Journalists Exposed West Africa Sex For Grades Scandal

by Ghost writers

In a recent report, BBC Africa Eye’s Sex for Grades, Kiki Mordi, 28, says, “I never finished school for one reason. It wasn’t that I was less brilliant than everyone else – I was recognized as a high flyer at my school.

It wasn’t even that I finished. The reason was sexual harassment.”  Mordi claims a professor withheld her exam results for two semesters after refusing his sexual advances, which caused her to drop out of school and abandon her dream of becoming a doctor. At the time, Morti reported the harassment, but said, “It seemed like nothing could be done.”

She calls it robbery. “School is perhaps the safest place on earth for girls.”

Mordi addresses sexual harassment at West African universities. In her study, she interviewed dozens of current and former students about their sexual harassment experiences.  Mordi and three other undercover reporters use hidden cameras to film lecturers at reputable universities in Lagos and Ghana for three months in an hour-long film. In closed-door meetings, lecturers harass, blackmail, and propose to Mordi and her fellow reporters.  She claims sexual harassment is an open secret at universities, that “everyone has a story.”

Despite not being part of the BBC investigation, Williams feels the broadcast provided concrete proof of the problem. She says this conversation has been going on in this country for so long. It forced us to confront the issue. People can no longer look away from it or pretend it doesn’t exist.” After receiving numerous requests from West Africa and “all over the continent” for a report, BBC Africa Eye began looking into the matter. She notes it took nine months to gather enough evidence to suggest the scale of the problem. ‘I was really shocked by the findings,’ she says.

According to unidentified informants, undercover reporters targeted lecturers known for serially harassing students. An undercover reporter is filmed filming professor Paul Kwame Butakor, who offers an undercover reporter a job if she allows him to be her “side guy,” adding that the reporter’s wife is not in the country.

An additional journalist poses as a 17-year-old while applying for admission to Igbeneghu Boniface’s department at the University of Lagos. A professor and a pastor, Igbeneghu, are shown on camera asking the undercover journalist about her sexual histories, describing a university club where lecturers kiss girls. He also repeatedly asks the reporter for kisses. The exchanges occurred during meetings held at his university office as part of the student’s counseling process to gain admission to the university.  Having seen the documentary while still a student, Mordi wants students experiencing sexual harassment to know they are not alone. At the time, she could not tell her mother everything.

It is a welcome opportunity to push for change that the documentary has brought public attention to that message. In Williams’ words, “We are holding up a mirror to our society so that it will see what we are doing. This is who we are  It’s the right time to make changes,” she says.

In 2018, then professor Richard Akindele at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in southwest Nigeria, was let go after an investigation discovered that he asked a student, Monica Osagie, for sexual favors in exchange for better grades.  At the time of the incident, the head of the university Eyitope Ogunbodede said in a statement that the student had audiotaped the former professor asking for sex.   As university officials dig into the facts more, they also discovered that “Akindele had concealed Osagie’s real examination score as part of his ploy to have sex with her for better grades.   Osagie’s marks were 45, which is a pass mark by the institution’s grading, according to the university,” wrote By Stephanie Busari and Bukola Adebayo of CNN.

Monica Osagie photo by CNN

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