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“Sexual Assault”: High Court Grants Suspended UNICAL Professor N250m Bail

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A federal high court in Abuja has granted bail to Cyril Ndifon, the suspended law faculty dean at the University of Calabar (UNICAL).

Ndifon was granted bail in the sum of ₦250 million with two sureties in like sum.

James Omotosho, the presiding judge, also admitted Sunny Anyanwu, a lawyer charged alongside Ndifon by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), to a ₦50 million bail with two sureties.

Omotosho said the court granted them bail because the defendants made a serious case for one.

Recall that Ndifon was suspended as a UNICAL dean in August 2023 for allegedly sexually harassing some female students.

Following protests and public outcry from the student community, an investigative panel probed the allegations against him.

The panel found the professor, who has since been replaced, guilty of sexual harassment and abuse of office.

The ICPC similarly investigated the professor’s alleged gross misconduct and arrested him on October 4.

It arraigned the senior lecturer on a four-count charge bordering on sexual harassment, official corruption, and abuse of office.

On January 25, Ndifon was re-arraigned alongside Anyanwu as 1st and 2nd defendants on an amended four-count charge bordering on “alleged sexual harassment” and “attempt to pervert the course of justice”.

Anyanwu, who is one of the lawyers in the defence, was included in an amended charge filed on January 22 by the ICPC.

It was alleged that Anyanwu called one of the prosecution witnesses, during the pendency of the charge against Ndifon, to threaten her.

The court had, in previous proceedings, denied the duo bail, on the grounds that the said witness, identified as TKJ by the court, must be allowed to give her evidence before their bail hearing.

TKJ, a female UNICAL student, testified on Wednesday and was cross-examined by Joe Agi, a defence lawyer.

Bail Conditions

Delivering his ruling on Ndifon’s bail application, Omotosho admitted him to a N250 million bail with two sureties.

The judge held that the two sureties, who must be owners of landed property in Abuja with registered titles and a minimum valuation of ₦150 million, must submit their certified bank statements to the registrar of the court.

He also directed Ndifon to submit his international passport to the court registrar.

The judge ordered the suspended dean to sign an undertaking not to interfere with the case, be ready to stand trial, and not delay the trial.

Also ruling on Anyanwu’s bail plea, Omotosho, who granted him a N50 million bail with two sureties, held that one of the sureties must have a property in Abuja, but not with a registered title.

The judge directed the sureties to file their bank statements and ordered Anyanwu to sign an undertaking not to interfere with the trial.

He said the court exercised discretion in favour of the defendants due to the nature of the offence and on health grounds.

 

Credit: The Cable.

Omotosho also ordered an accelerated hearing of the matter.

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President Tinubu Signs South-East, North-West Development Commission Bills Into Law

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President Bola Tinubu has officially signed into law the South-East and North-West Development Commission bills.

The South-East Development Commission bill was sponsored by Deputy Speaker Benjamin Kalu, who represents the Bende Federal Constituency of Abia State.

After passing through the Senate and House of Representatives, the bill was transmitted to the President in June for his assent.

With the signing of the bill into law, the Commission will now receive funding to execute various projects in the South-East geopolitical zone.

The allocated funds will be used to address environmental challenges such as erosion, as well as reconstruct and rehabilitate roads in Abia, Enugu, Ebonyi, Imo, and Anambra states.

This move is expected to bring significant development and infrastructure improvements to the region.

In a statement issued by Levinus Nwabughiogu, his chief press secretary, Kalu expressed appreciation to the president for signing the bill into law.

The deputy speaker said the commission will “rehabilitate Igbo land” and foster unity among the people.

Tinubu also signed the north-west development commission bill into law.

Jibrin Barau, deputy senate president and sponsor of the bill, said the signing of the proposed legislation is a “testament” to Tinubu’s “commitment to addressing the challenges facing the north-west geopolitical zone and indeed all parts of the country”.

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Wike Urges Nigerians To Be Patient With FG, Says Planned Protest Political

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Nyesom Wike, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has dismissed the upcoming nationwide protest as a politically motivated move.

Speaking to journalists on Tuesday during an inspection of the Karshi to Apo Road construction project, Wike expressed his views on the planned protest.

The youth-led protest, scheduled to begin on August 1, aims to draw attention to the country’s economic hardship and soaring inflation.

However, Wike believes that the protest is driven by political interests rather than a genuine concern for the welfare of Nigerians.

According to Wike, the government is actively working to address the country’s challenges, implying that the protest is unnecessary and potentially disruptive.

His comments suggest that the government is making efforts to mitigate the economic difficulties faced by Nigerians, and that the protest may be an attempt to undermine these efforts.

“Let’s tell ourselves the simple truth. If we are playing politics let’s say we are playing politics; if we want to be sincere to ourselves, let’s be sincere to ourselves and help our country,” NAN quoted Wike as saying.

“The country is rotten. You know that the country is rotten, and a government has just come to see what it can do to at least, move it from where we are to a certain level, and you say that miracle must be performed within one year.

“You are here now, we are talking about a project that was awarded 13 good years ago, what has happened? Nothing.

“Now a government has come to see how it can fix all these things and we are in too much of a hurry demanding that it must be done now.

“It is not possible. The protest is a political protest.”

The minister acknowledged that people are unhappy due to hunger and unemployment.

“So, let’s not listen to political protesters and political jobbers who just want to be popular. You know there are some people who believe that if they don’t criticise, they will not be popular,” he said.

“We are going to elections very soon; these are political gimmicks.

“Just know that the government is a serious government and working to solve the problem.

“We believe that things will turn around, but we should be patient with the government.”

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Republican Lawmaker Andy Ogles Files Articles Of Impeachment Against Kamala Harris

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US Republican Lawmaker Andy Ogles has introduced two articles of impeachment against Vice President Kamala Harris, citing her alleged failure to enforce immigration laws.

Ogles accuses Harris of deliberately neglecting her duties as “border czar,” particularly in regards to border security and immigration law.

The first article of impeachment highlights Harris’ supposed inaction in addressing the border crisis, while the second article alleges a “breach of public trust.”

Ogles claims that Harris knowingly misled the public and Congress about President Joe Biden’s physical and cognitive health, sparking concerns about her integrity and ability to perform her duties as Vice President.

Ogles’ move to impeach Harris marks a significant escalation in the political tensions surrounding the Biden administration’s immigration policies and the Vice President’s role in addressing the border crisis.

The articles also claimed that Harris had been incompetent in discharging her duties.

Ogles’ first attempt to impeach Harris last year was unsuccessful and stalled in the judiciary committee.

The lawmaker’s second trial comes 48 hours after Biden withdrew from the presidential race and endorsed Harris to take his place for the Democratic Party’s ticket.

Biden’s shaky debate performance against former President Donald Trump last month, which heightened concerns over his age and mental alertness, was the catalyst for Democrats’ calls for him to end his reelection campaign.

The Democrat has not formally announced Harris as the party’s flagbearer. If nominated, she would be the first Black and South Asian woman to be a major party nominee.

On Monday, the presidential hopeful raised more than $81 million in donations to her cause.

The amount is believed to be the largest 24-hour fundraising in the history of the US presidential campaign.

Ogle’s impeachment calls have not received support from any member of Congress.

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