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Alleged Rape: ICPC Tenders 70 Nude Photos, Messages Against UNICAL Professor

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After a two-month forensic analysis of call logs, videos and messages, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has filed more than 70 evidence against a former Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Calabar, Prof. Cyril Osim Ndifon.

Ndifon is standing trial at a Federal High Court in Abuja for alleged sexual harassment, molestation and outright rape.

Four current students and five alumni testified against the law lecturer when the university raised a panel of enquiry,

ICPC has lined up 15 witnesses, mostly students, against the lecturer for a trial which may be 80-90 per cent electronically based in court.

While some claimed that he had sex with them forcibly, others alleged that he had oral sex with them, the Nation reported.

An admission seeker, in her written statement on November 14th, 2023, admitted that the don put his genital in her mouth and had sex with her in order to get a slot to enter UNICAL.

She said on another day when she visited the don, he gave her a nylon bag with 11 used condoms to throw away.

According to ICPC, Ndifon has a case to answer for alleged abuse of office, especially when he was solely in charge of admission into the Faculty of Law.

The anti-graft commission said under the supervision of Ndifon, in UNICAL’s Direct Entry Admission for the year 2022/2023, only eight out of the 37 candidates shortlisted by the lecturer were eligible.

Ndifon, who is in addition standing trial with his counsel, Sunny Anyanwu for alleged obstruction of investigation, has pleaded on oath that he is not guilty.

He has been remanded in Kuje Centre of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) pending his admission to bail.

All these details were contained in the charge sheet filed by ICPC before the Federal High Court before Justice James Omotosho.

In line with the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) all evidence have been frontloaded and made available to all parties and their lawyers.

ICPC alleged that in “contravention of Section 8 of the Corrupt Practices Act, Ndifon unethically and habitually requested/solicited and received sexual gratification cum pleasure in exchange for grades and mark upgrades from his female students.

Other submissions of the commission are: “The Respondent (Ndifon) habitually requested for video of his students’ bodies and genitalia specifically instructing the female students on the mode and medium of delivery of same which is through WhatsApp.

“The Respondent habitually took advantage of the unequal relationship between himself and his students to cause them to perform oral sex on him under duress, thereby gratifying himself.

“The apprehension of failure in Law courses and ultimately not gaining admission into degree programme or graduating from the university with their mates created real fears in the students and they succumbed to the Respondent’s entreaties. They saw the Respondent as a larger than life phenomenon.

“That in exchange for the pleasure/gratification to satiate his sexual urge, the Respondent awarded the female students undeserving grades contrary to established university approved grading order/pattern.

“That in contravention of the Cybercrimes (Prevention and Prohibition) Act 2015, the Criminal Code and Penal Code, the Respondent wielding inordinate power in an unequal relationship with his female students caused the female students to transmit nude and pornographic videos of themselves as a currency for grades, upgrades, and admission into the University’s faculty of Law or transition from Diploma in Law Class to LLB Degree Class

On the allegation of abuse of office, ICPC alleged that Ndifon was involved in the collection of “unauthorized fees and diversion and misappropriation of students’ journal fees.

“That without the approval of the University and justifiable cause, that the Respondent imposed illegal and unjustifiable fees/levies on the students of the Faculty of Law of the University.

“That the said fees paid into a bank account personally designated by the Respondent found their ways out of the said bank account for reasons and causes unrelated to Law Journals or learning /teaching benefits.

“Additionally, there is a prima facie evidence of financial impropriety and embezzlement against the Respondent who for three years had used his position to levy various sums of money on law students for building a non-existing law journal which fund had depleted on his account and directive under Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act 2006.”

ICPC added: “The investigation revealed the following: That the investigative panel report confirmed that the Respondent did not adhere to the criteria of Direct Entry Admission for the year 2022/2023. See Annexure C441 – C584 (Panel Report).

“That the investigative panel report confirmed that only 8 candidates out of the 37 candidates shortlisted for Direct Entry Admission for the year 2022/2023 were eligible.).

“That the investigative panel report confirmed that the Respondent solely handled the admission of students from Diploma in Law Programme to the Direct Entry LL.B programme for the 2022/2023 academic year.

“That the investigative panel report also confirmed that the Respondent admitted six (6) students from Diploma in Law Programme year 1 to the Direct Entry LL.B programme year 2 for the 2022/2023 academic year without being qualified, contravening the University’s regulations . See Annexure C441 -C584 (Panel Report)

“That law students paid monies for the publication of law journal into Law Journal account number 1014459068 domiciled in a bank.

“That the investigative panel report confirmed that the Respondent had collected funds from the law students for 3 sessions without publishing and presenting them with any journal.

That the investigative panel report also confirmed that the Respondent created a website (www.calabarlawjournal.com.ng) on June 2, 2023 and updated June 3, 2023 but was empty with absolutely no papers uploaded.

“That the Law Journal account number 1014459068 domiciled in Zenith Bank had a total inflow of =N=9,498,950.01 and a total debit of =N=10,017,573.10 from January 01, 2018 to December 12, 2023.”

The commission also accused Ndifon and his lawyer of alleged moves to interfere or impede investigation.

“That the Respondent directing and acting in concert with his lawyer, Sunny Anyanwu, became meddlesome in the Commission’s investigation and made calls to the star witness of the prosecution to ask her not to respond to the officers of the commission,” the commission said.

In a 20-page statement to ICPC, the 59-year old Professor of Law faulted some of the claims of his students.

He said he did not harass or rape any student under any guise.

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Student Loan Scheme To Be Launched In Three Weeks- Gbajabiamila

Gbajabiamila urged Nigerian students to voice their support for the Student Loan Funds policy, emphasizing that it aims to ensure access to quality education for all Nigerian students, regardless of their socioeconomic background.

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The implementation of the student loan scheme is likely to be launched within the next three weeks. 

This was indicated by the Chief of Staff to the President of Nigeria, Femi Gbajabiamila who expressed the administration’s commitment to ensuring its successful implementation.

He made these remarks during his reception of a delegation from the National Association of Nigerian Students, led by its President, Lucky Emonefe, at the State House, Abuja.

Gbajabiamila urged Nigerian students to voice their support for the Student Loan Funds policy, emphasizing that it aims to ensure access to quality education for all Nigerian students, regardless of their socioeconomic background.

What he said:

He emphasized the president’s determination to see it through, urging Nigerian students to rally behind the initiative to ensure that no deserving, financially challenged student is overlooked in accessing the loan.

According to him,

  • “Mr. President is absolutely determined that we see it through successfully.
  • “We are hoping it will be launched in the next two to three weeks, we are trying to dot the I(s) and the T(s) before it is launched to ensure we have policies that cannot be implemented.
  • “Now we are going to need you in the success of this policy because generally, it is a well-received policy .
  • “It is to make sure people are not deprived of their education just because of circumstances of their birth that itself is unconstitutional.
  • “So when voices speak up against it we expect you to rise for support, this is something that you all support, embrace and work towards its success.”

The Chief of Staff reassured the students that the government is prepared to prevent any imminent industrial action by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), affirming that ongoing efforts are being made to address the union’s concerns.

He also mentioned that President Tinubu has issued multiple directives aimed at ending strikes by academic unions in universities and higher institutions.

  • “Luckily, we are……determined that the days of strike are over and left behind. We are hoping to be able to avert the strikes,” he added.
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UNICAL Law Professor Pressured Me To Trade My Virginity For Admission – Witness

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC)’s star witness, TKJ (not real name), on Tuesday, stated that Prof. Cyril Ndifon, the suspended Dean of Faculty of Law, University of Calabar (UNICAL), pressurised her to trade her virginity in exchange for an admission into the institution.

TKJ, who is the ICPC’s 2nd prosecution witness (PW2), told Justice James Omotosho of a Federal High Court, Abuja, this while being led in evidence by the commission’s lawyer, Osuobeni Akponimisingha.

She narrated that she came in contact with Ndifon during her Diploma 1 Programme through some senior students who were posting condolence messages to the lecturer over the death of his mother.

The PW2 said on returning to school, Ndifon called her to inquire if she was back, which she answered in affirmative.

However, the witness further told the court that while in his office, the embattled professor held her waist while she tried to free herself from him.

The witness also told the court that the don also asked her to visit him on a public holiday, and begged her to give him “a blow job” after confirming she was on her menstrual cycle.

She said: “On a public holiday, he asked me to come to his office.

“He pulled his trousers. I told him to stop and that I was on my period (menstruation). He asked ‘won’t I give him my virginity again’?

“I said I was on my period. He put his hand inside my pad. He asked when my period would finish and asked me to sit down.

“He brought out his manhood and asked that I give him a blow job. I told him I can’t. He said I shouldn’t embarrass him.

“He put his manhood back inside his trousers and told me to leave his office.

“When I was about leaving, I begged him that I was sorry.

“That day, I was not on my period; I just had to wear the pad because of the advances he had been making at me.

“I went back to WhatsApp to apologise and told him I was sorry. He was my only hope for the admission, something I had looked for for years.”

According to the witness, after the incident, the suspended dean began pressuring her for nude videos.

She said that despite the sexual harassment protests on campus, the suspended dean requested more nude photographs from her.

TKJ also told the court that while the University panel probe was ongoing, he came to the front of her hostel in a tinted glass car.

The witness said she joined him in the car and was having a discussion when Ndifon tried to put his hand inside her trousers.

The PW2 said that after stopping him from doing that, he brought out his manhood and forcefully put it in her mouth.

She said Ndifon later transferred N3000 into her account to treat herself after requesting for the account details.

After giving her evidence, the prosecution counsel sought to tender the N3000 bank receipt sent to the witness as evidence and it was admitted as exhibit after Ndifon’s lawyer, Joe Agi, SAN, withdrew his objection.

Justice Omotosho adjourned the matter until Feb. 7 for continuation.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Ndifon was, on Jan. 25, re-arraigned alongside Sunny Anyanwu as 1st and 2nd defendants on an amended four-count charge bordering on alleged sexual harassment and attempt to perverse the cause of justice.

Anyanwu, who is one of the lawyers in the defence, was joined in the amended charge filed on Jan. 22 by the ICPC on allegation that he called one of the prosecution witnesses on her mobile telephone during the pendency of the charge against Ndifon to threaten her.

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Certificate Racketeering: NANS President Benin Republic Demands Arrest Of Reporter

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The National Association of Nigerian Students President for Benin Republic, Ugochukwu Favour, has called for the arrest of the reporter, Umar Audu, who went undercover to expose corruption in the issuance of certificates in the country.

Speaking in an interview on Thursday on the Channels TV programme Sunrise Daily, Favour slammed the reporter for having his passport stamped and obtaining certificates without being physically present.

“Your passport was stamped while you were not available there. Now, and that aside, this guy served in 2019. And he still served again in 2023” he said.

Favour claimed the reporter was implicating the government and questioning the credibility of agencies like the Immigration and National Youth Service Corps by going undercover.

“He has to be arrested. This guy needs to be arrested because, I know, he’s a reporter who is trying to clear out some things but on that note, you are trying to implicate some persons now because, in a sense, you’re trying to implicate the government, the NYSC and the immigration,” he said.

When asked by the interviewer if the reporter’s efforts exposed loopholes that should be addressed, the NANS president said, “I’m not doubting that but then since this is out already, I want to urge the government to look into it and take the necessary steps as fast as possible,” he responded.

 

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