Over the past few days, there has been a vigorous, deliberate and calculated campaign by certain elements who are bent on trivialising a very serious issue bordering on gross misconduct, abuse of office, sexual harassment of female students and criminal allegation of rape against the erstwhile Dean of the Law Faculty, UNICAL, Prof Cyril Osim Ndifon.
The campaign is incidentally championed by my good friend and learned colleague, Joseph Odok Esq. I continue to reflect and ponder and in fact, I am yet to fathom why Joseph Odok of all people would condescend so low and allow himself to be used for this shameless campaign of defending the indefensible.
The method employed is to whip ethnic bias and sentiments and seek support from Cross Riverians in favour of the embattled Prof of Law. Another style is to paint the innocent victim (Miss Sinemobong) with the tarnished brush of a whore and therefore not worthy of the sympathy and protection of the law.
This recent posturing of Mr. Odok has great implications on his avowed activism especially as he has over time held himself out as an agent of truth and constructive critic of government policies in the State. It goes to suggest that Mr. Odok is after all, a sponsored attack dog too.
How on earth can Joseph Odok accuse Agba Jalingo of CrossRiverWatch of having been bought over and sponsored to use the media to blackmail the person of the learned Prof Ndifon?
Is Mr Agba Jalingo also the publisher of the over five national dailies that published the Prof Ndifon matter?
Is Mr. Odok not aware that there are numerous, compelling and incontrovertible notarised documents/affidavit evidence against Prof Ndifon?
Is Mr. Odok also closing his ears against the petitions to the authorities by the UNICAL Faculty of Law Class of 1997?
Joseph Odok is also alleging and accusing everyone of using Miss Sinemobong to blackmail and set up Prof Ndifon. Good and fine!
Joseph Odok has failed to explain or rationalise why Prof Ndifon chose to organise an academic test on a quiet Saturday afternoon against university regulations. Perhaps it was Miss Sinemobong who organised her script to be torn by Ndifon.
Perhaps she also hypnotised Prof Ndifon to unilaterally ‘forgive her’ for the alleged examination misconduct and ordered her to re-write the paper in his private office at the top most floor of the Faculty of Law building.
How possible can one cheat in an exam/test and graciously/unconditionally be pardoned, yet go round to call the cop all on the same day?
These and many more are salient issues that should necessarily agitate the mind of a curious mind/careful observer but which Joseph Odok is trivialising and bent on dismissing and waving aside.
Joseph Odok has also arrogated to himself the powers of a court to examine medical evidence and attach probative value to same.
May I remind Mr. Odok that even the absence of medical evidence in a case of rape does not ipso facto suggest an automatic walk over for the rapist.
The medical report being brandished and attacked by Mr. Odok confirms evidence of coitus. Lacerations may have been necessary if the victim was a virgin.
I have painstakingly perused all the submissions of Mr. Odok on this matter and have seen without doubt that all are punctuated with sentiments and lack a balanced presentation of the issues.
It calls for great concern that Joseph Odok who is a full staff of the University of Calabar and has been aware of this matter from the outset but deliberately and inexplicably kept mute for over seven months now, would suddenly awake with a vigorous campaign to distort facts and attempt to launder the self battered image of the learned Prof Ndifon.
Could it be that the learned Prof has greased Odok’s palms? Time shall tell!
Am aware that Prof Ndifon duly and properly briefed a lawyer who is his legal counsel and prosecuting his course. What is the place of Mr. Odok? Has he also been retained by the learned Prof, and in what capacity?
I urge Mr. Odok to direct his campaign to the courtroom where Prof Ndifon himself has initiated the legal fireworks.
I think Prof Ndifon is channelling his perceived complaints to the rightful source, because I know the most appropriate place for anyone to be vindicated is the courtroom.
I am aware of his legal suit against the University of Calabar at the National Industrial Court, Calabar and his suit to enforce alleged violation of his fundamental rights at the Federal High Court, Calabar against the ICPC.
However, as to whether he can successfully restrain the ICPC from arresting him after severally bluffing their invitation, is a matter the court shall decide.
I shall conclude this little piece by reiterating and sounding it clear that the deliberate campaign by Joseph Odok and co who place ethnic sentiments far and above collective good, and are poised to distort facts and kill the truth, is bound to fail and shall surely fail.
Am so convinced because I draw inspiration from the the dictum of the learned law Lords of our apex court in the case of WASSAH & ORS. V KARA & ORS. (2014) 12 MJSC page 1 @ page 22 paras. B-D thus: Law is blind. It has no eyes. It cannot see. That explains why a statue of a woman with her eyes covered can be found in front of some High Courts.
“On the contrary, justice is not blind, it has many eyes, it sees, and sees very well…. any technicality that rears its ugly head to defeat justice will be rebuffed by the court…. When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous. See Proverbs 21:15.”
Therefore, every conscientious fellow and lover of justice and truth will continue to defend the truth and stand by it. This is more so because, truth crushed to earth shall ever rise again.
Eno Iyamba, Esq.
Basic Rights Counsel
(Barristers & Solicitors),