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UNICAL removes exam officers over result manipulation

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UNICAL removes exam officers over result manipulation

Story from Hamzat Ibrahim ABAGA

In a proactive move to address alleged improprieties within the Faculty of Law at the University of Calabar (UNICAL), the institution’s management has taken decisive actions.

They have removed two exam officers who were accused of manipulating results and have initiated the formation of several committees to address the situation.

Additionally, a student project committee has been established to oversee project assignments and grading.

Another committee has been tasked with reviewing the list of students sent to the Law School by the former Dean, Prof. Cyril Ndifon, with the possibility of recalling the list if necessary.

READ ALSO: University of Calabar suspends law faculty dean amidst sexual harassment allegations

The Vice Chancellor of UNICAL, Prof. Florence Obi, made these announcements on Monday.

She revealed that the management had engaged in discussions with the Faculty of Law staff to address issues related to the alleged overbearing influence of the Dean within the faculty.

Prof. Obi stated, “One of the immediate decisions we took was the formation of a committee on student mobilization for Law School, as students had raised concerns about the Dean’s selective approach, particularly involving female students.”

She continued, “We also mandated this committee to review the list of Law School students submitted by the former Dean, and if necessary, make revisions. Furthermore, in response to allegations of result manipulations, we removed two examination officers from the faculty and established a vetting committee.”

Prof. Obi emphasized the need for fairness and transparency, stating, “This action was taken in response to allegations that the former Dean showed favoritism by selecting only female students as his supervisees, thus making them vulnerable.”

She further revealed that the management had directed the compilation and submission of a list of students who were allegedly extorted by the faculty, with plans to refund them, as part of addressing allegations of student extortion and other serious claims.

Prof. Obi clarified that the institution’s management had no vested interest in the suspension of Prof. Ndifon, the former Dean of the Faculty of Law. The suspension, which occurred on August 17, followed a query issued to him by the school management due to allegations of high-handedness, improper behavior toward female students, extortion, and unequal treatment, among other issues.

In response to Prof. Ndifon’s reply to the query, the management decided to form an investigative panel following public service rules. This panel will include members from the faculty, the institution’s alumni, the Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), and the police, among others.

Prof. Obi explained, “On Thursday, August 10, some law students, led by their president, visited my office to report alleged improprieties in their faculty and submitted a formal petition. In light of the concerns raised by the students, the management convened a meeting with senior academics in the faculty.”

“While this meeting was ongoing on August 14, we were informed of student protests. We listened to the students’ grievances, which encompassed issues such as accountability, abuse of office, extortion, sexual harassment, and more,” she added, noting that sexual harassment became a prominent concern.

Prof. Obi assured the students that the allegations would be thoroughly investigated. Both the students and staff who made allegations, as well as the accused former Dean, will have the opportunity to present their cases before the panel.

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