a “zero-tolerance policy towards abuse of office and especially of sexual misconduct.”

In 2016, Pastor Chukwuma Nkwocha, the General Overseer of Tongue of Fire Restoration Ministry, was arrested for allegedly camping and defiling about 30 under-aged girls. The police sprung into action after receiving a report that the pastor with a church situated on Jacob Taiwo Street, Shogunle – Oshodi, Lagos was harbouring some young girls and freely having unlawful canal knowledge of them.

However, the pastor’s brother, Ikechukwu, denied the allegation. According to him, his brother was not that kind of person. In 2017, Apostle Johnson Suleman, the founder of Omega Fire Ministries, was accused by Miss Stepahnie Otobo of impregnating and later dumping her. Apostle Suleman denied the allegations and Otobo later confessed that she lied. There have been other allegations against the popular pastor, all of which he also denied.

Another sex scandal that rocked the country involved Pastor Fatoyinbo of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Abuja. In June 2019, he was accused by Busola Dakolo, wife of ace singer, Timi Dakolo, of raping her twice while she was barely 16 years old. Fatoyinbo denied the allegation and was freed by the court. In April 2023, Bishop Oluwafeyiropo David was arraigned before the Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court for allegedly raping two of his church pastors (names withheld).

This is not the end of sex scandals that rocked the country in the last couple of years.

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