Suspended court grants Appeal filed by UNICAL professor

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Prof. Cyril Ndifon, the dean of the law school of UNICAL’s University of Calabar, was given permission to appeal Tuesday by a Federal High Court in Abuja. He had previously had his no-case plea in the accusation against him rejected.

Mr. Sunny Anyanwu, Ndifon’s attorney, was also given permission to appeal by Justice James Omotosho against the rejection of the no-case submission.

Osuobeni Akponimisingha, the lawyer for the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), did not contest the leave petition submitted by Ndifon and Anyanwu’s counsel, Joe Agi, SAN, and Justice Omotosho granted it.

You may remember that on March 6, the judge rejected Ndifon and Anyanwu’s no-case motion, reasoning that the prosecution had presented sufficient evidence to establish a prima facie case against them.

Thus, Justice Omotosho directed that they provide their defense to the charges that were brought against them.

On Tuesday, when the case was called, Akponimisingha informed the court that the defendants were scheduled to commence their defense and that he was prepared to go forward.

However, Agi brought the court’s attention to two defendant-filed motions.

He explained that the first motion asked the court to let them appeal the no-case submission decision, and the second motion asked the court registrar to give the defendants Exhibits N and O, which are Tecno phones and Oppo phones, respectively.

While seeking permission to appeal, Akponimisingha stated that he was not opposing the first motion and that he was first made aware of them on Monday.

But he did show some interest in fighting the motion that would have given Ndifon’s two phones to the FBI.

After granting the application for leave to appeal, Justice Omotosho postponed further proceedings until March 19 to allow for a full review of all outstanding arguments.

After the ICPC completed its case on February 19, Ndifon and Anyanwu reportedly submitted a “no-case” statement, according to NAN.

They claimed the prosecution had failed to demonstrate even a prima facie case against them, and that the court could not find sufficient evidence to convict them.

In response, the ICPC submitted a counter affidavit on February 23, requesting that the court reject the defendants’ no-case argument.

On January 25, Ndifon and Anyanwu were re-arraigned on a revised four-count complaint that includes allegations of sexual harassment and an effort to obstruct justice.

On January 22, the ICPC added Anyanwu, a defense attorney, to the amended charge sheet alleging that while the charges against Ndifon were pending, he threatened star witness TKJ by calling her cell phone.

After questioning four witnesses—among them, a female diploma student going by the name of TKJ—the anti-corruption commission announced the case’s completion on February 14.

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