“Speedy trial essential in sexual harassment case,” says ex-prosecutor
A former prosecutor, Mr Nkereuwem Abraham, is advocating for the swift prosecution of Prof. Cyril Ndifon, the suspended Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Calabar (UNICAL), who faces accusations of sexual harassment from law students.
Ndifon was apprehended by the Department of State Services in collaboration with officials of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences (ICPC) after allegedly evading multiple invitations. The ICPC subsequently filed a 14-count charge against Ndifon on November 2, following investigations.
Abraham, a former prosecutor with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), stressed the urgency of addressing the high-profile case. He emphasised that if a prima facie case is established, Ndifon should be promptly prosecuted, highlighting the need for speedy arraignment and trial.
“A charge against a defendant, without consequent arraignment and trial, is not sufficient in line with constitutional provisions,” Abraham asserted. Given the sensitive nature of the matter arising from an educational institution, he urged the prosecution to commence the process promptly.
As a former dean accused of a high-profile professional and criminal act, Ndifon’s case should receive the necessary attention, according to Abraham. He called on the ICPC to urgently arraign the former dean, emphasising that no suspect should be kept in custody indefinitely without proper arraignment.
Abraham underscored the importance of addressing the case promptly to maintain public confidence in the justice system. He urged the anti-graft agency to move swiftly and ensure that all witnesses are assembled to prevent any delays.
Considering that this case represents the first scenario of sexual assault in a university proceeding to court, Abraham emphasised the need for urgency, stating that the trial’s outcome would set a precedent for similar matters in the future.