A former prosecutor, Mr Nkereuwem Abraham, has called for the speedy prosecution of Prof. Cyril Ndifon, suspended Dean, Faculty of Law University of Calabar (UNICAL), accused of sexual harassment.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Ndifon was recently accused of sexual harassment by some law students of the institution.
The suspended dean was arrested in October, by the Department of State Services in collaboration with officials of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences (ICPC).
The service said Ndifon was arrested after shunning several invitations extended to him.
The ICPC subsequently on Nov. 2, preferred a 14-count charge against Ndifon, after investigations.
Abraham, a former prosecutor with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in an interview with NAN in Lagos on Thursday, said that if a prima facie case was established against the don, he should be prosecuted.
“Such high profile matter deserves urgent attention,” the former prosecutor said.
Abraham said that a charge against a defendant, without consequent arraignment and trial, is not sufficient in line with constitutional provisions.
According to him, being a sensitive matter evolving from a citadel of learning, it is important for the prosecution to commence speedy arraignment of the suspect as well as trial.
“This is a high profile professional and criminal act allegedly perpetrated by the defendant, and so, the case must be given the attention it deserves.
“I urge the ICPC to as a matter of urgency, arraign former dean of the faculty of law university of Calabar,” he said
Abraham noted that it is unlawful for any suspect to be kept in custody beyound reasonable time, without arraignment in a court of competent jurisdiction.
“No suspect deserves to be kept in perpetuity because a charge has been filed against him without arraignment.
“Matters of this nature should ordinarily be given urgent attention to erase doubts as to the prosecutory prowess of anti graft agencies.
“The sooner the trial of the defendant commences, the better and more commendable it is for the judiciary and the rule of law.
“I, therefore, call on the anti graft agency, to move speedily, and ensure that the defendant is brought properly before the court, as this will repose public confidence in the system,” he said.
Besides, Abraham also urged the agency to ensure that all its witnesses are assembled so as as to forestall any delays.
He said that being the first case scenario of sexual assault in a university to proceed to court, it is important that same be treated with desired urgency.
According to him, the outcome of such trial would become a “locus classicus” for similar matters in the future. (NAN)