The University of Calabar has taken decisive action by suspending the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Professor Cyril Ndifon, over allegations of sexual harassment. The suspension, effective from Thursday, follows an internal investigation into the claims made by several female students of the faculty earlier in the week.
The allegations were brought to the forefront when a video circulated on social media, depicting students from the Faculty of Law staging a protest at the office of the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Florence Obi. The students were seen holding placards with inscriptions such as “Ndifon must go for our sanity,” “We are tired of buying law journals,” and “Law girls are not your bonanza; Prof. Ndifon should stop grabbing us and others.”
In response to the allegations, Professor Ndifon vehemently denied the charges during an interview with CrossRiverWatch. He asserted that the protest was orchestrated by individuals within the faculty who harbored personal grievances against him.
The University’s management, however, found the response to the initial query served on Professor Ndifon unsatisfactory. In a letter issued by the school’s Registrar, Gabriel Egbe, the Vice-Chancellor ordered his suspension and removal from his position as Dean of the Faculty of Law. The letter, made available to PUNCH Metro through the university’s spokesperson, Eyo Bassey, explained the decision to launch a formal investigation into the matter.
The letter read in part, “The vice-chancellor has gone through your written representations and is not satisfied with your explanations. She has therefore directed that you be relieved of your position as the 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 suspension, which began on August 17, 2023, requires Professor Ndifon to hand over all university property in his possession, including his official responsibilities, to the Sub-Dean of the Faculty. He has also been instructed to stay away from the university premises, except when responding to an invitation from the investigative panel. This development highlights the university’s commitment to addressing allegations of misconduct and ensuring a safe and respectful environment for all members of the academic community.