A senior lecturer at the University of Lagos, Akoka, Dr. Boniface Igbeneghu, has said he would not be pressurised to speak on the allegations of sexual harassment leveled against him.
He spoke on Monday to The PUNCH when asked to react to the allegations against him.
Igbeneghu, a pastor with the Foursquare Gospel Church, was filmed making sexual advances at a ‘student’ who sought his help for admission.
His church and the University of Lagos have suspended him over the allegation.
When our Correspondent contacted him on Monday over the backlash trailing the clip, he said, “I work for the University of Lagos; if you want any reaction, talk to the university.”
“Contact the information unit and they will tell you the correct position.
“If I talk, I will be running foul of the varsity law. Don’t put unnecessary pressure on me to say beyond what I have said,” Igbeneghu added. (Punch)
As part of its continued commitment to create an enabling environment and opportunities for the promotion of sustainable growth and development of the Nigerian economy, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has partnered with The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) to host the 25th Nigerian Economic Summit (NES#25), its annual flagship event. The Silver Jubilee edition of the Nigerian Economic Summit is themed “Nigeria 2050: Shifting Gears” and scheduled to hold on 7 – 8 October 2019 at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja. Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, Chairman, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, would speak on “Gender Empowerment” at the plenary.
The Nigerian Economic Summit is the foremost credible platform for public-private dialogue which enables policy makers and influencers to deliberate on issues, proffer policy options with a view to a better understanding of our national economic policy direction and growth strategies. National leaders and policy influencers billed to attend the event include His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; His Excellency Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, GCON, Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, Hon. Minister for Finance, Budget & National Planning, Nigeria.
Other dignitaries are Senator Dr Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan PhD, CON, President of the Senate; Right Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives and Mrs. Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations. The Chief Host of the event is Mr Asue Ighodalo, Chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group.
Panelists at the event include Alhaji Aliko Dangote President/CEO Dangote Group; Mr Godwin Emefiele Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria; Bishop Matthew Kukah, Founder, The Kukah Centre; His Excellency Dr Kayode Fayemi, Chairman, Nigeria Governors Forum; HRH Muhammadu Sanusi II, The Emir of Kano; Hon. Adebo Ogundoyin, Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly; Ibukun Awosika, Chairman, First Bank of Nigeria Limited; Hon. Mrs Hannatu Mohammed, Board Member, ICPC; Mr. Chidi Ajaere, CEO, GIG Group; Mrs Juliet Anammah, CEO, Jumia Nigeria and Mr Mauricio Alarcon, MD/CEO, Nestle Nigeria Plc .
The event is billed to comprise plenary sessions, exhibitions, design workshops, dinner and the anniversary lecture as well as the presentation of awards and prizes to winners of the NES #25 essay competition and start-up pitching event.
Justice Lewis Allagoa of the Federal High Court Kano, on Monday, struck out a plea that the Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Mr. Tunde Fowler be asked to vacate his office on account of claims that his tenure has expired.
Justice Allagoa made the order in Kano following a request by JohnMary C. Jideobi, counsel to the plaintiff, Stanley Okwara. Fowler’s lawyer Paul Erokoro (SAN), who was supported by FIRS Director of Legal Services, Ike Odume; and counsel to the Attorney General of the Federation (the second defendant in the suit), T. A. Ghazalli, in a preliminary objection, asked the court to strike out Okwara’s suit
Citing copious legal authorities, Erokoro and Ghazalli told the court that Okwara has no locus standi to file the suit and that it should should be struck out as the court has no jurisdiction to entertain it.
The appropriate court to entertain the suit, argued the defendants’ lawyers, is the National Industrial Court. They submitted that Okwara is wasting the time of the Federal High Court by filing the suit before it.
But Okwara maintained that as a legal practitioner, he has the right to file the suit and he has a duty under the Legal Privileges Act to uphold the rule of law.
Okwara, an Abuja-based lawyer, in the suit (No FHC/KN/CS/141/2019), had asked a Federal High Court sitting in Kano to order Fowler to vacate his office, which he claimed expired on August 18, 2019.
The plaintiff had claimed that Fowler was appointed on the 20 August, 2015, arguing that his tenure as FIRS Chairman lapsed after the 20th August, 2019.
He cited Sections 3(2) (a), Section 4(a) and Section 11
(a)” of the FIRS Establishment Act 2007 and the decision of the Supreme Court in Ogbuinyinya & Ors. vs. Obi Okudo & Ors. (1979) All N.L.R. 105, Okwara, which he said made Fowler’s continued stay in office illegal unless he is reappointed by President Muhammadu Buhari. He also asked the court to order Fowler to return to the Treasury Single Account (TSA) all salaries. Emoluments and other monetary benefits he has enjoyed since the perceived cessation of his tenure.
But Erokoro countered the claims of the plaintiff’s lawyer.
In a notice of preliminary objection dated 30 September and filed on the same day, Erokoro noted that Okwara failed to disclose any special interest.
Given Okwara’s failure to establish his locus standi to commence the suit and for failing to abide by Section 55 of the FIRS Establishment Act by filing a pre-action notice on the FIRS Chairman, for failing to present any reasonable cause of action, Erokoro asked the court to strike out the suit.
“When a plaintiff has not disclosed his standing to sue as in the instant case the question of whether other issues in the case deserve to be decided does not arise,” he argued. Erokoro also told the court that the adjudicatory machinery of the court cannot be activated, as such powers can only be invoked by a litigant whose action is for the “determination of the civil rights and obligations of that person. That is the letter and the spirit of Sections 6 (6) b of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
Citing Senator Abraham Adesanya Vs the President of Nigeria, (1986) 5 SC 112, Erokoro said Okwara needs to have actual and real interest in the suit before he can sue.
In this case,” Erokoro told the court, “the plaintiff’s alleged cause of action is that he is an unemployed legal practitioner. He alleges that the tenure of office of the Fist defendant (Fowler) has expired. How the purported expiration of the tenure of the first defendant affect him is not disclosed. The case of Ogbuiniya and Ors Vs Obi Okudo & Ors (1979) ALL NWLR 105 heavily relied on by the plaintiff is distinguishable from the instant case. In that case, the plaintiff’s case were affected because a judge gave a judgment against the plaintiff at a time he had ceased to be a judge of that court.”
Other authorities cited by Erokoro to puncture Okwarra’s claim that he has a locus to institute the suit include: Re-Ijelu Vs LSPDC (1192) NWLR (Pt 266) 414 at 422-432, Olorode V Oyebi (1981) in 1 SCNLR 390 at 400, 1984 5 SC P 1 at 16, Sunday Adegbite Taiwo V Serak Adegboro & Ors (2011) LPELR 3155 ( SC) at page 15 B and Nyesom V Peterside (2016 LPELR -40036 (SC); Barbus & Co Nig Ltd V Okafor-Udeji (2018) 11 NWLR (PT1630) 298 at 311-321, H-A and Emechebe V CETO Int Nig Ltd (2018 11 NWLR (pt 1631 520 at 537-538, C-A
Barry Chukwu, a lawyer with the FIRS, in an affidavit dated 30 September, also told the court that the President forwarded Fowler’s name for appointment as the substantive Executive Chairman of the FIRS on 21 August 2015 for confirmation by the Senate.
“Following a meeting by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the 9th December, 2015, Fowler was confirmed as the substantive Executive Chairman of the FIRS.
“The following day, 10th December 2019, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, informed President Muhammadu Buhari of Fowler’s suitability for confirmation as substantive Executive Chairman of the FIRS,
“Based on this, Fowler’s appointment as Executive Chairman did not take effect on 20 August, 2015 when he was appointed as the acting FIRS Chairman,” he said.
In support of his position, he quoted from a letter by Saraki.
“Your Excellency may, therefore, wish to formally appoint the confirmed nominee as Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service,” Saraki’s letter, dated 15 December 2015, read in part.
Monday’s court proceedings lasted for over three hours, with Jideobi initially asking Justice Allagoa to throw out all the processes filed by the by the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation as they were not filed within time.
Ghazalli countered him, citing the Independence Day public holiday as a reason. Justice Allagoa allowed the counsel to the Attorney-General to orally move his motion to file out of time. He stood the court down for about seven minutes to enable the counsel serve the other.
When Erokoro and Ghazalli were done, Jideobi told the court that Section 18 (1) of the Interpretations Act places a duty on him, as a legal practitioner to uphold the rule of law. He further maintained that a Supreme Court ruling gives precedence to the African Charter of Human Rights provisions over all local statutes. To this Justice Allagoa queried: “Änd also the constitution?
Justice Allagoa fixed Friday 11th October 2019 for a ruling on preliminary objection.
The Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria has asked Boniface Igbeneghu to step down from all “ministerial assignments”.
Igbeneghu, who is a part-time pastor in the church, is a lecturer at the University of Lagos.
He was caught on camera sexually harassing an undercover BBC reporter who posed as an admission seeker in UNILAG.
In a 13-minute video, Igbeneghu told Kiki Mordi, the undercover reporter, how some lecturers in the institution tossed female students for sex.
He had invited the teenager to his office for a number of tutorials, before delving into sexual conversations with her.
The lecturer went to the bathroom, upon his return, he locked the door, switched off the light and embraced the “admission seeker”.
In a statement, the church dissociated itself from the conduct of the lecturer.
“The attention of the leadership of The Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria has been drawn to a video clip trending on social media platforms titled ‘Sex for grades: Undercover in West Africa Universities – BBC News’ wherein a lecturer in 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 statement read.
“The general public is hereby informed that as a holiness and Bible-believing Church, we do not condone such heinous and unscriptural act among our ministers. We totally dissociate ourselves from the purported conduct of Dr. Igbeneghu and promise to take appropriate measure as soon as the ongoing investigation is concluded.
“Meanwhile, the pastor in question has been asked to step down from all ministerial assignments.” (The Cable)
SuperSport viewers on DStv and GOtv enjoyed another great weekend of football action, with the continuation of the 2019/20 Premier League, La Liga and Serie A campaigns.
African players were once again central to the key narratives across these leagues. In the Premier League, for example, Senegal star Sadio Mane both scored a goal and earned a late penalty (from which James Milner scored) as Liverpool kept up their 100 percent record this season with a 2-1 home win over Liverpool.
The Teranga Lions player will be eager to keep up his form for the Reds in their next domestic clash, which is a high-profile match away to Manchester United on Sunday 20 October – definitely one for SuperSport viewers to savour.
Other top African performers in the Premier League this past weekend included Jordan Ayew, who scored a late winner for Crystal Palace away to West Ham United in a London derby. The Ghanaian’s next target will be goals against champions Manchester City at Selhurst Park on Saturday 19 October.
In La Liga, Ghanaian defender Mohamed Salisu Karim helped Real Valladolid hold Atletico Madrid to a goalless stalemate. Atletico once again featured Thomas Partey – another Ghana star – in midfield, and they will hope the Black Stars man is in prime form for their next clash, which is at home to Valencia and perhaps the key game of round nine for SuperSport viewers to look out for.
In Italy’s Serie A, the key African performance came from Ivorian midfielder Franck Kessie, who scored the decisive goal in a much-needed 2-1 win for Milan away to Genoa. SuperSport viewers can look forward to seeing the Rossoneri at home to Lecce on Sunday 20 October, as part of a round of matches which also features log leaders Juventus and Internazionale at home to Bologna and away to Sassuolo respectively.
Don’t miss the 2019/2020 football season on DStv and GOtv. Visit www.dstv.com and www.gotvafrica.com to subscribe or upgrade, and join in on the excitement. And while you’re on the move, you can stream matches on DStv Now.
The University of Lagos has announced the shut down of the ‘Cold Room’, where lecturers allegedly sexually harass students.
This was disclosed by Taiwo Oloyede, the Principal Assistant Registrar (Communication Unit) of the university.
The ‘Cold Room’ was mentioned by a lecturer of the school, Boniface Igbeneghu, who was caught on video sexually harassing an undercover journalist who posed as an admission seeker.
Mr Igbeneghu, in the BBC undercover documentary, described the secret place where lecturers meet to “touch students breast” at the staff club of the university.
“They call the place cold room,” he said. He then explained that female students must pay to have good grades.
“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 university spokesperson said.