By CrossRiverWatch admin
The alleged serial sexual assault of students by the Dean of Faculty of Law in the University of Calabar, Professor Cyril Ndifon will be facing serious scrutiny after his arrest by policemen from the Airport Police Station in Calabar over fresh allegations of sexually assaulting a 20 year old 400 level law student (name withheld).
Professor Ndifon who was arrested last Saturday in the school premises was detained in the station for several hours before he was released on bail to some senior lecturers from the Faculty.
The mother of the victim, Mrs. Irene Akpan (not her real name), who is resident in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, told Punch that the incident happened between 3pm and 5pm on August 29 at the Dean’s private office in the faculty building.
Narrating the experience of her daughter, Akpan claimed the Dean had set a one-hour test for the students on that Saturday, assigning two lecturers to supervise; but 20 minutes to the end of allotted time, Ndifon entered the hall and ordered the students to stop writing.
Akpan said while the students were preparing to submit their answer sheets, Ndifon approached her daughter, tore her answer sheet and left the shreds on the seat.
She said, “He walked straight to my daughter’s desk, collected the script and tore it. He left the torn script on her seat, but the girl picked the pieces and kept them in her bag.
“She said as they were leaving, the Dean accosted her again and asked if she still had the shredded script. He instructed her to follow him to the general Dean’s office to recopy the answers on another plane sheet, which she did.
“The unsuspecting girl followed him to the general office where two people were, including the Dean’s secretary. The office of the Dean is on the first floor of the building, according to my daughter.
“She said while writing in that office, the Dean who had earlier gone out, came in again and instructed her to follow him to his private office on the second floor so that she could comfortably use the table.”
The victim’s mother said five minutes after getting to his private office, the Dean locked the door, concealed the key and started making advances, adding that they struggled but Ndifon subdued her and forcefully had sex with the girl.
She said her daughter was later taken to the Airport Police Station along IBB Way in Calabar, where she gave statement and also had medical examinations at the police clinic.
Akpan also said her family had personally written a letter of complaint to the University through the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. James Epoke, who on receipt promised to act on it.
The Spokesman of the Police in Cross River State, Hogan Bassey also confirmed the arrest and release of Professor Ndifon to CrossRiverWatch adding that investigation into the matter has begun.
While efforts are still on to get Professor Ndifon’s reaction as he was not immediately available on phone, sources close to the Professor of Law argue that the allegation against may be false.
A lawyer in the school, Mr. Innocent Ovat, who also spoke to Punch, picked holes in the testimony of the victim alleging contradictions.
Quoting a letter the victim wrote to the school authority titled, “Report of sexual assault and harassment by Prof. Cyril Ndifon on me”, Ovat referred to the victim’s claim, which reads, “He removed his clothes and brought out a condom from his office shelf, wore it and penetrated forcefully and painfully.
“We heard a knock on the door, he picked his clothes and quickly wore them and acted like everything was normal and then he proceeded to open the door. He left me there and went downstairs with the person that knocked. Why did she not raise the alarm when the door was opened?” he queried.
But CrossRiverWatch investigation reveal that this is not the first time Professor Ndifon’s name is associated with incidences like this.
Several students, male and female, who spoke with our reporter on campus, confirmed that Professor Ndifon was notorious in the “sex-for-grades” trade. The respondents who pleaded not to be named for fear of reprisal from the Dean say they will be very happy if he can be brought to book this time.
One female student told our reporter that the Professor is still on her neck as she was talking. “I have begged and pleaded with this wicked man but he has refused to listen to me promising me that he will continue to fail me if I don’t give him sex. He is a very wicked man who has destroyed the lives of so many young girls in this school. It will be a huge relief for many of us if that man is dealt with.”
When CrossRiverWatch did multiple google checks with Professor Cyril Ndifon’s name, the first link that consistently popped out is a link to a year 2013 article http://www.stelladimokokorkus.com/2013/11/sex-for-grades-in-nigerian-universities.html where the Dean’s name was mentioned by several students of UNICAL who also alleged that the Professor has made attempts to assault them sexually in the past.
The article which encouraged ladies who are victims of the sex-for-grades trade to speak out received a deluge of comments from students across the country with comments number 116, 144, 145, 156 and 157, accusing Professor Ndifon of attempts to take advantage of them sexually while comment 129 also accused Ndifon’s colleague, Offiong Ani Offiong of the same offence.
Professor Ndifon may be the one in the eye of the hurricane at the moment, but CrossRiverWatch investigation reveal that several lecturers in the University of Calabar are deeply enmeshed in the practice and authorities are simply not doing enough to deal with the scourge.
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