Sexual Harassment’: Court Remands Suspended UNICAL Professor In Kuje Prison

In Breaking News, Education

By Bolanle Olabintan, The Cable

A federal high court in Abuja has ordered the remand of Cyril Ndifon, the suspended dean of the faculty of law at the University of Calabar (UNICAL).

Ndifon, a professor, was suspended in August for allegedly sexually harassing some female students at the university.

Following protests by the students of the institution, an investigative panel was set up to probe claims of sexual harassment leveled against the professor.

The panel found the professor, who has since been replaced, guilty of sexual harassment and abuse of office.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) then filed criminal charges against the suspended dean in October.

At the court session on Monday, Ndifon pleaded not guilty to the four-count charge brought against him.

In count one,  he was accused of soliciting nude photographs and videos from a year two female diploma student through WhatsApp.

In count two, he was alleged to have also requested nude photographs and videos from a 400-level female student of the Faculty of Law with the plan of changing her project supervisor to himself to guarantee favorable grades for her.

In count three, he was alleged to have requested to see photographs of a 16-year-old prospective post-UTME female student, as an inducement to consider her for admission into the faculty of law.

Count four accused him of causing a female student to send pornographic, indecent, and obscene photographs of herself to him through WhatsApp.

Okon Efut, Ndifon’s counsel, moved a bail application dated January 2 and filed on January 3, praying the court to grant his client bail on health grounds.

Speaking from the dock, Ndifon said: “My lord, I was supposed to have eye surgery on Glaucoma”

Efut told the court that it was based on his health condition that the magistrate court in Calabar admitted him to bail on October 27, 2023, after being in detention for about 22 days.

He said based on the medical report, the surgery was expected to be carried out on January 11.

However, Osuobeni Akponimisingha, ICPC lawyer, opposed the bail application.

The lawyer also alleged that one of the counsels to Ndifon threatened the commission’s star witness on the phone.

James Omotosho, the presiding judge, then asked the lawyer, Sunny Anyanwu, to come forward.

When asked to respond to the allegation, Anyanwu admitted to calling Tochi Kanu, the witness.

The judge then directed Anyanwu to file his affidavit of facts for the court to decide on the issue.

Omotosho also said he wondered why Ndifon had not gone for the surgery since October when the magistrate court granted him bail.

The judge ordered Ndifon to be remanded in Kuje Correctional Centre until January 10 when the bail application will be heard.

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