Connect with us

News

UNICAL: Court remands suspended Law professor in Kuje Prison

A Federal High Court on Monday ordered that Prof. Cyril Ndifon, the suspended Dean of Faculty of Law, University of Calabar (UNICAL), charged with alleged sexual harassment be remanded in Kuje prison.

Ndifon, who is being prosecuted by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) before Justice James Omotosho, however pleaded not guilty to the four-count charge.

The ICPC, though its counsel, Ebenezer Shogunle, had filed the charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/511/23 on Oct. 30, 2023 against Ndifon.

In count one, the defendant was alleged to have, between June and September 2023, used his office and position to gratify himself by soliciting for nude photographs and videos from a year 2 diploma female student of the university through Whatsapp chats on his telephone number: 08037066222, contrary to and punishable under Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices And Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

In count two, he was alleged to have corruptly requested for nude photographs and videos from a 400level female student of the Faculty of Law with the plan of changing her project supervisor to himself in order to guarantee favourable grades for her and offence was contrary to and punishable under Section 8(1)(a) (il) of the agency’s Act.

in count three, he was alleged to have corruptly requested to see photographs of a 16-year-old prospective post UTME female student, as an inducement to consider her for admission into the Faculty of Law contrary to and punishable under Section 18(d) of the Act.

Count four accused him of causing a female student to send pornographic, indecent and obscene photographs of herself to him through Whatsapp chats on his telephone number: 08037066222 between May and September 2023, contrary to and punishable under Section 24 of the Cybercrime (Prohibition & Prevention) Act, 2015.

These, Ndifon was alleged to have committed while being a public officer charged with responsibility for the certification of students as fit in learning and character as a prerequisite for the award of Bachelor’s degree in Law and admission into the Nigeria Law School.

After the charge was read to him, the embattled lecturer pleaded not guilty to the counts.

Ndifon’s counsel, Okon Efut, SAN, took his bail application dated Jan. 2 and filed Jan. 3.

Efut prayed the court to admit his client to bail, particularly on health grounds.

Besides, he informed the court that there were four other grounds why Ndifon should be granted bail.

Speaking from the dock, Ndifon said: “My lord, I was supposed to have an eye surgery on Glaucoma.”

Efut told the court that it was on the basis of his health condition that the magistrate court in Calabar admitted him to bail on Oct. 27, 2023, after being in detention for about 22 days.

He said based on the medical report, the surgery was expected to be carried out on Jan. 11.

ICPC Lawyer, Osuobeni Akponimisingha, opposed the application for bail.

He said on receipt of the process, the commission filed a counter affidavit dated and filed Jan. 5.

The lawyer, who alleged that one of the counsel to Ndifon threatened the commission’s star witness on phone, said they were in possession of the call logs.

Akponimisingha argued that one of the cardinal reasons for granting bail was the assurance that a defendant would not interfer with the case.

He further alleged that the lawyer’s name was in the bail application filed by Efut and that he was also at the court sitting.

Justice Omotosho then asked the lawyer to come forward.

“What is your name?” he asked.

“Sunny Anyanwu is my name my lord,” he replied.

The judge then asked him if he would wish to respond to the allegation by filing affidavit of facts and he responded in affirmative.

Anyanwu, who admitted calling Tochi Kanu on phone, said the person he called was different from the names of the four witnesses in the charge and proof of evidence.

“Tochi Kanu called me. When she called me, I was at Federal High Court here and I said I will call you later through a message.

“It was much hours later I remembered somebody called me and put a call through.

“At that point, there was a network issue and I was saying hello, hello and the call was cut off.

“And that name they (ICPC) called was not in the proof of evidence. They have four witnesses,” he said.

When the judge asked him his interest in the matter, he said Ndifon was his lecturer and that he came as counsel to defend him or support the defence.

Justice Omotosho then asked Akponimisingha the name of the person that was alleged to have been called.

“The name is Tochi Kanu Jane,” he said.

The judge therefore directed Anyanwu to file his affidavit of facts for the court to decide on the issue.

But Omotosho wondered why Ndifon had not gone for the surgery since Oct. 27, 2023, when the magistrate court granted him bail.

Akponimisingha told the court that the medical report was served on them late and they were still verifying its genuineness.

Justice Omotosho, who ordered Ndifon to be remanded in Kuje Correctional Centre, adjourned the matter until Jan. 10 for hearing of the bail application and to enable Anyanwu filed the affidavit of facts.

NAN

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

EFCC declares Yahaya Bello wanted

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has declared former Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello wanted over alleged fraud.

The EFCC in a statement on its social media handles said Bello is wanted for offences relating to economic and financial crimes to the tune of N80.2 billion.

The EFCC asked anybody with information as to his whereabout to report immediately to the Commission or the nearest Police Station.

The commission wrote: “Former Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, is wanted by the EFCC for offences relating to economic and financial crimes to the tune of N80.2 Billion.

“Anybody with information as to his whereabout should report immediately to the Commission or the nearest Police Station.”

Operatives of the commission had on Wednesday laid siege to the home of Bello in Abuja in a bid to arrest him after obtaining a warrant arrest.

The former governor could not be arrested as he was said to have been whisked away in the official vehicle of the Kogi Governor, Usman Ododo.

Ododo had stormed Bello’s house while the EFCC were laying siege outside the house. He governor was said to have left the premises with with Bello inside his vehicle.

Continue Reading

News

Court dismisses Fmr Anambra Gov, Obiano’s bid to stop trial in N40bn fraud charges

Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed the application by a former Anambra State Governor, Willie Maduabuchi Obiano, which sought to quash the N40 billion money laundering charges brought against him by the Federal Government.

The Judge, in a ruling delivered on Thursday, faulted and rejected all grounds upon which the application was predicated by Obiano.

The former governor had, among others, prayed the Judge to dismiss the 9-count charges instituted against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on behalf of the Federal Government.

He claimed that there was no connection between the proof of evidence supplied to the court by the EFCC and the accusations against him.

He averred that there was no testimony from any witness indicating that he issued directives for the disbursement of security votes and other funds belonging to the Anambra State Government.

Obiano also claimed that he could not be held accountable for any alleged unlawful actions by officials of the Anambra State Government as there is no concept of vicarious liability in the criminal justice system.

His motion on notice was brought pursuant to Section 6(6)(a) and (b) and Section 36(6)(b) of the 1999 constitution as amended and Section 1(1) & (2), 266, 271(b), 383(4) &492 (3) of the Administration of the Criminal Justice Act 2015.

Among others, Obiano sought “An order of the court quashing the instant charge for it amounts to flagrant abuse of judicial process and a mockery of the criminal Justice

“An order quashing the charge for non-disclosure of a prime facie case being vague and devoid of precision in respect of all the 9 count charges.

“No prima facie case has been disclosed against the defendant in this charge. There is no link between the proof of evidence and the purported allegation made against the defendant in the charge

“No evidence exists from any witness showing that the defendant passed down a directive for the disbursement of security votes and other funds belonging to Anambra State government.

“The defendant cannot be made answerable for any purported unlawful actions of officials of Anambra State government as there is no vicarious liability in our criminal jurisprudence.

“The thinking and conclusion of the prosecution on the counts arose from speculation and suspicions.

“The subject matter of the charge borders on accountability for security vote funds.
The honourable court lacks the requisite jurisdiction to entertain issues on accountability for security vote funds

“There is an appeal filed by the Anambra state government challenging the powers of EFCC to investigate the security vote of Anambra state government.

“The preferment of the entire charge is in bad faith. This honourable court has inherent judicial power to grant all the reliefs sought above.”

But in the ruling, Justice Ekwo held that all the reliefs sought by Obiano are not grantable because they are premature and lacking in merit.

The Judge said there is no way the court would know whether the former governor is linked with the alleged offences or not unless the trial is conducted in line with the provisions of the law.

The former governor is being prosecuted by EFCC on 9-count charges bordering on money laundering to the tune of N40 billion.

Meanwhile, the Judge has fixed June 24, 25, 26 and 27 for full blown trial of the charges.

In the same vein, Justice Ekwo permitted Obiano 60 days to travel abroad for medical treatment.

The Judge ordered that Obiano be made to sign an undertaking to return to the country after the treatment and to deposit his travelling passport within three days of his return to Nigeria.

Continue Reading

News

Oyebanji, Fayemi, NASS members, APC leaders eulogize Omotosho at commendation service

Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji on Wednesday led former Governor of the state, Dr Kayode Fayemi, National and State Assembly members, members of the State Executive Council, Party leaders and other prominent personalities to pay glowing tributes to the late APC Chairman, Barrister Paul Omotosho at a special commendation service organized by the state government in Ado-Ekiti.

Omotosho, who died on March 5th, after a brief illness, was, until his death, Chairman of the All Progressive Congress, Ekiti State Chapter.

“You will not walk alone. I shall stand by you. The Government and the party will stand by you”, Governor Oyebanji assured the children and wives of the late Omotosho during his emotion – laden speech at the special tribute session held at Adetiloye Hall, Trade Fair Complex, Ado- Ekiti.

The commendation service had in attendance former Governor Kayode Fayemi (who was represented by former Attorney General in the State, Mr Wale Fapounda, SAN; the Deputy Governor, Chief (Mrs.) Monisade Afuye, Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Adeoye Aribasoye, and three former deputy Governors- Prof Modupe Adelabu; Surv. Abiodun Aluko and Chief Wole Alabi as well as members of the Ekiti State Caucus in the National Assembly.

Oyebanji described the late Chairman as a committed, loyal, and party leader whose selflessness and sacrifices contributed immensely to the growth and development of the party and the state at large.

The Governor maintained that the late omotosho was a true friend, a burden bearer, confidant and a devoted community leader, adding that his demise has left a great vacuum within the party, the state and the nation at large.

While assuring the family that his government will continue to support them and stand in the gap of their father, the Governor said he is consoled with the fact that the deceased lived a fulfilled life and left an indelible mark in the development of the state.

“To me personally, I have lost a true friend, I’ve lost a confidant, I’ve lost a brother, a burden bearer and a soul mate. The truth of the matter is not how far but how well, Mr. Continuity left at his own time, I believe strongly that it was his own time to go. We don’t like it, and it is painful because death did not give us a chance to even try to save him.

“I know we are not happy about this and it is a trying moment for us as a party, as a state and as a government, but one thing I know is there is God in heaven who sees the affairs of men. To the children, to the family, as long as i am on this seat as the Governor of this state, you will not walk alone. That’s the assurance I am going to give you”. The Governor asserted.

In his on tribute, the immediate past Governor of the state, Dr. Fayemi, whose tribute was read by Barrister Wale Fapounda, described the late Omotosho as a dedicated leader, a unifier, and a pillar of the party in the state.

Dr Fayemi explained that the deceased was a tireless leader and a steadfast supporter of the party’s principle who ensured that under his watch the party achieved significant victories in recent elections and gained the trust of Ekiti people.

While calling on the APC members in the state to remain resolute in making the deceased proud by carrying on with his legacies of integrity, the former Governor maintained that Omotosho’s contributions and sacrifices for the party will never be forgotten.

Other speakers at the evening of tributes include Mrs. Fola Richie, who spoke on behalf of the state executive council members (2010 – 2014), where the late Omotosho served as as State Commissioner; Chief Bayo Idowu, on behalf of Afenifere; Dr Dele Ebunola, who spoke on behalf of Social Democratic Party (SDP); Prof Mobolaji Aluko, on behalf of the state executive council; Hon Sola Elesin, on behalf of APC, Ekiti State chapter; Rt. Hon. Adeoye Aribasoye, on behalf the State House of Assembly, and Senator Yemi Adaramodu, who spoke on behalf of National Assembly members.

Others were Chief Jide Awe, who spoke on behalf of APC elders; Chief (Mrs) Ronke Okusanya, on behalf of Women in Politics; and Mr Ojo Oluwasegun Samuel, who spoke on behalf of local government chairmen.

They all eulogized the late Omotosho as a man of integrity and a truly honest and hard working politician and public servant, who was selfless and result- oriented.

A pall of silence descended on the Adetiloye Hall, venue of the event during the viewing of a documentary detailing the life and times of the late Omotosho was shown the audience. Many wept profusely after the documentary which preceded a short sermon and prayer of the family of the deceased.

Barrister Paul Omotosho who died on March 5th would be buried in his home town, Imesi Ekiti on Friday.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending