Multiple nude photos discovered on suspended UNICAL professor’s phone, says ICPC investigator

Professor Cyril Ndifon

According to Lucy Ogechi, an investigator with the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, forensic examination of Cyril Ndifon’s phone, the suspended dean of the University of Calabar’s Faculty of Law, showed that he had multiple nude pictures from different contacts.

The professor and his lawyer, Sunny Anyanwu, are currently standing trial on amended four charges bordering on alleged sexual harassment and an attempt to perverse the cause of justice.

At the resumed trial on Wednesday, Ogechi, who was led in evidence by the counsel for the prosecution, Osuobeni Akponimisingha, also claimed that a diploma student (name withheld based on the order of the court to protect the victim) of the university sent pornographic photographs of herself to him through his mobile telephone at different times.

Ogechi said, “We saw so many nude photos of so many contacts, including the contact of TKJ. TKJ was of particular interest because we observed that nude pictures were requested by the first defendant as currency for admission to TKJ for the diploma class transitioning to the LLB class. We sought to confront the first defendant with our findings, and he refused to give his statement.

“We left him and decided to go on a fact-finding mission to Calabar where we interacted with a student with the aid of a lecturer who identified him for the team.”

She added that the second defendant, a lawyer, called the victim’s witness to shun the ICPC’s invitation.

Ogechi added, “The victim’s witness told us that she received a strange call from a lawyer and friend of the first defendant who told her not to honour the invitation of the ICPC. We confronted him, and he denied it.

“He also made a statement denying he called the victim’s witness. A forensic report on the call and other information from the network provider showed the contrary. He actually called the victim’s witness.

“Being a suspect in the matter, we retrieved his phone from him. He signed a consent form for the retrieval of his phone. The forensic unit and response from the service provider revealed that the second defendant’s call to our witness, known as TKJ, was for 679 seconds. It also revealed that the TKJ’s number was forwarded by the first defendant to the second defendant.”

Ogechi told the court that while the phones of the first and second defendants were with the commission, the suspended Dean approached his service providers for a SIM swap, claiming his phone was missing.

She noted that the first defendant did that to tamper with the commission’s investigation.

She said, “While their phones were in the custody of the commission, the first defendant, with a view to meddle with investigation, approached his service providers for the retrieval of his number, claiming that it was lost when the phone was in the custody of the ICPC.”

Ogechi also informed the court that while the allegations of sexual harassment had been concluded, that of financial misappropriation was ongoing.

She said, “My lord, we have an investigation ongoing against him on the financial impropriety allegation while we have concluded that on sexual harassment.”

Documents used during the course of her investigation were tendered by the prosecution counsel, and they were admitted as evidence by the trial judge, Justice James Omotoso.

During the cross-examination, the counsel for the defendants, Joe Agi (SAN), asked if she did the forensic analysis herself.

Responding, Ogechi said, “I am not a forensic analyst. I didn’t carry out the analysis myself.”

He also asked if she observed the first defendant and TKJ were in a relationship.

“The only relationship I observed was that of a student and lecturer. ” Ogechi said.

At the end of the trial, the defendant’s counsel made efforts to apply for his client’s bail.

Omotoso said, “I must take the statement of the victim witness first before considering bail for the defendants so that there won’t be interference. Even if I give, what if they are unable to meet the conditions? But left to me, I prefer an accelerated hearing in the matter so we can finish it in seven days.”

He subsequently adjourned the matter till Thursday for continuation of trial.