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19.08.2023 Featured Frank Enor, Maxwell Eba… UNICAL Students Name More Sex-for-Grade Lecturers

Published 19th Aug, 2023

By Tarinipre Francis

Frank Enor, Maxwell Eba, Otoro Agbor, Felix Tabi Okorn, and Okoi Ibiang, all History and International Studies lecturers at the University of Calabar (UNICAL), have been accused of engaging in sexual misconduct against female students.

This followed reactions to protests by female law students at the institution against Cyril Ndifon, their faculty’s dean, over sexual assault accusations.

Ndifon had a notorious reputation and was accused of soliciting sex in exchange for grades or manipulating law school lists. He was dismissed by the school’s management on Thursday.

Many have commended the girls for their bravery, which has spurred other individuals to speak out about their experiences, this time not only about the disgraced dean but also about his colleagues from the school’s History and International Relations department.

Female law students from the University of Calabar protesting against their dean, Cyril Ndifon

“I’m glad these people are finally standing up for themselves. It’s a win for all of us who were scared to do the same back then,” Adetayo Olatunji*, an ex-law student from the school, told FIJ.

“I remember my set going for business law then and just praying to God that this man doesn’t sight any of us. Everyone knew what he was capable of, but we weren’t bold enough to speak up. I’m very proud of these girls and pray something is done this time.”

READ ALSO: UNICAL Dismisses Cyril Ndifon, Dean Accused of Sexually Harassing Female Law Students

LECTURERS SUPPORTING LECTURERS – ‘I HOPE YOU MADE MY FRIEND HAPPY’

“Enor failed me because I refused to have sex with him,” Sarah Abang*, a former student of UNICAL’s History and International Relations department, told FIJ.

He only let her off the hook after she obtained explicit video of his friend, another lecturer, and threatened to expose them with it, she said.

“I was in 200 level when I first encountered Enor. He gave us assignments and asked us to buy a file where we wrote down all our details: name, course title, matric numbers, phone numbers, and then he used the avenue to start calling only female students in the department.

“He started calling me all the time, but school was not in session and I was out of town, and the calls stopped. After a while, they continued, and one day he called to ask where I was and said I should come to school on Saturday. I told a friend and asked her to come along with me. We went to his office together, and he was with another lecturer, a friend of his, who excused himself and took my friend along.”

She said that Enor exposed himself to her, locked the door to his office and demanded sex from her or risk failing his course.

“When he saw that I wasn’t ready, he opened the door and pulled his trousers up. And when I walked outside, his friend told me, ‘I hope you made my friend happy’.”

Rejecting Enor earned her an F9 in his course.

Meanwhile, his friend also began proposing an affair to her friend. Abang saw this as an opportunity to get back at Enor and finally be free from his enclaves. She and her friend agreed to meet up with Enor’s friend at a hotel. His plan was to have sex with them, but theirs was to obtain evidence against him with which to gain an advantage.

“He got drunk, and we gave him a handjob till he released, and when we saw he was wasted enough, we recorded him naked while he kept waving at us to join him on the bed and have sex with him.”

It was the recorded video of him that Abang used to threaten both him and Enor to let her sit for her exams and be scored appropriately.

“I asked Frank not to interfere with my exam the next time I sat for it, and I told his friend to tell him that if he fails me again, both of them would pay for it for trying to take advantage of me.”

The threat worked because the previous F9 was the last time Abang failed Enor’s course.

READ ALSO: UNICAL, Kogi Poly… Tertiary Institutions Where Lecturers Have Been Dismissed for Sexual Harassment in 2023

INTIMIDATED TO SILENCE

It was largely past students who openly condemned Enor, Ndifon, and their cohorts. Getting current students to speak was nigh impossible.

“I need to flee with my certificate before I speak,” one student said.

FIJ spoke with at least eight students, and most of them remained guarded and refused to discuss the subject even after being guaranteed anonymity.

“I was never at the protest, and I don’t know anything about this. Don’t call me again,” one student, whom FIJ confirmed was indeed at the protest ground, said.

Another said, “I don’t know much about this, but the school is already handling the issue. I believe it is best to let them handle it. That’s all I can say.”

“I understand if they don’t want to speak. Those men run a ring. And again, the kids wouldn’t want their parents to know what they do to pass.” Ire, an ex-student of the university’s History and International Studies department told FIJ.

It is not unexpected that students are hesitant to speak up, as they are afraid that the school will punish them for it.

It is not the first time that these allegations have been raised against these lecturers. Ndifon, for instance, was dismissed under similar circumstances in 2015, only to be reinstated and promoted to become dean when Florence Obi became Vice Chancellor of the school in 2020.

Furthermore, only a few hours after the video of the students protesting against Ndifon went viral, rumours that the students were being threatened began to circulate, and shortly after, snapshots of a statement from the class leadership in which they distanced themselves from the events surfaced.

Ex-students like Olatunji were nonetheless, more than willing to speak up, although anonymously.

Olatunji dropped out of UNICAL’s law department in 2013 thanks to Ndifon and his friend, another lecturer whose name he could not recall.

“He (Ndifon) frustrated the life out of me, together with another notorious lecturer (a slim, tall dark arrogant man; the 2009-2013 set will know him), and I had to leave in my third year.” Olatunji said.

Olatunji’s crime was being friends with a female coursemate who rejected Ndifon’s sexual advances.

“We had an altercation over a babe. He said I was trespassing, meanwhile the babe was just my friend. I even tried to plead and settle with him back then, but it didn’t work out since the girl kept rejecting his advances and there was nothing he could do about it because the girl’s father was a top lawyer.

“That’s how he promised I won’t graduate from that department.”

Having two Ndifons target him was the straw that broke the camel’s bank. Olatunji said when he had an issue with Ndifon’s friend, the dark, tall and arrogant lecturer who was also very influential in the school, he decided it was time to pack up and leave.

“No way I’m facing these two in this school,” he said.

But even before he made the decision to leave, he was already being forced out by Ndifon. “I couldn’t write tests or exams for Ndifon’s course, and when I managed to, it became a missing script.

“He was so powerful then that we were scared of confronting him. He had strong connections that even the then dean could not shake him. He would send me out of his class. Then, he was the head of department (HOD), so he won’t sign my faculty card.”

On Friday, FIJ sent mails to the University of Calabar alongside Enor, Obe, Agbor, Okorn, and Ibiang, and received no response.

A text message sent to Florence Banku Obi, UNICAL’s vice chancellor, had no feedback at press time. None of the university’s phone lines were reachable.

* Pseudonyms were used in this report to protect some speakers and witnesses.

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Published 19th Aug, 2023

By Tarinipre Francis

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