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The Patriot Institute of Journalism and Arts (PIJA), Lance Magazine is a public-centric independent media organisation dedicated to fighting injustice, fostering social justice and community development through the telling and retelling of the marginalised-oriented stories.

S*x for Grades: UNICAL Students Protest Over Prof Cyril Ndifon S*xual Assault 

They re-accused Professor Cyril Ndifon of sexually harassing them and threatening them. Also, they alleged suppression from the institution.


In 2016, the National Industrial Court of Nigeria in Calabar, Cross River State, validated the suspension of the former Dean of Law Faculty, University of Calabar, Professor Cyril Ndifon, over an alleged sexual assault. But the school subtly reinstated him back to office in 2022.


Ndifon had been alleged of sexually assaulting a 20-year-old 400-level student (name withheld) in his faculty after ordering her to his office.


Following the development, authorities of UNICAL suspended Professor Cyril Ndifon. The suspension was to last until he was completely exonerated from the allegations on sexual assault and acts of official misconduct.


Not satisfied with the suspension, the embattled professor of law had dragged the university authorities to court in suit no. NICN/CA/01/2016, claiming, amongst others, that the institution had no power to suspend him beyond the statutory three months under the University of Calabar Act, LFN, 2004.


But in a judgment delivered on September 21, 2016 and made available to Southern City News on Friday, the National Industrial Court, presided over by Justice Eunice Agbakoba, dismissed the suit.

S*x for Grades: UNICAL Students Protest Over Prof Cyril Ndifon S*xual Assault 
A suspension story of Professor Cyril Ndifon, published by the Punch Newspaper in 2016.

Agbakoba said, “The suspension of Ndifon beyond three months was not in any way invalidated under Section 16(2) of the University of Calabar Act.”


She also dismissed the reliefs sought by Ndifon, adding that the professor could not restrain the university from investigating his conduct while in employment.


Those who were named as parties in the suit included the vice-chancellor, University of Calabar; Governing Council, University of Calabar and the University of Calabar as 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants/respondents respectively.


The counsel to Ndifon could not be reached for comments.


However, the counsel to University of Calabar, Mr. Fakuta Nachamada, described the judgment of the court as not only sound in law, but also the triumph of truth over evil.


On the possibility of appealing against the judgment, Nachamada referred to the case between Lagos Sheraton Hotel And Towers versus Hotel and Personal Services Senior Staff Association (2014) LPELR -23340 (CA) where it was held that appeal against the decisions of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria “is totally circumscribed.”


He said, “A litigant not satisfied with a judgment of the National Industrial Court can only appeal in cases relating to fundamental rights under chapter IV of the constitution or in criminal cases as they relate to matters upon which the National Industrial Court has jurisdiction, which is not the case in Ndifon’s suit.”


However, since the reinstatement of Ndifon in 2022, students alleged he has resumed the sexual assaults. This was the reason students of the law department of the University of Calabar protested on Monday.


They re-accused him of sexually harassing them and threatening them. Also, they alleged suppression from the institution.


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