Female students from the Faculty of Law at the University of Calabar took to the campus to stage a peaceful protest against Cyril Ndifon, the Dean of the faculty.
The students accused Ndifon of sexual harassment, igniting a wave of dissent that reverberated across the university.
A video clip posted on Twitter captured the fervor of the protest, showing a group of female students chanting protest songs in front of an administrative building.
One prominently displayed placard read, “We are tired of sucking dick.”
Vice-Chancellor Pledges to Address Issue
The demonstration caught the attention of the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Florence Obi, who engaged with the protesting students and pledged to address their grievances.
Vice-Chancellor Obi, herself a professor, committed to launching an investigation into the allegations made against Ndifon.
However, she stressed that the students would need to provide substantial evidence to substantiate their claims.
“When you are talking about sexual harassment, you need more than accusation,” she stated.
The university’s female students had lodged an official complaint with the Vice-Chancellor’s office last Thursday, ahead of the protest.
A select group of student representatives had also met with Vice-Chancellor, Obi, prior to the demonstration, indicating a growing determination to seek justice.
Following the Monday protest, Vice-Chancellor Obi convened a five-hour meeting with the Faculty of Law management to deliberate on the situation.
She revealed that a committee had already been established to address additional concerns raised by the students.
This wasn’t the first time Ndifon faced allegations of this nature.
Back in 2015, he was suspended by the university after being accused of raping a 20-year-old law student within his office.
Accused Dean Dismisses the Protest
Ndifon fought against the allegations in court, but the outcome remained unclear, with no documented evidence suggesting his exoneration.
The suspension was eventually lifted, sparking further controversy.
Ndifon dismissed the recent protest as a politically motivated attempt to tarnish his reputation.
He alleged that the President of the Law Students Association, Ben Otu, orchestrated the protest as part of a larger power struggle within the faculty.
Ndifon contended that some of his fellow lecturers were behind the agitation.
While Ndifon acknowledged the presence of male students during the protest, he pointed out that it primarily involved first-year students, a group he claimed to have never taught.
He questioned the absence of students from higher levels in the faculty and insisted that his previous electoral victories as dean reflected his popularity among the students.
Denying the allegations of sexual harassment, Ndifon maintained that he had little interaction with the first-year students and did not teach any of their courses.
He referred to a previous incident where he was found guilty only of tearing a student’s examination script, offering her the chance to rewrite it.