© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Sex-for-grades scandal: Atiku kicks, SERAP sues for Justice
By Vincent UFUOMA
BARELY 24 hours after the release of a videotape by BBC Africa of how a lecturer in UNILAG was trying to harass a female admission for sex, the People Democratic Party Presidential candidate in the 2019 elections, Alhaji Atiku Abubarkar has condemned the act, while SERAP is threatening to sue for justice.
In the 13 minutes video by BBC Africa, the lecturer, Dr. Igbeneghu of the department of English, University of Lagos was seen asking Kiki Mordi, an undercover journalist who disguised herself as a 17-year-old admission seeker, “how old are you?” “Don’t you know you are a beautiful girl? Do you know I am a pastor and I am in my 50s but if I want a girl of 17 years, all I need is a sweet tongue and put some money,” he said.
Dr. Igbeneghu told her that there is a secret place in the University called “cold room” where lecturers meet to touch ladies’ breasts in order to have good grades.
He told her that if she really wants to gain admission into UNILAG she must abide by his rules as he threatened she might miss her chances if she proves stubborn.
“You must be obedient, you are too stiff. I can call you to come any day. If you don’t come, you know you are gone,”
“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 the cold room.”
An act the PDP Presidential candidate has outrightly condemned. He said no society should allow to thrive any act that is psychologically abusive to young women. He calls for “systematic strategies” to curb such behaviour in institutions of higher learning.
“I have just read the story on #SexForGrades across public tertiary institutions in many West African countries. This is unacceptable and requires systemic strategies to put a deterrence to such behaviour.
“As a society, we cannot allow a trend that is psychologically abusive to young women to thrive. In fact, that’s a direct opposite of what a sound educational system represents.” He said.
In a similar vein, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has also condemned the act as it threatened to push for justice in what it described as a “crime against humanity.”
“Sexual harassment is a human rights crisis across Nigeria’s universities & higher institutions. Yet, authorities have ignored or covered up the abuses. Given disturbing revelation by @kikimordi & @BBCAfrica, we’re pushing for justice for this crime against humanity.”
It said students of higher learning should be given the opportunity to focus on their studies without the fear of being sexually harassed by anyone. It calls on people who have
“Students should be able to concentrate on their studies and enjoy their right to education free from the fear of sexual harassment or assault.” It said.
It called on the general public to report the issue of sexual abuse and harassment to her for advice and legal support.
“If you/your friend/someone you know has been a victim & would like to seek justice, please feel free to call our hotline: 0800-CALLSERAP (0800-2255-73727) for an anonymous and confidential advice and assistance. We’ll provide absolutely free legal support. We’re here to help.”