The controversy unfolded in August when female students from the Faculty of Law staged a powerful protest on campus, demanding the immediate removal of Prof. Ndifon over allegations of sexual harassment. Despite Ndifon’s claims that the accusations were politically motivated, the university management took swift action, suspending him and initiating a thorough investigation.
The probe panel, comprised of distinguished academics and legal experts, meticulously examined the allegations against Prof. Ndifon. The findings revealed a disturbing pattern of behavior, including compelling law students to pay for a Faculty Journal that had not been published for three consecutive academic sessions. The panel also discovered that the Dean had been withholding results, jeopardizing the graduation of female students and threatening their academic future.
Consequently, the panel recommended that Prof. Ndifon face the statutory Disciplinary Committee of the University of Calabar for appropriate sanctions. Moreover, he was directed to refund over three million naira (N3m) collected from law students for the Law Journal, which he neither published nor provided to the students. The panel’s recommendations also included arranging a supplementary examination for Comfort Jumbo, internal defense for Barrister Anne Eruegi Agi to defend her Ph.D., and encouraging her participation in the next promotion exercise.
In addition to individual sanctions, the probe report highlighted systemic issues within the Faculty of Law. The panel called for the establishment of rules to prevent lecturers from asking students to meet them at odd hours, promoting a culture where offices are not locked during student consultations, and addressing academic lapses by conducting supplementary or mop-up exams for affected students.
Crucially, the report emphasized the urgent need to eliminate discord and foster a culture of unity among staff and students in the Faculty of Law. It called for the reorientation of younger academics, urging them to uphold the noble ideals and values of the university system. The report stressed the importance of promoting critical thinking and eradicating barriers such as egocentrism and sociocentrism.
In a resounding conclusion, the report expressed optimism about the future of the Faculty of Law at the University of Calabar. It highlighted the potential for transformation and the embrace of new standards of academic excellence, discipline, and merit. With the university’s support and a collective commitment to change, the Faculty of Law is poised to undergo a profound transformation, setting a precedent for academic institutions nationwide. Stay tuned to VOTP News for further updates on this developing story.