The Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria has suspended one of its head pastors and a lecturer, Boniface Igbeneghu, who was exposed in a 13-minute video documentary released by the BBC Africa Eye on Monday.
In a press statement signed by its National Secretary, Rev. Ikechukwu Ugbaja, the church body strongly condemned the act and dissociated itself from the alleged misconduct.
“The attention of the leadership of the Foursquare Church in Nigeria, has been drawn to a video clip trending on social media platforms title “Sex for grades: Undercover in West Africa Universities – BBC News” wherein a lecture in the 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 holiness and Bible-believing church, we do not condone such heinous and unscriptural act among our ministers. We totally disassociate ourselves from the purported conduct of Dr. Igbeneghu and promise to take appropriate measures as soon as the ongoing investigation is concluded. Meanwhile, the pastor in question has been asked to step down from all ministerial assignments.”
In the same vein, Dr. Igbeneghu also got another suspension notice for sexual harassment from the University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos, where he works.
The former sub-dean of Faculty of Arts was caught on camera making amorous advances to an undercover reporter who posed as an admission seeker in the institution.
The reporter with the British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC, posed as a prospective student and sought the help of the lecturer to gain admission. Igbenegbu, based on the clip, invited her for tutorials several times in his office and when she finally honoured the invitation, he asked her age and she said 17.
While jokingly saying she looked older than 17, he complimented her look, describing her as beautiful.
“Do you know that I am a pastor and I’m in my fifties? What will shock you is that even at my age now, if I want a girl of your age – a 17-year-old, all I need is to the sweet tongue (sic) her and put some money in her hand and I’ll get her,” he told her on camera.
Igbeneghu later prayed with the ‘student’, feigning to be leading her to Christ and for the salvation of her soul.
During their discussion, he told her about a cold room in the UNILAG Staff Club, where he claimed male lecturers usually have sex with female students in return for marks. The undercover reporter had protested the practice, saying it was wrong, even as the lecturer said the students paid for the marks with their body.
In the final shot, the lecturer told the ‘student’ must be obedient if she wanted admission into the school.
“Do you want me to kiss you? Switch off the light, lock the door and I will kiss you for a minute. That’s what they do in cold room,” he said.
He later drew her to himself and was about to abuse her when she asked for permission to use the toilet.
When she came out, the lecturer laughed over what he felt was her naivety, noting that she was behaving like a baby. He further said he had only shown her what happens in the “cold room.”
Before the BBC reporter left the lecturers’ office, he warned her there were consequences if she stopped coming to his office.