Alleged Sexual Harassment: Court Remands Suspended UniCal Prof In Prison

Prof, Ndifon

A Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja yesterday, ordered that Prof. Cyril Ndifon, the suspended Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Calabar, UniCal, charged with alleged sexual harassment be remanded in Kuje prison.

Ndifon, who is being prosecuted by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, before Justice James Omotosho, however, pleaded not guilty to the four-count charge.

The ICPC, through its counsel, Ebenezer Shogunle, had filed the charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/511/23 on Oct. 30, 2023, against Ndifon.

In count one, the defendant was alleged to have, between June and September 2023, used his office and position to gratify himself by soliciting nude photographs and videos from a year 2 diploma female student of the university through Whatsapp chats on his telephone number: 08037066222, contrary to and punishable under Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices And Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

In count two, he was alleged to have corruptly 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 favourable grades for her and the offence was contrary to and punishable under Section 8(1)(a) (il) of the agency’s Act.

In count three, he was alleged to have corruptly 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 contrary to and punishable under Section 18(d) of the Act.

Count four accused him of causing a female student to send pornographic, indecent and obscene photographs of herself to him through WhatsApp chats on his telephone number: 08037066222 between May and September 2023, contrary to and punishable under Section 24 of the Cybercrime (Prohibition & Prevention) Act, 2015.

This, Ndifon was alleged to have been committed while being a public officer charged with responsibility for the certification of students as fit in learning and character as a prerequisite for the award of a Bachelor’s degree in Law and admission into the Nigeria Law School.

After the charge was read to him, the embattled lecturer pleaded not guilty to the counts.

Ndifon’s counsel, Okon Efut, SAN, took his bail application dated Jan. 2 and filed Jan. 3.

Efut prayed the court to admit his client to bail, particularly on health grounds.
Besides, he informed the court that there were four other grounds why Ndifon should be granted bail.

Speaking from the dock, Ndifon said: “My lord, I was supposed to have an 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 Oct. 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 Jan. 11.
ICPC Lawyer, Osuobeni Akponimisingha, opposed the bail application.

He said on receipt of the process, the commission filed a counter affidavit dated and filed Jan. 5.
But Omotosho wondered why Ndifon had not gone for the surgery since Oct. 27, 2023, when the magistrate court granted him bail.

Akponimisingha told the court that the medical report was served on them late and they were still verifying its genuineness.

Justice Omotosho, who ordered Ndifon to be remanded in Kuje Correctional Centre, adjourned the matter until Jan. 10 for a hearing of the bail application.

Vanguard

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