Posts Tagged ‘women’s rights’

Are You Required to Produce Husband’s Consent For Passports?

January 7, 2017

The Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt decided you did not when they gave this judgement in 2009 in Dr. Priye Iyalla_Amadi vs The Director General of the Nigeria Immigration Service.

I think the NIS said they appealed the matter. I wonder where they are on it so far. Can’t find anything about the status. Whats the composition of the appeals court and the supreme court? Just thinking out loud.

The defendants did not really dispute the facts adduced by the plaintiff in their counter_affidavit but sought to justify the requirement of a letter of consent from the husband of a married woman who wants to be issued a Nigerian passport on the basis that Nigerian married women are classified alongside with minors by the government as persons who require consent from the head of the family. NIS argued that the requirement for consent was put in place to perpetuate the authority of the man over his wife, no matter the status she had attained in society. It also stated that the requirement was set to avoid unnecessary breakdown of marriage institution in the country.

Its important to pursue legal precedents expanding women’s rights all  the way to the Supreme Court. And those cases should attract support from women, women’s groups and women’s funds.  If you have any current information about this case could you drop an update for me? Or steer me towards someone who knows? I’d appreciate it.

 

 

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From My Archive: Women Can’t Mange Money; They’re Like Children Like That

July 30, 2016

 

A chance remark by a friend put me to mind of the importance for a woman, women, to learn money management.

As a feminist my demands for equal rights include a demand for equal responsibility. Then maybe I won’t have to fight for the right to participate in family decisions because the Golden Rule is still that ‘He who has the money makes the rules’. Anyway…

Feminist rhetoric aside women need money management skills, every body needs money management skills! Man, woman and child! It is after all a ‘money economy’. While possibly agitating to change it we cannot afford to ignore ‘reality’.

My paternal grand mother and great grand mother too were financially independent of their husbands. They even lent money to other women in the village. Their men did not provide money for food and they did not pay their ‘bills’ what ever type of bills they had back then! Men just ‘contributed’ once in a while and on certain ritual occasions.

Christianity must have seemed like the great revenge for the women of Africa! ‘Finally we can demand that the little pricks take more responsibility for the children.’ And they signed right up for ‘house duty’ all in the name of finding a piece of heaven! Pun fully intended!!! Go figure.

It’s all about possibilities and look it just makes more ‘common sense’. Whose ‘common sense’ I hear you ask, you see that’s just it, I guess for some it does make common sense to sit at home and let the nigger hustle in the sun. Why die early huh?

In which case put up with it and stop asking for equal rights would you already! Its hard enough to make a case for equal rights without the armchair feminists muddying the waters!

You know the ones I mean! The ones whose idea of equal rights is the right to turn a man into a money machine while they mange his money!(Did I say women need money management skills? Hmmm. I think 8 times married Zsa Zsa Gabor would disagree! Accused of being a bad house keeper she says ‘Of course I am a good housekeeper I divorce the man and keep the house’!)

Or the ones whose idea of equal rights is the right to fuck like men fuck. Which begs the question, how do ‘men’ fuck? Like you feel horny and you go and fuck the first person that your hypothalamus responds to? Or is that how women ‘fuck’?

Mind you I have nothing against armchair feminists, heck I’ve been at those stages myself. I have grown and I have learned. I believe it was Alanis Morrissette that sang ‘You Live You Learn’. Next please.

So I guess all the armchair feminists will also grow up and learn so I guess that’s cool then.

Long ago I read ‘The Cinderella Complex’ in which the author argued that women retreat into domesticity to escape responsibility, and the competitive world. ‘The weaker sex…’, ‘the fairer sex…’, ‘the princess…’, Cinderella; as a metaphor.

True or false? In this po-mo world who knows and you know something, who cares? There is such a cacophony of opinions out there all struggling for dominance that maybe your own opinion really is the best right now.

As for me, I think I want to be like my numerous grand mothers, Russian and African; strong, financially and emotionally independent, efficient and self-sufficient women that raised their kids to be responsible adults but with a twist; 50/50, equal rights, equal responsibility.

Now if you will excuse me I got to go get me some money management skills…right after I speak to my significant other about this adorable pair of shoes that I just must have! Oh baby baby,  I will sit at home quietly and bear your children just keep me in the gravy!

No they are not glass shoes…

25 March 2006

A Review of Yemisi Aribasala’s ‘Sister Outsider’ 4: The Prosthetic Penis

May 13, 2016

 

According to Yemisi, when Beyonce released her 2015 single ‘Flawless’ featuring a spoken word voice over from Chimamanda Adichie’s 2012 TED talk ‘Why Everyone Should Be A Feminist’ the wall came tumbling down and suddenly there was pressure for Nigerian women to identify as feminists.

Attempts she personally is resisting as resolutely as she resisted attempts to be ‘indoctrinated by the women in her life.’

I disagree with Yemisi’s entire analysis of Beyonce’s ‘Flawless’. She misinterprets (and  I believe others may have also) Beyonce’s use of the word ‘bitches’. It does not mean ‘women.’ In ‘street language’ it also means ‘weak men’ and ‘beta males’.

The UrbanDoctionary.com defines bitch as “An exceedingly whipped guy who does/wears/thinks/says whatever his girlfriend tells him to.”

Beyonce is talking about exercising power over men and the video shows mostly men during the chorus. She uses Adichie’s text to contextualise her dominance of the ‘streets’ and competing with the boys for dominance.

But don’t think I’m just his little wife/

Don’t get it twisted, get it twisted/

This my shit

Here she tells us that she isn’t just Jay Z’s puppet, she is reassuring us that she isn’t being sexed up and sold at the behest of her man but is exercising a choice and agency within her industry. She is expressing her intention to slay, to dominate, not women but her audience through her skill and talent.

Queen of hell? Probably. But she’s still Queen. Unless you’re being elitist don’t knock it.

Use of words like ‘bitch’, ‘hoe’ ‘cunt’ etc etc etc in popular art forms is what Audre Lordes called “…reclaiming of that language which has been made to work against us.”

“What has a brilliant, questioning, grounded mind like Adichie’s got to do with Beyoncé’s glittering confetti and goddess status?” Yemisi asks.

A disingenuous or a naive question?

bell hooks gives a brilliant review  of Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’ here.

Yemisi dismisses Beyonce, Adichie and New Nigerian Feminism, romanticises a hazy old Nigerian feminism suffering a ‘lack of documentation’ and then dismisses Nigerian feminists as frauds.

Then she uses feminist analysis to justify a brand of modest Victorian anti-feminism that disapproves the use of the words like ‘bitch’ and ‘hoe’, sexual autonomy and sexualization of the female form without questioning the imported ‘Male Gaze’.

I asked Erykah Badu the same question when she advised young women to dress modestly a few weeks ago. Instead of teaching girls how to fight and boys that naked doesn’t mean ‘come and fuck’ we are still asking our daughters to cover up. Still slaves of the ‘Male Gaze’.

Yemisi is telling a story of powerful privileged Nigerian woman. But is she also wearing a prosthetic penis? Why do I feel Yemisi is asking us to bend over?

 

 

These single stories of African women are disempowering and reductive and are created for the consumption of the west rather than for any real social change. – Amina Doherty

 

 

A Review of Yemisi Aribasala’s ‘Sister Outsider’ 3: Pop Culture Feminism 

May 12, 2016

 

Yemisi calls it the ‘New Nigerian Feminism’. Hadley Freeman of the Guardian calls it ‘consumer feminism’ and Andi Zeisler, co-founder of Bitch Magazine calls it ‘marketplace feminism’.

I call it ‘pop culture feminism.’ Just one more feminism in the bunch because feminisms are plenty, in Nigeria, in African and globally.

The growth of social media amplified voices of Nigerian sisters  who’ve used pop culture “as an extension of their identity politics and their activism.”

Sisters like Sokari Ekine (Black Looks), Minna Salami (MsAfropolitan), Amina Doherty, and Adaora Ijeoma Asala (Spectra Speaks) have built strong online presence and sparked robust debates.

Social Media is an additional tool to a conversation that we’ve been having for a long time. It’s social media that’s new, and not the conversation. – Minna Salami

Are these the sisters Yemisi accuses of online vitriol and being “zealous for the treads to the global stage”?

If we do not actively enter the terrain of popular culture, we will be complicit in the antifeminist backlash that is at the heart of the mass media’s support of antifeminist women who claim to speak on behalf of feminism. – Amina Doherty

“Nigerian feminism isn’t ready to discuss Beyonce.” Yemisi writes.

Did she miss Anima Doherty’s well articulated 2014 essay ‘Why Popular Culture Matters For African Feminism’ (On Something Other Than Beyoncé)?  Simi Dosekun 2012 Post-Feminist Never and Minna Salami’s 2010 post ‘On Being An African Feminist’?

She missed the 4th  African Feminist Forum  AFF held in April this year. Can’t blame her. Google it. It got only one mention from the news media. Maybe if the participants had taken off their clothes someone would have noticed.

The patriarchy controls the image we have of feminism. Whether you are an African, a European or an American woman. The stories that are news about ‘feminism’ are the outrageous ones, the ‘body shaming’ and ‘victim blaming’ ones.

A parade in 1968 saddled American and later global feminism with the ‘bra burning myth’ and in a few decades our grand daughters may well reject feminism because of how the media portrays Pussy Riot, Femem and yes, Beyonce.

The Patriarchy uses religion and sexist stereotypes to manipulate our images of feminism and women in general and of African feminisms and women more specifically.

The Patriarchy snuck in with the missionaries and shamed African women into covering up our Brown Skin and renouncing our sexual agency.

The Patriarchy makes us ask a woman to ‘cover up’ instead of making men responsible for their actions or questioning ‘The Male Gaze’ bestowed on African men.

The Patriarchy promotes the myth of a black hyper sexuality. Do you really think our ancestors were fucking like bunny rabbits just because they were ‘naked’?

We should invite Yemisi to the next AFF. Not to bully her into being a feminist – because she obviously feels bullied – but to enrich her knowledge about the diversity of Nigerian and African feminisms.

A Review of Yemisi Aribasala’s ‘Sister Outsider’ 2: A Woman’s Power

May 12, 2016

 

At first I found Yemisi’s definition of power problematic. She calls Beyonce and Adichie “the freshest, shiniest most intoxicating insignia of global feminine power.” And that’s when I get it. She isn’t taking about feminism at all. She is talking about feminine power. And she probably means Chinweizu’s ‘bottom power’.

What is feminine power? When I think of feminine power I think of the power of the female collective, as historically exercised by the Umuada and Ndiyom in Igbo-Nigeria for instance. However, feminine power is also most popularly associated with ‘bottom power’, that intrinsic fuckability  that all women have and frequently exploit in traditional gendered relations. Feminine power IS NOT feminism.

Minna Salami gives an enlightening post on ‘feminine power’ here.

Feminism is a political struggle against the patriarchy. African feminisms are about dismantling the structures of patriarchy, imperial and home grown. Its nice that celebrities and pop culture figures on both sides of the pond and in both hemispheres are recognising their ‘feminine power’ and calling themselves feminists but its not always feminism.

Still its great for consciousness raising. The 70’s were the last time feminism had this much media attention. And this time its global.

Yemisi’s obsession with fuckability also becomes clear. She, like so many of the men she calls friends seem to have been pussy whipped by the women in their lives and are resentful and intimidated by this new white man’s version of fuckability and the ‘immodest’ women that are not afraid to exploit it.

Reading her essay I could feel her torment as an awkward clumsy teenager  surrounded by fuckability but who hasn’t been there? We were all ugly ducklings till we became swans. Which woman hasn’t struggled with self image? Even the most blindingly fuckable have and do. The pressure of fuckability is a feminist issue.

That’s when she confuses me. She talks about feminist issues and uses feminist language to denounce and reject feminism but keeps mixing it up with feminine or woman power. And its that association between ‘feminine power’ and feminism that seems to put her off. She sounds nostalgic for the good old days when feminists were plain frumpy odd balls.

She sees this New Nigerian Feminism as consolidating an already overbearing feminine power. Now that I get her point (and I kept wondering what her point was) I just want to say – is that what you think?

As an ‘old school’ Nigerian Feminist I am delighted to witness the growth of this New Nigerian Feminism. I am delighted to see so many young women identify as feminist. Identification with feminism is related to outcomes like where their support and donations goes. And if there is one thing that we need is more support for feminist causes – like the Mirabel Centre.

This new feminism is also inspiring grass roots action. The outrage and action  against domestic violence and rape in Nigeria has never been louder or bolder.

 

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Supreme Court Uphold’s Women’s Inheritance Rights in Igbo Nigeria

April 25, 2016
The Supreme Court on Monday, April 14, voided the Igbo customary law, which denies daughters inheriting their fathers’ estate. The Supreme Court said it was discriminatory and in conflict with the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
It is a verdict that would have far-reaching effects in addressing a dehumanising tradition, which can no longer be excused in a modern, democratic society such as ours. It is a practice that regarded women as lower than men.
The judgment was given in a family dispute between Gladys Ada Ukeje, who was disinherited from the estate of her deceased father, Lazarus Ogbonna Ukeje. She sued her step-mother, Mrs. Lois Chituru Ukeje and her son, Enyinnaya Lazarus Ukeje.
A Lagos High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court all reached the same decision. They confirmed that Gladys was qualified under the laws of Nigeria to inherit her father’s estate. The verdict should settle this matter forever in favour of all daughters in all corners of the country to claim their birthright, which they had been denied.
Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour, who read the lead judgment stated, “No matter the circumstances of the birth of a female child, such a child is entitled to an inheritance from her late father’s estate. Consequently, the Igbo customary law, which disentitles a female child from partaking in the sharing of her deceased father’s estate, is a breach of Section 42(1) and (2) of the Constitution, a fundamental rights provision guaranteed to every Nigerian”.

All About Chidimma #Wivesonstrikebcos

April 8, 2016

There is a hotel in the Village on the way to the stream; at least it calls itself a hotel. It’s a small concrete bungalow with a tin roof and a concrete courtyard.  An dented oil drum sits at the corner of the building to catch rain water. Dingy curtains cover the open windows and doors. Outside a big signboard says ‘Sunrise Hotel’ above badly painted pictures of green beer bottles and a goat head. At night red and blue light bulbs glow surreally in the surrounding darkness like Christmas lights.

Chidimma passes the hotel on her way to the stream every day. It looks modern and inviting in a village of mud huts and colonial buildings.  She wants to go in and maybe stay in one of their rooms. The hotel rooms she sees in Drum magazine have nice beds with head boards, closets and bedside lamps, not like the iron bed she sleeps on in a stuffy room with clothes hanging on pegs in the wall lit only by a dim kerosene lamp.

She asks her half-sister Eunice if they can stay there.

(You can read the rest here. And please drop a comment. Help me win The Wink Challenge. 😉 )

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Living Under the Patriarchy: Burying A Husband

March 8, 2016

My best friends husband died recently. He was from Oginibo in Delta state, an Urhobo. She is from Eket in Akwa Ibom state, an Ibibio with a Russian mother. It is easier to get from one to the other by boat through the creeks. We had planned a regatta for her traditional wedding. I guess thats never going happen now.

He died. Just like that. He was 52. Kidney failure they said. Most of us didn’t even know he was sick. I haven’t seen my best friend in awhile. Life. You know how it is. I only heard he was in the hospital a week before he died. When I heard I felt a worm of fear. He wasn’t the type that went to the hospital. If he had a headache he took paracetamol. If it persisted more than a week he took something for malaria. He was a big hardy stoic kinda guy.

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Daniel Mowoe Opuama (17 September 1963 –  23 February  2016)

According to Urhobo tradition he had to be brought back to his ancestral village for burial even though he never lived there. Even though his wife and children had only visited the place once in the 16 years they were together. Even though he told his wife during one of those conversations he wanted to be buried wherever he lived. Even though she is the next -of-kin. Even though this is the 21st century.

So off on a 448km journey to Oginibo we went last Friday. Oginibo is 17 km SE of Warri somewhere in the Delta near the Forcados River. A google search isn’t very helpful. There are no population figures for the place and it isn’t actually named on google maps. One site said it has a ‘small population’. I came across a picture of their town square. Real native country.

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Oginibo Town Square (Source Oginibo Community Facebook Page)

When Delita, The Duchess, heard the burial was to be in Urhobo land and not in Abuja as previously proposed she went into a panic.

“Maya, I heard all sorts of horror stories. I heard they will lock you up in a room for 3 months and make you shave your hair!”

Many other friends warned that the natives would use the opportunity to milk the bereaved family. They told horror stories of their own. Stories of shake downs, blackmail and child napping. It cost a lot to bury a man. (Every where in Africa it costs less to bury a woman.) Apparently the Urhobo have a taste for expensive burials.

“They will ask you how your husband died.” Maya’s mother-in-law tried to reassure us. We didn’t know what to think but it seemed easier to let it go and bury him where ever his kinsmen wanted.

It was like planning a invasion. Money is tight so we decided we weren’t going to feed or water the natives. None of our business. We did some research on Urhobo and tribal jurisprudence. A ray of hope emerged – Maya and Dan never had a wedding under tribal laws! They got married in the registry. If the natives tried to impose any repugnant widowhood practices we would remind them of that.

While Maya’s kinsmen could not formally attend her brother would come to represent and protect her. Max our brother from another mother was also coming. A woman’s greatest protection in her husbands house is her own kinsmen. Thats why no one wants their daughter to marry far away. How else could they keep an eye on her and ensure her husband didn’t sell her into slavery or abuse her. Or something.

We also called in some favours with a brother in law for some heavy calvary. Just in case.

The drive down to Warri was pretty uneventful. We spent the night in Warri and ate bang soup for dinner. The Jubilee Conference Centre where we stayed was built two years ago. The Catholic Bishops of Nigeria decided they wanted to hold their conference in Warri but there was no hotel good enough for them so they just built their own.

The drive from Warri to Oginibo was like a time warp. The jungle just got thicker and thicker and the roads narrower and narrower with each kilometre. Our men were late joining us and we had to leave the morgue without them.

I called Max.

“Max, where are you? We’re on our way to Oginibo.”

“Still waiting for our car.”

“Max. You people can’t do this to us. You have left three women and two children to go into the jungle to face the natives. You guys need to catch up. NOW. please.” I sounded calmer than I felt.

“Where’s the calvary? Weren’t they supposed to meet us along the way? Where are we sef?” Maya asked.

Compulsively I reeled off the names of each community we passed – Ovwian, Ukpedi, Jeremi, Ayagha, Imode. And invoked all the deities I knew – OkwaraAgu, Ezenwanyi, Amadioha, Jesus, God. Angel Gabriel, and Michael.

We arrived Oginibo and the deceased’s homestead escorted and surrounded by natives speaking in Urhobo. Then they said we should come in for a family meeting. We sat down in the hall while the natives argued. Ever so often they gestured towards Maya. It was pretty obvious what they were arguing about. I chided myself. Why didn’t I think of bringing along an interpreter!

“Please we are educated.” one elderly woman said to the squabbling men in English.

“Hian.” I thought to myself.

Then the call came.

“Madam, this is Captain So So and So with the Nigerian Army. What is your location please?”

Our calvary had arrived! Within minutes three Hilux trucks arrived with over 30 soldiers and took up strategic positions around the compound. We sat in the hall, relieved but still pensive and waiting. Their arrival seemed to bring out a couple more natives who walked in authoritatively, greeted us ever so briefly and said something to the squabblers that seemed to escalate the discord briefly before walking out again. Later we learnt they came and stopped what was indeed an attempt to make Maya undergo some sort of trial by ordeal.

Then I looked up and there was Max and Yuri standing in the doorway! Our men had arrived. They must have broken all speed limits to get there so quick. Sometimes relief is spelled M-E-N. The mood changed. Drinks, kola and money were brought out and presented in welcome. Women do not deserve a formal welcome.

It was smooth sailing after that and the burial proceeded without further ado. No repugnant demands, no strange and demeaning widowhood practices. They invited us back to the homestead for entertainment but we declined. The Army escorted us all the way  back to Warri and we high tailed it to Benin City to spend the night before departing for Abuja the next morning.

Mission accomplished. Thank you father. We are grateful.

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Still Talking About Rape, Sexual Assault & Trafficking

December 2, 2015

When I think of the millions of young girls and women that have been and are being abused – sexually and physically – I get so angry.

Sexual abuse of children and young people destroys lives.

They will have sex eventually, allow them grow up and understand what its about first nah!

All those apologists that blame the rape victims even when they are children – I have no words for you.

if you think its okay for any reason what so ever I have no words for you – except to advice you to block ya’self now now.

I cannot even open my mouth to say – don’t call me if they rape your 6 year old. Because if you do I will still fucking answer and defend that child.

But I will finish you.

All these cretins questioning another’s experience of sexual assault don’t realise they only condemn themselves. You’re projecting onto Sugabelly YOUR values, beliefs and motives.

What you accuse her of is what YOU think. It would be so much better if haters and critics shut it for a bit. Everything you say says more about you than the person you accuse.

Don’t you get it? Can’t you see? Don’t you understand?

You have no proof she is a gold digger but YOU ARE by the confession of your mouth. That is YOUR mind you expose, not Sugabelly’s!

And you get upset when I call you morons? Dumb ass!

You say she wanted to marry you by all means? No, you fucking arrogant sack of shit! Thats what you think, that girls with you want to marry you by all means! Chick said she loved you.

All the men and women asking why she went back – tell me , swear to me that you are not in an abusive relationship yourself and refusing to walk away.

You think abuse is only when there is blood, gore and bullets? You don’t know that verbal abuse is also abuse? You haven’t heard of emotional abuse? And financial abuse?

Google it. You’ll even find a quiz in case you are still not sure.

Why you haven’t walked away from that dude/chick that berates and belittles you like say you be small pikin? You don’t know thats ‘abuse’?

Don’t you know that rejecting food, the ‘silent treatment’ and withholding economic privileges are abusive, manipulative and coercive? Why haven’t you walked away?

You didn’t know you were being abused when you caught your spouse cheating and they denied it categorically? Like say you no see wetin you see. Its called ‘gas-lighting’. You can google it.

You don’t see it as abusive when a spouse cheats and ask the other – what can you do about it? Why you no leave? Why you no leave that time he slap you?

If your understanding of ‘abuse’ is a single physical and violent incident you are being wilfully blind to a range of continuous psychological abuse that is always present in abusive relationships.

There are indeed degrees of abuse – but its all ABUSE. How healthy is your relationship? Why aren’t you walking away? You can tolerate this but not that? Are you okay? You dey hear ya’self? Abeg get real.

I remember being that age. I remember being romantic, naive, intense and more than a little bit needy and insecure – like any normal teenager – I’m glad I didn’t meet a fucking psychopath.

My only thought as I read her story was – there but for the grace of god go I……

#Sugabelly

DEMAND FOR THOROUGH AND URGENT INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF PROF. CYRIL OSIM NDIFON OF THE FACULTY OF LAW, UNIVERSITY OF CALABAR FOR RAPE AND OTHER OFFENCES

September 17, 2015

September 14, 2015.

The Commissioner of Police,

Cross River State Command,

Calabar.

Dear Sir,

DEMAND FOR THOROUGH AND URGENT INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF PROF. CYRIL OSIM NDIFON OF THE FACULTY OF LAW, UNIVERSITY OF CALABAR FOR RAPE AND OTHER OFFENCES

Introduction

We are alumni of the Faculty of Law, University of Calabar, Calabar. We are all barristers and solicitors of the Supreme Court of Nigeria and are spread throughout Nigeria and well beyond. Professor Cyril Osim Ndifon, the disgraced and suspended Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Calabar, was one of our law lecturers. He taught us the course Nigerian Legal System sometime in the year 1999.

We heard with alarm the allegation that Professor Cyril Osim Ndifon raped Sinemobong Ekong Nkang, one of his students, following her refusal of his sexual overtures. While we know that by section 36 (5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), a presumption of innocence inures in favour of anyone accused of having committed an offence, we note with dismay that the allegation is all too familiar and is an enduring theme of the over two-decades-old academic career of Prof. Ndifon. Ndifon’s victims number in the hundreds, if not thousands. Our own class, which is approximately 200-stong, teems with victims of his intimidation, sexual harassment and sexual predation.

The Facts of the Rape

Professor Cyril Osim Ndifon had scheduled a test for his 400-level Law of Equity & Trust class to be held on Saturday, August 29, 2015 in one of the halls of the Faculty of Law. The test held as scheduled. Forty minutes into a sixty-minute exercise, he entered the hall and asked everyone to hand in their answer booklets. As invigilators moved from desk to desk collecting scripts, those who were yet to be reached tried feverishly to round up their answers. Professor Ndifon walked up to one of these students, a 20-year-old girl whom he had been admiring for ages, grabbed her script and tore it to shreds, dumping the shreds on her desk. The hapless and totally bewildered girl gathered the shreds and stuffed them into her bag.

About half an hour later, she was on her way out of the faculty building and was bound for her hostel in the company of friends when Prof. Ndifon drove in. He had left shortly after the drama in the examination hall. On seeing her, he asked whether she still had her shredded answer script. Yes, she answered. Prof. Ndifon then asked her to gather them, get a fresh foolscap sheet of paper and go up to his office to copy out her original answers. She went up to his office where she met his secretary and two other persons. She explained her mission and was allowed to sit with them in the outer office to copy out her answers. The Dean’s office is on the first floor.

Shortly thereafter, Prof. Ndifon walked in. He directed her to go to his private office on the second floor so she could use the table there. She had been writing with the answer script placed on her thighs and had been uncomfortable. She gratefully went to his office on the floor above and settled down to work. About five minutes into her writing, Prof. Ndifon walked in with his trademark swagger. He had a glass of wine in his hand. He took a sip of it and, without swallowing it, asked a kiss of her. She declined and continued with her writing.

He went out. About five minutes later, he returned. This time, he locked the door and removed the key from the lock. To put the girl’s mind at ease, he told her he wanted to work and could do without distractions. He sat on his chair and seemed to be working when he suddenly stood up, walked up to the girl and solicited for a kiss. Again, the girl turned him down. He seemed to take her rejection in his strides and told her to go on with her writing. However, he remained restless. A few minutes later, he planted himself before her and tried to force her to drink his wine. When she again refused he poured some of it into his mouth and tried to force a wine-laden kiss on her. The girl fought him off, causing some of the wine to spill on the floor and on her clothes.

Determined to have some reward for his exertions, he dragged her from her seat to the settee a few metres away and told her pointblank that he wanted to have sex with her. She told him that she would not have sex with him. He tried to forcefully undress her. She screamed. With no one answering her screams, he undressed himself and fetched a condom from a shelf in his office. He put it on and, pinning her down, forced his manhood into her body, inflicting a great physical and emotional pain that was as brutal as it was mindless.

While he continued to hurt her, there was a knock at the door. The fellow knocked and went away, the footfall receding. Prof. Ndifon got off the body of his young victim, wore his clothes and helped her into her own clothes. He apologized profusely, telling her that he did not know what had come over him. He opened the door and went out. The girl looked round for her mobile phone so that she could place an SOS call. It was nowhere to be found. She went to the door and tried the handle. It was locked. In her traumatized state, she had not heard him locking it. With nothing to do, she imposed some composure on herself. She had gone there to write her test. She had to follow through as she was anxious not to fail the course of no less a lecturer than the Dean of the Faculty himself.

About thirty minutes later, her nightmare turned the key in the lock and entered. He was carrying a bottle of Guinness Stout which he opened and began to drink out of. He offered it to her but she declined. He tried to force the bottle into her mouth. Some of the drink entered her mouth which she promptly spat onto the floor. He took a swig of the bottle, dragged her close and forced the drink from his mouth into hers. Yet again, she spat it out on the floor.

He flew into a rage and ordered her to undress at the count of three. His victim had not eaten all day. Her ordeal lasted from around 3 to 5pm. She was very exhausted and told him as much. But Prof. Ndifon was having none of it. He counted to three. When his victim refused to obey him, he dragged her to the settee and, suing his knees to pinion her, ripped the zipper on her trousers. She was weak both from hunger and her ordeal and, in tears, pleaded with him to let her be. He was deaf to her entreaties. He told her that she was so great an actress that she could win an Oscar, assuring her he had met many girls like her in the past.

After more struggling, his weary victim was momentarily free. She got down on her knees and pleaded with him to let her go. He simply pushed her down, wore a condom and once again forced his manhood into her body. When he saw that she was at the point of losing consciousness, he got off her body and told her she could go. He offered to drop her off in his car. But she refused his offer. She got dressed and was staggering down the stairs when he caught up with her and asked her to carry his bag to his car. She complied. Only one of his staff was left. He assisted his boss to lock up the Dean’s office after which they drove off in Prof. Ndifon’s car.

By this time, all her friends and course mates who had been waiting for her had all left, except one who refused to leave. According Sinemobong, the said friend saw her

’’…in tears and rushed up to help me. He asked what happened to me, but I could not still put myself together to tell him what happened. I asked him to help dial my mother’s number in my phone, and I narrated briefly what Ndifon did to me. My friend, with the help of a Good Samaritan drove me to the Police Station where I made a written statement”.

The Issues

  1. It is against university regulations for a lecturer to hold a test on a Saturday in a programme that is full time. The law programme is full time;
  1. Assuming that the girl had been guilty of examination malpractice as alleged by Prof. Ndifon, tearing up her answer script was not the proper course of action to take as the university has a clear protocol for dealing with examination malpractice issues.
  1. Assuming that the girl had been guilty of examination malpractice, Prof. Ndifon had no authority whatsoever to forgive her as she broke university rules, not his private rules. In asking her to re-copy the answers on a fresh sheet, he therefore acted ultra vires as a lecturer; and, in covering up a wrongdoing, he fell foul of university regulations. In fact, he broke extant law;
  1. There is no satisfactory explanation for why Prof. Ndifon took the girl from his office as a Dean where there were two or three other people to his personal office as a lecturer– where there was absolutely nobody. The facts reveal that the girl had been carefully chosen as a target;
  1. Prof. Ndifon had previously claimed that his sex with the girl was consensual. Assuming but not conceding that girl actually gave herself to him voluntarily, such consent is invalid at law as a presumption of undue influence inures against Prof. Ndifon considering his position as her course lecturer and also the Dean of the Faculty of Law;
  1. Professor Ndifon has not been accused of anything that is not within his perverse and perverted nature.

Other Crimes

Prof. Cyril Osim Ndifon was a law undergraduate of the University of Calabar in the 1980’s. However, in his second or third year, the University rusticated him for cultism-related activities. He went to the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) where he later obtained his Bachelor of Law degree (LLB) and the University of Jos for his Master of Laws (LLM). We are dismayed that the University of Calabar eventually offered him a position as an academic staff and thus gave him a platform which he used to pursue his mischief for about two decades now.

It is our opinion that based on the character deficit which his rustication typifies; the University should not have employed him. There is thus no doubt in our minds that by its negligence or perhaps even outright refusal to carry out a thorough background check on Prof. Cyril Osim Ndifon, the University of Calabar unleashed an absolute monster on the hapless students of the University in general and students of the Faculty of Law in particular. The University of Calabar therefore shares direct blame in the unfortunate incident of August 29, 2015.

Prof. Cyril Osim Ndifon attended the Nigerian Law School. From our experience, we know that before a law graduate is offered admission by the School, he must fill out a form– which is on oath. Part of the information that the form seeks to elicit is whether the applicant had ever been rusticated from the university and whether he was or had ever been a secret cultist. An applicant who answers those questions in the affirmative is invariably denied admission. Considering that Prof. Cyril Osim Ndifon was offered admission and that he went on to pass out of the School, it is clear that he lied on oath.

Prof. Cyril Osim Ndifon is also an academic entrepreneur albeit in a negative sense. He carries on a thriving money-for-grades trade and habitually solicits for money from students in exchange for grades. In our time, one of his agents was our classmate. He habitually failed students who either refused to bow to his extortionist scheme or yield to his rabid sexual advances.

The Intrigues

Prof. Ndifon is a powerful man. He is a legal practitioner, a professor of law and a Dean of the Faculty of Law. He also has a huge sentimental capital. He is Cross River State’s first (and, to the best of our knowledge, only) Professor of Law. People in the highest echelons of power in the State and beyond are working hard to help him escape justice. They argue that Cross River State will be the loser if he falls from his exalted position. It does not matter to them that his sexual rapacity knows no tribe or tongue.

Prof. Ndifon himself has never been guilty of displaying any ethnic sentiments in his selection of victims. In fact, he has an eclectic taste: whether Igbo or Efik, Ejagham or Ibibio, Yoruba or Ijaw, Yakurr or Yala, everyone is fair game. Besides, it is disingenuous for anyone to suggest that Cross River State can be best served by a serial rapist. No glory can sprout from a foundation of shame and infamy. He is not an asset to Cross River State but rather a heavy liability.

Already, Prof. Ndifon and his proxies have taken to social media, especially Facebook, to plead his case. Firstly, they leaked the identity of the victim by publishing her name and picture; their aim is to traumatize her further into perpetual silence. All previous press reports had withheld the information as to the identity of the victim. Secondly, they have tried to shape the narrative in a way that casts the victim as a morally loose person. But that cannot stand. Even if a lady is a whore, it is no less rape for any man to have sexual intercourse with her without her consent.

Again, Prof. Cyril Osim Ndifon and his sympathizers are piling tremendous pressure on the girl to drop the case. They have also subjected her to threats and intimidation. In fact, her lawyers have taken up the matter of an Army captain who called the victim to threaten her.

Our Prayers

On the strength of the foregoing, we earnestly and respectfully urge on you the following demands:

  1. That you thoroughly, professionally and impartially investigate the case of rape against Prof. Ndifon with a view to charging him to court to answer for his evil. His reputation as a skirt chaser, sexual harasser and rapist is the stuff of legends. For about two decades, the randy academic had blackmailed many female students into hopping onto his infamous table by threatening to frustrate their graduation from the law programme unless they had sex with him. The monster must be quarantined before he does more damage. The reign of impunity must stop.
  1. That you liaise with the Nigerian Law School to investigate Prof. Cyril Osim Ndifon for perjury and to prosecute him for same.
  1. That you bind Prof. Cyril Osim Ndifon over for good conduct to the end that no harm will come to any of the signatories to this petition.

We urge you to ensure that this matter is not compromised or even compounded. As the police often remind us, it is an offence to compound a felony. Rape is not a matter for amicable settlement. Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

The Law Class of 1997,

University of Calabar

Signatories:

  1. Adamade, Odey Simon
  2. Adula, Sampson Adula
  3. Agi, Anne Uruegi
  4. Ajara, Michael Ayambem
  5. Akpanke, Richard
  6. Akunefo, Tony
  7. Amadi, Perpetua
  8. Aniefiok, Tom Sunday
  9. Ariku, Tom
  10. Attoe, Bassey
  11. Damba, CC
  12. Effiom, Nnanke
  13. Ekeng, Edem
  14. Ekpo, Philip
  15. Elezuo, Eziaku
  16. Eyo, Glory
  17. Ibia, Bassey
  18. Igboanugo, Winifred
  19. Inaku, John
  20. Martins, Gloria
  21. Mbu-Ogar, Chris Njar
  22. Nsidibe, Brooks.
  23. Ntui, Panam
  24. Nuesiri, Daniel
  25. Nwosu, Philip
  26. Ofoha, John-Bede
  27. Ondale, Innocent Ondale
  28. Sokolo, Solomon
  29. Ulaeto, Nelson
  30. Unoh, Emenobazi Usetu
  31. Urubulam, Daniel Iyo

Cc:

  1. The Solicitor General, Ministry of Justice, Cross River State
  2. The Director of Public Prosecutions, Ministry of Justice, Cross River State
  3. The Inspector General of Police, Louis Edet House, Abuja.
  4. Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 6 Headquarters, Calabar,
  5. Director-General, Department of State Security, National Headquarters, Abuja
  6. The Vice Chancellor, University of Calabar, Calabar
  7. The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Abuja
  8. The Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, Abuja
  9. The National President, Nigerian Bar Association
  10. The Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association, Calabar Branch, Calabar
  11. The Chairman, Council of Legal Education, Abuja
  12. The Director-General, Nigerian Law School, Abuja
  13. The Chairman, Legal Practitioners’ Disciplinary Committee, Abuja
  14. FIDA, Abuja