The University of Calabar (UNICAL) has constituted a 7-man panel under the chairmanship of Dorothy Oluwagbemi-Jacob, a professor of philosophy, to investigate allegations of misconduct levelled against Cyril Ndifon, the suspended dean of law faculty of the university.
Speaking at the inauguration of the panel, Florence Obi, the vice-chancellor of the university, said that the institution has no vested interest in the case except to do justice. Obi further informed that some external bodies having indicated interest to participate in the proceedings of the panel, have been granted observer status.
The external bodies which will have a representative each in the panel, according to the vice-chancellor, include the Public Complaints Commission, Nigeria Police Gender Unit (D12), Federation of Women Lawyers, University of Calabar Alumni (national), ‘Malabor’ High Court and the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA – national).
While accepting the offer to serve, Oluwagbemi-Jacobs, the chairman of the panel, assured that against the backdrop of the widespread interest the matter has generated locally, nationally and internationally, members of the panel would be thorough in the investigation, fair to all parties involved and decisions taken would be based on truth and available facts and not sentiments.
Gabriel Egbe, the registrar of the University of Calabar, in a memo to members of the panel, listed 12-point terms of reference which include: rigorous investigation of sexual harassment against the suspended dean, to examine the extent of result manipulations, mutilations and aberration in examination conduct in the faculty of law from 2021 and investigations relating to the abuse of office, high- handedness, extortion and violation of the extant laws of the university by the suspended dean.
Others include checking the records of candidates mobilised to the Nigerian Law School in the last two sessions and establishing if those mobilised met the requirements, the allegation of students being made to pay for matriculation numbers/clearance against the Senate of the university, approved payments, direct entry admission abnormalities, mode of course allocations to lecturers and choice of ‘supervisees’ and course reps by the suspended dean, as well as, compliance with Senate decisions on faculty meetings.
The panel, according to the registrar, is expected to carry out a thorough, fair and objective investigation of the allegations and make appropriate recommendations to management within two weeks.