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Court to rule on suspended UNICAL dean’s move to quash charge May 16



Justice James Omotosho of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday, fixed May 16 for ruling on a move by the suspended Dean of Faculty of Law, University of Calabar (UNICAL), Prof. Cyril Ndifon, to quash the sexual harassment charge against him.

The judge fixed the date after the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC)’s counsel, Osuobeni Akponimisingha, and the defence lawyer, Joe Agi (SAN), adopted their processes and presented their arguments on the motion.

Ndifon and his co-defendant, Sunny Anyanwu, had alleged that Akponimisingha was not qualified to practise as lawyer.

The duo through their lawyer insisted that Akponimisingha’s name was not on the roll of Legal Practitioners in Nigeria pursuant to Section 2 of the Legal Practitioners Act.

They argued that the four-count amended charge preferred against them by ICPC was incompetent as a result of the disputed identity of the commission’s lawyer.

They said the development had robbed the court of its jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

They, therefore, prayed the court to quash the charge against them.

READ ALSO: Suspended UNICAL Dean, Ndifon, lawyer, granted bail in sexual assault case

Akponimisingha, in his counter affidavit dated March 20, accused the dean and his legal team of being jealous of his academic qualifications.

The lawyer, who attached his Nigerian Bar Association (NBA)’s Practising Licence document dated 2016 with the counter affidavit, said he graduated from the law school.

He said contrary to the defence argument, the appellation “Dr” added to his name was as a result of an additional academic qualification he acquired after he had been called to the Bar as a legal practitioner.

He equally alleged that the names of the defendants’ lead counsel and other senior advocates appearing with him in the criminal case were not on roll of Legal Practitioners in Nigeria with the appendage of “SAN.”

He stressed that the appellation “Dr” added to his name did not make the amended charge liable to be struck out.

The lawyer urged the court to discountenance the defendants’ plea.

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