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Friday, May 24, 2024

VC UNICAL Berates Women Affairs Minister For Threatening Sexual Harassment Witnesses

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Vice chancellor of the University of Calabar (UNICAL) Professor Florence Obi has condemned comments by the minister of women affairs Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye about sexual harassment claims made against the suspended dean of the Faculty of Law Prof. Cyril Ndifon.

In a leaked video, the minister warned parties in the probe, saying, “Whoever lies in this Calabar sexual case will go to jail. I will personally make sure that all (guilty persons) involved in this shameful act shall be prosecuted and jailed. I am pleading with you, I want justice to be done.

“If you have complaints or anything to talk about concerning this case, head to the panel because the investigation is still ongoing. Go there and lay the complaint but don’t lie. Because if you lie, I will make sure you are prosecuted and jailed if found guilty.”

 

Reacting on Friday to the minister’s statement, Prof Obi said at the University Council Chambers that students who come out boldly to voice such matters must be taken seriously.

She said, “A new dimension has unfortunately reared its head in a way that has left us nonplussed with the leaked viral audio of intimidation and jail threats from the minister of women affairs, Mrs Uju Kennedy, on a few girls who were bold enough to come out to testify on an alleged age-long sexual harassment of female law students against Professor Ndifon.

“While I do not consider it expedient to respond to the disturbing audio, I wish to generally state that the students of the Faculty of Law on their own wrote and submitted a petition and protested against the suspended dean. And as I know, those who have testified before the panel on both sexual harassment and other violations were not prompted by anyone.

 

“The university should rather be commended for being on the right path which is directed towards academic excellence and creating an environment which is key to their survival in an oppressive and dominant patriarchal culture that yields little or no space for women.”

 

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