The Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Prof. Florence Banku Obi has given reasons why the university authority recalled embattled Prof. Cyril Ndifon after he was accused of raping a student in his office.

In an interview with CITY LAWYER, Prof. Obi stated that the decision followed a court judgment which exonerated the Law teacher of the allegation, adding that Ndifon has been queried by the university over the latest allegations arising from a protest by students of the Faculty of Law where he is the Dean of Law.

Obi told CITY LAWYER that she risked being committed to prison if the university had disobeyed the court’s decision, adding that the university administration would follow due process in handling the latest case.

Her words: “The University of Calabar is a public institution with rules and regulations. It is unfortunate that we have been in the news lately for the wrong reasons and despite our best efforts to remain a world-class citadel of learning.”

On the allegation that the university is not treating the latest allegation with the seriousness it deserves, Prof. Obi said: “We are not sweeping anything under the carpet. That is an unfair assessment. We will not rush to judgment because of insinuations. We will rigorously follow due process. Perhaps if that had been done during the earlier case, we would not be where we are today.

“Didn’t he win his case in court? If we did not obey the court order, we could have been tried for contempt of court.”

The university don told CITY LAWYER that Ndifon had been queried over the latest allegations made by the students, adding that “He still has a few hours (to the deadline) to respond.”

Prodded on when the university administration would take action on his response given that CITY LAWYER had it on impeccable authority that the embattled Law teacher submitted his response to the query today, Prof. Obi said that the University Registrar had not informed her that Prof. Ndifon had responded to the query.

“We cannot just suspend him because of a protest by the students,” she said. “We must follow due process. That is the bureaucracy of public service.”

When asked whether Ndifon’s continued stay as the Dean of Law would not compromise the investigation, Obi disagreed, saying: “There are so many things he has been accused of. If he tampers with evidence at the Faculty level, will he tamper with evidence on allegations concerning the Registrar’s Office or the Vice Chancellor’s Office?”

On the allegation that Ndifon has godfathers who have shielded him from justice till date, Prof. Obi said that is the more reason the university must follow due process in handling the latest matter, adding: “If we had suspended him in a hurry, would that not give the so-called godfathers opportunity to annul the process? We will follow due process. If he is innocent, he stays; if he is guilty, he will face the sanctions.”

Prof. Obi however noted that the university administration has taken pre-emptive steps following a meeting with all the stakeholders held last Monday, adding that “over 80 per cent of the agreed measures have been implemented.”

CITY LAWYER recalls that students of the Faculty of Law had staged a protest accusing Ndifon of sexual harassment and manipulation of the Nigerian Law School admission process. He was in 2015 accused of raping a 20-year-old Law student in his office. Ndifon was reinstated early last year. He denies all the charges, saying they are orchestrated by his detractors.

To join our CITY LAWYER ROUNDTABLE on WhatsApp, click here 

To join our Telegram platform, click here 

COPYRIGHT 2022 CITY LAWYER. Please send emails to citylawyermag@gmail.com. Join us on Facebook at https://web.facebook.com/City-Lawyer-Magazine-434937936684320 and on TWITTER at https://twitter.com/CityLawyerMag. To ADVERTISE in CITY LAWYER, please email citylawyermag@gmail.com or call 08138380083.

All materials available on this Website are protected by copyright, trade mark and other proprietary and intellectual property laws. You may not use any of our intellectual property rights without our express written consent or attribution to www.citylawyermag.com. However, you are permitted to print or save to your individual PC, tablet or storage extracts from this Website for your own personal non-commercial use.