Diploma graduate in consensual relationship with me – Suspended UNICAL dean

consensual relationship
The suspended Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Calabar, Cyril Ndifon, has asserted that he engaged in a consensual relationship with a diploma graduate, identified as TKJ (name withheld due to a court order to protect her identity), who accused him of sexual harassment.

Professor Ndifon is currently facing trial on amended charges of alleged sexual harassment and gratification, brought against him by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

Also implicated in the case is his lawyer, Sunny Anyanwu, who stands accused of harassing TKJ and advising her to disregard the ICPC’s summons.

TKJ, the star witness for the ICPC, testified that the professor pressured her into a sexual relationship, including demanding her virginity and coercing her into performing oral sex in exchange for admission into the LLB program at the institution.

However, according to a copy of the no-case submission filed by Professor Ndifon’s lawyer, Joe Agi (SAN), seen by our correspondent on Thursday, Ndifon has urged the court to dismiss the case and declare him innocent. He contends that the series of conversations indicates a consensual relationship between him and TKJ.

In these chats, the professor pointed out that they both expressed love, affection, and concern for each other’s well-being.

He stated, “What are the elements of the offense: (a) causing fear (b) threat (c) fear for safety? None of these elements were present in count 1. Moreover, there was no evidence presented to demonstrate fear, safety concerns, or blackmail from TKJ or Professor Ndifon, particularly as shown by Exhibit ‘H.’ The conversations clearly indicate that both the Defendant and TKJ had a consensual relationship where they expressed their love, affection, and concerns for each other’s safety, particularly that of the Defendant.”

He further asserted that the evidence presented to the court demonstrates that the text messages exchanged between him and TKJ were indicative of emotional sentiments shared between two romantic partners and did not instill fear in either party.

Ndifon also alleged that the ICPC violated his fundamental human rights by confiscating his phones without obtaining a court order.

The suspended dean remarked, “The commission, in its desperation to fabricate or uncover any conceivable offense, seized the phone of the 1st Defendant while he was under their custody, and without securing a court order as mandated by Section 45 of the Cyber Crime Act, thereby breaching his fundamental rights as guaranteed by Section 37 of the 1999 Constitution as amended. They unlawfully accessed his phone and began scrutinizing its contents in search of an offense, disregarding his right to privacy.”

He continued, “Upon encountering nude and pornographic images on the 1st Defendant’s phone, they invoked the Cybercrime Act to probe the alleged offense of cyberstalking. This not only portrays them as an uncontrollable entity but also resembles a knight-errant that seeks out conflicts and battles everywhere. My Lord, if this behavior is condoned, we are all at risk. Surely, this cannot be the lawmakers’ or the law’s intention.”

Ndifon also urged the court to reject jurisdiction over the case. During cross-examination, Lucy Chima, a prosecution witness, asserted that while they received numerous oral and written complaints, TKJ was not mentioned as one of the complainants. Additionally, TKJ was not initially listed as a witness in the original charge but “emerged after the amended charge was filed.”

He further argued that counts 1 and 2, which pertain to sending and receiving nude videos, and count 3 of the original charge fall outside the jurisdiction of the court, as Section 26(2) and 61(3) of the Corrupt Practice and Other Related Offences Act, 2020, prohibit the court from adjudicating on such offenses.

“Now, turning to Count 4 in the original charge, which is derived from the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act, 2015, it is evident from the Charge and the evidence presented to this Honorable Court that the case was not initiated through due legal process, thereby depriving your lordship of jurisdiction,” he added.

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