UNICAL Prof. Faces 7 Years Jail; ICPC Submits 70 Nudes in Rape Case

by J.J Olawuyi

Following an extensive two-month forensic analysis, which included examining call logs, videos, and messages, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has filed numerous charges against Prof. Cyril Osim Ndifon, the former Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Calabar.

These charges are based on allegations of sexual harassment, molestation, and rape, which Ndifon is now facing trial for at a Federal High Court in Abuja. The offense of gratification, which Ndifon is accused of, carries a potential seven-year jail term upon conviction.

During the investigation, four current students and five alumni provided testimony against Ndifon when the university convened a panel of inquiry. The ICPC has prepared a list of 15 witnesses, primarily students, for the trial, which is expected to be heavily reliant on electronic evidence presented in court. Allegations against Ndifon include forced sexual intercourse and forced oral sex.

In a written statement dated November 14th, 2023, one admission seeker alleged that Ndifon forced her to perform oral sex and engaged in sexual intercourse with her as a condition for securing admission to UNICAL. She further claimed that on another occasion, Ndifon gave her a bag containing 11 used condoms to dispose of.

The ICPC contends that Ndifon abused his office, particularly during his tenure overseeing admissions into the Faculty of Law. Under his supervision for the 2022/2023 Direct Entry Admission, only eight out of 37 candidates shortlisted by Ndifon were eligible, according to the commission.

Additionally, Ndifon and his counsel, Sunny Anyanwu, are standing trial for allegedly obstructing the investigation. Ndifon has pleaded not guilty and is currently detained at the Kuje Centre of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) pending bail.

These details and more are included in the charge sheet filed by the ICPC before the Federal High Court presided over by Justice James Omotosho. In compliance with the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), all evidence has been made available to all parties and their lawyers.

The ICPC alleges that Ndifon habitually requested and received sexual gratification in exchange for grades and mark upgrades, a violation of Section 8 of the Corrupt Practices Act. Other accusations include soliciting pornographic videos from students and leveraging his authority to coerce them into sexual acts, contravening various laws, including the Cybercrimes Act and the Criminal Code.

Regarding the abuse of office, the ICPC claims Ndifon collected unauthorized fees and misappropriated student journal fees. Evidence suggests that Ndifon imposed illegal fees on law students, with funds being diverted from their intended purpose. The commission’s investigation also found discrepancies in the admissions process and financial improprieties in the handling of law journal funds.

The ICPC further accuses Ndifon and his lawyer of attempting to interfere with the investigation, citing instances where they contacted key witnesses to dissuade their cooperation.

In his defense, the 59-year-old Professor of Law refuted the claims, insisting he never harassed or raped any student.

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