Sex scandal: Suspended UNICAL Dean, Prof. Ndifon, narrates his side of the Story.


I have watched with passivity how my name and integrity has been tarnished in social, print and electronic media in the past few weeks over a phantom protest that was stage-managed by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Professor Florence Banku Obi, her family and cohorts in the Faculty of Law of the university. I have now elected to react to the ugly events.


The conspiracy to remove me not only as Dean of the Faculty of Law, but also as an academic staff of the university is predicated and informed by the following reasons:

•Unfounded Grievances:

These are grievances by some academic staff in the Faculty of Law, who are over-ambitious to become the Dean by hook or crook, but unable to win any elections for that purpose, those who were asked to return the Faculty’s vehicles in their custody as well as those who complained that they were not being carried along.

•Speakership Tussle

The loss of the Vice Chancellor’s son – Rt. Hon. Hilary Bisong – of the chance of becoming the Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly, which the mother apparently is blaming Rt. Hon. (Associate Prof) Jacob Otu Enyia for frustrating his son’s chances and ambition.

•The Promotion of Rt. Hon. (Ass. Prof) Jacob Otu Enyia, KSJI, to Rank of Professor

My insistence at the Central Appointment and Promotion Committee, CAPC, meeting of 2022 held in 2023 that Dr. Jacob Enyia should be promoted to the rank of Professor since he is eligible in accordance with the requirements as stipulated in the university’s Conditions of Service 2014 did not go down well with the Vice Chancellor. She openly told me not to present him before the Appointment and Promotion Committee. However, on the day after this incident, I visited the Vice Chancellor in her office in my bid to change her insistence of not allowing to present Dr. Jacob Enyia. On that occasion she told me that “Dr. Jake needs Speaker not Professorship.” In fact, on the floor of the Appointments and Promotions Committee meeting, a Professor colleague advised that I stay off Boki politics. It is the thinking of some that I will be stumbling block to the investigation of Dr. Otu Enyia since the Vice Chancellor has set up a committee for that purpose.


•The Vice Chancellor’s Meeting with Academic Staff of the Faculty

Within a period of two months and some days – 30th of May, 2023 to 14th of August, 2023 – the Vice Chancellor held two meetings with the academic staff of the faculty. The meeting of the 30th May, 2023 was held with all academic staff, while that of the 14th August, 2023 was held with Senior Lecturers and Professors on the pretext of resolving administrative issues in the faculty. In both meetings the issue of sexual harassment was never raised and or discussed.

•Vice Chancellor’s Personal Verbal Attack

At both meetings of the 30th May, 2023 and 14th August 2023, I was the primary target of the attack by the Vice Chancellor: She accused me during the 30th May 2023 meeting of not supporting her to become the Vice Chancellor, while in the 14th August 2023 meeting, she accused me of being a cultist and that I was planning to kill her and further alleged that I was colluding and holding nocturnal meetings to remove her from office as the Vice Chancellor. This was said in the open and in the presence of all those who attended the meeting. This outburst surprised me and I pointedly asked her the reason for such false accusation. She simply said she has said what she wanted to say. But I was vehement in my denials.

•Undue and Unwarranted Interference by the Vice Chancellor in the Administration of the Faculty

Since my assumption as Dean after the January 27, 2023 election, the Vice Chancellor has been agitated and quite unfriendly to me. Immediately after the said election, the Vice Chancellor’s, agent in the Faculty, Dr. Micheal Takim Otu, had through unguarded outbursts boasted that he would make the faculty ungovernable and ensure I am removed as Dean. Dr. Micheal Otu has characteristically always boasted of being the Vice Chancellor’s brother and village man; and that the Vice Chancellor will do anything he asks her to do. To corroborate this, there is an audio where Dr. Micheal Otu speaks about his close relationship with the Vice Chancellor and how he intends to “bring me down.”

The undue and unwarranted interference of the Vice Chancellor in the affairs of the faculty has manifested through:

(a) Office allocation – physical displacement of some academic staff to give an office to her village man, Dr. Micheal Otu;

(b) Involvement in assignment of courses (course allocation) to lecturers and included persons, who she had instructed us not to give courses to teach since there were not yet pay-rolled, lecture timetable and appointment of undergraduate project supervisors and allocation of supervisees;

(c) Appointment of course representatives;

(d) Law school admissions and

(e) Direct entry admissions, among others.

•Phantom Protest by Year One Students

This was organized or allowed by the Vice Chancellor in cahoots with her kinsman, one Mr Ben Otu, the LAWSAN President. This made it easy for them – the protesters – to have access to the Vice Chancellor’s block, an impossible task for any protesters in the regime of Prof. Florence Obi. Among the protesters was the Vice Chancellor’s niece, Miss Destiny Omokiti, who lives in the same house with her. The entire episode – a five-minutes show – was to embarrass my person and justify her subsequent actions of removing me from office and duties. It is curious that rather than the Vice Chancellor, the Deputy Vice Chancellor and some of my colleagues – in particular, Prof. Jacob Dada and Prof. Micheal Okom – being surprised by the demonstration, they were seen smiling and recording – videoing – the incident. The protesters were cajoled into the action by the LAWSAN President – who himself has admitted and apologized that the intention and purpose of the protest was not made known to the protesters. There have been many denials from students that this is not a LAWSAN, protest but a lone wolf act of the now suspended LAWSAN President. Many students have confessed that they were not aware of the ‘other purpose’ outside Law Journal, and that they were handed the placards which had other inscriptions by the President at the V.C.’s block as they alighted from the bus that conveyed them. The placards were written by the same person – the sole organizer of the protest – as we can see from the inscriptions, which has the same handwriting. What has the University done to this boy who lied and misled many? Nothing has been done; instead the LAWSAN “President” is being protected. One may wish to ask: Why was the complaint of law journal not brought to me first. What happened to DUE PROCESS?


•Query and Reply

On the 15th of August, 2023, I received a query, which was dated 14th of August 2023, the same day we had the meeting in the Vice Chancellor’s office to resolve complaints by my colleagues that I was not carrying them along. The said query, which – apart from the last item pertaining to the protesting students – was borne out of what we discussed and the Vice Chancellor had taken steps to resolve them by promising to set up committees to deal with them. She asked us to go back and work together.

It was to my shock, therefore, that the query, which was full of unnecessary insinuations dealt with one and the same issues which were resolved in the meeting. I was therefore constrained to reply to these allegations – if any – contained therein. I have copies of my query and reply here for your perusal.


I was suspended immediately the authorities received my reply. This decision was clearly rash, hurried and vindictive. The entire process leading to my suspension took only three days – from query, reply and suspension. This is a record in the University of Calabar on matters pertaining to staff discipline. What is more worrisome about the suspension order is its scope. For instance by the suspension letter I am to “stay away from the university premises, except while responding to invitation from the Panel…” This is strange, unknown and vires her powers. This is a form of punishment as if I am a criminal and violates my right and freedom of movement. I am a Nigerian, this apart, my wife and wards are working and schooling/boarding in the university. This affects my family life and access to my family members and my freedom of movement. I am still a staff of the university and I have worked for the most part of my adult life in the university and rose to the rank of Professor; indeed, the Vice Chancellor’s desire for my pound of flesh speaks volumes. It shows someone who is bent on destroying all there is of me – my name, my family, community and state, as well as my marriage. This abuse of power leaves much to be desired.

•The Issue of Sexual Harassment

May I state that as at this moment I am not aware of any complaints of sexual harassment outside the query, which referenced the protest by year-one law students and the placards. I have also not been informed of any such complaints of sexual harassment, either by the Vice Chancellor or any other person. So I am left with this “sole allegation” based on placards by the protesters organized by the VC, some lecturers and LAWSAN President. In fact, in the various presentations at the meeting of 14th August 2023, I was never confronted with any documents or asked any questions respecting the issue, not even by the three students’ representatives, who came to address us. Unfortunately, the students’ representative spent their time abusing lecturers and telling us that the law lecturers were incompetent to teach them. When I protested at this insult, I was told by the VC that the students were not addressing me, but her and that there was nothing wrong with what they said. I was shocked. It was on that day I wept for the Faculty of Law that I have worked so hard to build and move them from the old building to their permanent site – the new edifice – Senator Victor Ndoma -Egba, SAN, Law Complex. However, from information reaching me, the Vice Chancellor has now embarked on the task of shopping for “victims.” She now visits the faculty almost every day begging students, alumni inclusive, to accuse me with a promise to do for them “anything” and “everything,” including providing confidentiality and anonymity if they can just implicate me. This is a simple case of let’s give a dog a bad name in order to hang it. Simply put, if there are no hard facts and evidence, make do with perception. Make the allegation and damn the consequences and people will run with it. This explains the media rounds the Vice Chancellor has been embarking on.


My name, family and community have been dragged through the mud. This I must clear. I have already taken some steps to clear my name and integrity at the appropriate quarters. I state very categorically that I am blameless. I am proud of what I have achieved and will not allow my hard earned name to be rubbished.

•Prof. Cyril Ndifon