Alleged sexual harassment: Court grants UNICAL Professor 250 million Naira bail

Professor Cyril Ndifon

Justice James Omotosho of the Federal High Court in Abuja has granted bail to the suspended Dean of Faculty of Law, University of Calabar, Professor Cyril Ndifon, to the tune of N250 million in the sexual harassment and gratification case instituted against him by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

The court also granted his lawyer Sunny Anyanwu bail to the tune of 50 million naira among other stringent bail conditions.

Both defendants are expected to produce two sureties who own properties within FCT with a minimum valuation of 150 million and must submit their bank statements to the court.

The court also held that defendants must file an undertaking not to interfere with the case, readiness to attend trial and not to cause delay.

The defense counsel, Joe Agi and Solomon Umoh, had urged the court to grant their clients bail on liberal terms, but the prosecution counsel countered the bail application, asking the court to dismiss.

Ruling on the bail, Justice Omotosho held that while bail is a constitutional right, the court must be guided by the nature of a charge and the possibility of the accused person interfering with the case against him, among other things.

He said the defendants are facing sexual harassment offenses through requesting nude videos but they are not capital offense like terrorism.

Justice Omotosho subsequently adjourned the case to February 12, for continuation of hearing.

Professor Ndifon was on January 25, re-arraigned alongside Sunny Anyanwu as 1st and 2nd defendants on an amended four-count charge of sexual harassment and attempt to perverse the cause of justice.

Anyanwu, who is one of the lawyers in the defence, was joined in the amended charge filed on January 22, by the ICPC on the allegation that he called one of the prosecution witnesses on her mobile telephone during the pendency of the charge against Ndifon to threaten her.