UNICAL Dean Accused Of Harassing Female Law Students Breaks Silence
Cyril Ndifon, the dean of the faculty of Law at the University of Calabar (UNICAL), has denied claims that he sexually harassed female students of the faculty.
On Monday, some female students, led by Benedict Otu, the president of the Law Students Association of Nigeria (LAWSAN), staged a protest, demanding the sack of Ndifon over alleged sexual harassment.
The protesting students — clad in their white shirts and black skirts — were chanting “Ndifon, go! go”!
The students carried placards with disturbing inscriptions.
Some of the inscriptions read: “Professor Ndifon let the girls with big breasts breathe stop suffocating us”, “Enough of law school list manipulation”, and “Professor Ndifon must go for our sanity”.
But in a chat with CrossRiverWatch, the dean debunked the allegations, describing them as “baseless”.
Ndifon, a professor, also argued that the protest was orchestrated by some members of the faculty who “had vowed to ensure that my image is dragged to the mud”.
“Since I defeated some persons in an election that was keenly contested, to emerge as Dean of the faculty, it hasn’t been easy. I had skipped several booby traps. These allegations are baselessly masterminded by my detractor, who had vowed to ensure that my image is dragged to the mud just because I won the faculty elections twice.
“If you look at the placards you will discover that the placards have one person’s handwriting. Again how come the protesters know that we were holding a meeting with the Vice Chancellor if it is not the handiwork of an insider.
“We were supposed to hold a meeting with the Vice Chancellor to enable us iron out important issues troubling us in the faculty, while the meeting was ongoing, we were told that some students were outside with placards, protesting against me, demanding that I should be unseated.
“From what am told, LAWSAN President, Benedict Otu, cajoled some students that they were to go for a meeting with the Vice Chancellor at her office, only to dish out placards bearing false representations about the Dean, and asked his colleagues to chant slogans that berated my personality.
“This won’t work. Colleagues of mine who are bent on tarnishing my reputation just to destroy me. The question is where are the victims of sexual harassment. Can someone harass girls without the ladies coming out to raise the alarm that they were sexually harassed?
“For Christ sake, I don’t teach Year 2 B or Year one students, so I don’t know why they have chosen to drag my name to the mud. This was why I said earlier that the allegations were lies, cooked from the pit of hell, just to destroy a reputation that I had spent decades building.”
There have been concerns regarding the surge in sexual assault allegations in Nigerian institutions in the past years, with lecturers accused of demanding sex from female students in exchange for good grades.