The University of Calabar (UNICAL) has dismissed Cyril Ndifon, the dean of the faculty of law, following sexual harassment claims lodged against him by female students in his faculty.
Calls for Ndifon’s dismissal as dean began when female law students at the university staged a demonstration against the lecturer, holding placards that read, “Enough of the Law School List Manipulation,” “Prof Ndifon must leave for the sake of our sanity,” “Law girls are not bonanzas,” “Prof Ndifon should stop grabbing us,” and “The faculty of law is not a brothel,” among other inscriptions.
According to a statement issued by the university’s management on Thursday, Prof Florence Obi, the vice chancellor, authorised the immediate removal of Ndifon as Dean, suspended him, and prohibited him from entering the school’s premises while a panel was being set up to investigate the allegations against him.
Meanwhile, this is not the first time that the professor has been embroiled in controversy regarding sexual harassment of students and suspended as a result. In 2015, he was suspended from the university following a preliminary inquiry into rape claims involving a female law student.
On September 21, 2016, a National Industrial Court decision rejected his plea to overturn the university’s suspension. It wasn’t until 2022 that the university’s vice chancellor reinstated him as dean.
Ndifon has been accused of soliciting sex in exchange for grades and being vindictive towards students who rejected his sexual advances.
“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 relief of position as Dean, Faculty of Law, and suspension from official duties takes effect from August 17, 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 invitation from the panel investigating these allegations.”