The National Industrial Court of Nigeria in Calabar, Cross River State, has validated the suspension of a former Dean of Law Faculty, University of Calabar(UNICAL), Prof. Cyril Ndifon. Recall Ndifon was on August 29, 2015 accused of sexually assaulting a 20-year-old 400-level student (name withheld) in his faculty after ordering her to his office. Following this, UNICAL authorities suspended the dean from office until he was completely exonerated from the allegations on sexual assault and acts of official misconduct.
Not satisfied with the suspension, Ndifon dragged the university authorities to court in suit no. NICN/CA/01/2016, claiming, amongst others, that the institution had no power to suspend him beyond the statutory three months under the University of Calabar Act, LFN, 2004. In a judgment delivered on September 21, 2016, the National Industrial Court, presided over by Justice Eunice Agbakoba, dismissed the suit. Agbakoba said, “The suspension of Ndifon beyond three months was not in any way invalidated under Section 16(2) of the University of Calabar Act.” She also dismissed the reliefs sought by Ndifon, adding that the professor could not restrain the university from investigating his conduct while in employment.