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Alleged sexual harassment: UNICAL suspends Prof

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For the second time in nine years, the management of the University of Calabar on Thursday suspended its Dean of the Faculty of Law, Prof. Cyril Ndifon.

According to a letter signed by the institution’s registrar, Gabriel Egbe, Ndifon was suspended for violation of the provisions of the extant laws and policies of the institution.

Back in 2015, Ndifon was arrested, detained, and suspended by the same university over accusations of sexually assaulting female students.

A few days ago, female law students carried placards and protested on campus, calling for Ndifon’s removal.

The placards had various inscriptions like “Ndifon Must Go”, “We Are Tired of Buying Law Journals”, “We Are Tired of Lecturers Not Attending Classes”, and “We Are Sexually Harassed”.

According to the letter, the suspension came on the heels of Ndifon’s response to a query earlier issued to him by the university management.

The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Florence Obi was said to be dissatisfied with Ndifon’s response to the query.

As a result, she directed that Ndifon be relieved of his position as Dean and placed on suspension.

The authorities referred the matter to a panel that would be set up to investigate the allegations levelled against him.

Part of the letter read: “Please refer to our letter Ref UC/REG/DISC.45A dated August 14, 2023, on your alleged violation of the provisions of the extant laws and policies of the University and your response to the said letter, which was dated 16th August 2023.

“The Vice Chancellor has gone through your written representations and is not satisfied with your explanations.

“She has therefore directed that you should be relieved of your position as Dean, Faculty of Law, and placed on suspension while the matter is referred to a panel that will be set up to investigate these allegations.

“The relieving of position as Dean, Faculty of Law, and suspension from official duties take effect from 17th August 2023.

“You are to hand over all university property in your possession, including all official responsibilities presently handled by you, to the Sub-Dean of the Faculty before vacating office.

” You are to stay away from the university premises except while responding to invitations from the panel investigating these allegations”.

In an earlier interview granted to journalists, Ndifon had vehemently denied the allegations, claiming that the so-called protest by the law students was masterminded by some persons in the faculty who had sworn to pull him down.

Ndifon claimed that the allegations from the students were barefaced lies aimed at tarnishing his image.

“Since I defeated some persons in an election that was keenly contested to emerge as Dean of the Faculty, it hasn’t been easy. I had skipped several booby traps.

“These allegations are baseless and masterminded by my detractors, who had vowed to ensure that my image is dragged through the mud just because I won the faculty elections twice.

“If you look at the placards, you will discover that the placards have one person’s handwriting. Again, how come the protesters know that we were going to hold a meeting with the Vice Chancellor if it is not the handiwork of an insider”?

Ndifon alleged that the president of the Law Students Association of Nigeria had cajoled some students to go for the said meeting with the Vice Chancellor at her office, only to dish out placards bearing false representations about the Dean and ask his colleagues to chant slogans that berated my personality.

“This won’t work. Colleagues of mine who are bent on tarnishing my reputation just to destroy me. The question is, where are the victims of sexual harassment”?

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