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Court grants suspended UNICAL professor’s plea to appeal ruling

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A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, granted leave to Prof. Cyril Ndifon, the suspended Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Calabar, UNICAL, to appeal the decision of the court dismissing his no-case submission in the charge against him.

Justice James Omotosho also gave Ndifon’s lawyer, Mr Sunny Anyanwu, the go-ahead to file an appeal against the dismissal of the no-case submission.

Justice Omotosho granted the leave following a motion filed by Ndifon and Anyanwu’s counsel, Joe Agi, SAN, which was not opposed by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC’s lawyer, Osuobeni Akponimisingha.

Recall that the judge had, on March 6, dismissed the no-case submission filed by Ndifon and Anyanwu on the ground that the evidence led by the prosecution constituted a prima facie case against the duo.

Consequently, Justice Omotosho ordered them to enter their defence in the charges filed against them.

When the matter was called on Tuesday, Akponimisingha informed the court that the matter was slated for the defendants to open their defence and that he was ready to proceed.

But Agi drew the attention of the court to two motions filed on behalf of the defendants.

He said the first motion sought the leave of the court to appeal its ruling on their no-case submission and the second motion sought an order directing the registrar of the court to make available Exhibits N and O (Oppo and Tecno Phones) to the defendants.

Akponimisingha, who informed the court that his attention was only drawn to the motions on Monday, said he was not opposing the first motion, seeking leave to appeal.

However, he indicated interest in opposing the motion seeking the release of Ndifon’s two phones to the National Forensic Laboratory.

Justice Omotosho, who granted the motion seeking leave to appeal his ruling, adjourned the matter until March 19 for a hearing of all pending motions in the matter.

NAN reports that Ndifon and Anyanwu had, on Feb. 19, filed a no-case submission after the ICPC closed its case.

They had argued that there was no evidence adduced by the prosecution on which the court could convict them and insisted that the commission failed to establish a prima facie case against them.

But the ICPC, in opposition, filed a counter affidavit on Feb. 23, praying the court to dismiss the no-case submission of the defendants.

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Ndifon was, on Jan. 25, re-arraigned alongside Anyanwu on an amended four-count charge bordering on alleged sexual harassment and attempt to perverse the cause of justice.

Anyanwu, who is one of the lawyers in the defence, was joined in the amended charge filed on Jan. 22 by the ICPC on the allegation that he called TKJ, the star witness, on her mobile telephone during the pendency of the charge against Ndifon and threatened her.

The anti-corruption commission had, on Feb. 14, announced the closure of their case after calling four witnesses, including a female diploma student identified as TKJ

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