UNILAG Suspends Dr Boniface Igbeneghu, Shuts Down Cold Room Where Lecturers Allegedly Assault Students

University of Lagos

The University of Lagos has shut-down the ‘Cold Room’, where lecturers allegedly sexually assault students.

University of Lagos
University of Lagos

The development was announced on Monday in a statement by the Principal Assistant Registrar (Communication Unit) of the university, Taiwo Oloyede.

“Management at its emergency meeting of October 7, 2019 suspended Dr. Igbeneghu from work immediately and barred him from the University academic areas while the suspension subsists unless invited by a Panel constituted by the University to investigate the matter,” the statement read in part.

“In addition to this, the University Management has ordered the shutdown of the Staff Club “Cold Room” mentioned in the documentary for further investigation. The so-called “Cold Room” is a Functions Room that may have been abused because this is a deviation from the purpose for which it was created (meetings, seminars, events, etc.).”

The ‘Cold Room’ was mentioned by a lecturer of the school, Boniface Igbeneghu, in a documentary filmed discretely by the BBC.

In the documentary, Igbeneghu described the room as a place where lecturers meet to “touch students’ breast” at the staff club of the university.

According to him, “nothing good comes free” and the ‘cold room’ experience is the price some female students have to pay to have good grades.

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Meanwhile, just hours after the release of the documentary, the school’s Pro-Chancellor, Dr. Wale Babalakin, announced the suspension of Mr Igbeneghu over allegations of sexual assault disclosed in the documentary.

He also noted that the university council will investigate the matter as it does not condone such behaviour.

In the same vein, Igbeneghu has been suspended by the Foursquare Church where he is a part-time pastor.

See the full statement by the university below:

UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS SUSPENDS DR BONIFACE IGBENEGHU,BARS HIM FROM UNILAG AND SHUTS DOWN THE STAFF CLUB “COLD

ROOM”The University of Lagos Management today suspended Dr. Boniface Igbeneghu of the Department ofEuropean Languages and Integrated Studies, Faculty of Arts who was caught in a sting operation by theBritish Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) titled “Sex for Grades”.

The trending video chronicled cases of sexualharassment of female students by some lecturers in some West African Universities including University ofLagos.

Management at its emergency meeting of October 7, 2019 suspended Dr. Igbeneghu from workimmediately and barred him from the University academic areas while the suspension subsists unless invitedby a Panel constituted by the University to investigate the matter.

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In addition to this, the University Management has ordered the shutdown of the Staff Club “Cold Room”mentioned in the documentary for further investigation. The so-called “Cold Room” is a Functions Roomthat may have been abused because this is a deviation from the purpose for which it was created (meetings,seminars, events, etc.).

The University assures members of the public that any other lecturer mentioned in the full version of theoperation which is to be aired later today, will also be suspended to ensure a proper investigation is carriedout.The University is embarrassed and dissociates itself totally from this act(s) and any inappropriate behaviourof staff with female students and vice versa.

The University has a well-articulated “Policy on SexualHarassment, Sexual and Romantic Relationships”. A copy of the University Sexual Harassment Policy wasdistributed to all members of staff and can also be obtained on the University website:https://unilag.edu.ng/wp-content/uploads/SEXUAL-HARRASMENT-UNILAG-COMMUNICATION-UNITS.pdfVarious Committees over time have been set up to investigate reports received and those foundguilty/culpable were sanctioned.

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To ensure our students are aware of the various opportunities forreporting any form of sexual harassment or misconduct towards them, the University organises anorientation programme for all new entrants sensitising them of the University’s zero-tolerance policy andacquainting them with the mechanisms for reporting.The University Counselling Centre, Medical Centre and Division of Students’ Affairs amongst other organshave been well positioned to address complaints by students. These organs have cut off the bureaucracylimiting the effectiveness of the Policy, by the direct reporting system of these Centres to the Vice-Chancellor.

The University encourages students who have evidence to come forward. They are assured oftheir anonymity and safety.As a reputable Institution and one of the foremost Universities in Nigeria and sub-Sahara Africa, we arehighly embarrassed by these allegations and we will do all that is necessary to ensure that this menace ischecked in our institution.The University of Lagos is committed to providing conducive and safe learning environment where futureleaders are trained to take responsibilities for their action.

Mrs. Taiwo Oloyede

Principal Assistant Registrar (Communication Unit)