Dr Paul Kwame Butakor, one of the two lecturers of the University of Ghana caught on video by the BBC allegedly demanding sex for grades from a student, has denied sexually harassing the undercover journalist who disguised himself as a student.
Academic institutions in West Africa have increasingly been facing allegations of sexual harassment by lecturers.
This type of abuse is said to be endemic, but it is almost never proven.
After gathering dozens of testimonies, BBC Africa Eye sent undercover journalists posing as students inside the University of Lagos and the University of Ghana.
Female reporters were sexually harassed, propositioned and put under pressure by senior lecturers at the institutions – all the while wearing secret cameras.
Reporter Kiki Mordi, who knows first-hand how devastating sexual harassment can be, reveals what happens behind closed doors at some of the region’s most prestigious universities.
Dr Butakor was seen in the BBC video requesting for sex from a student in exchange for grades.
In a letter dated 28 September 2019 in response to the BBC’s video, the University of Ghana lecturer stated that: “I sincerely and emphatically deny that I have ever engaged in any amorous behaviour howsoever with any student of the University of Ghana.”
The letter continued that: “I deny, vehemently, that I ever believed I was dealing with a student of the University of Ghana when a lady purported to be a student contacted me. I also deny vehemently that I conferred undue favours on the said lady after the deadline for the national service placement had passed”.
The letter added that: “The deadline for the national service application was extended to May 31, 2019. (See attached and also paragraphs 10 to 17).”
It also noted that: “All the allegations levelled in your letter against me are not supported by valid documentary or any form of evidence on the face of your letter which you know is calculated to tarnish my hard-earned reputation. Even if there are documentary evidence they have not been provided to me and this response is being given without me having benefit of going through the documents and reply to the same.”
Dr Butakor added: “I state in very strong terms that the allegations levelled against” him are “unfounded, and baseless and only aimed at lowering me in the estimation of right-thinking members of society, especially the University community where I practice my profession” and “at the appropriate time, the necessary legal action will be pursued to vindicate my rights.”