Sexual harassment: Court overrules Ndifon, on no case submission

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By Kenneth Atavti

Justice James Omotosho of the Federal High Court, Abuja has overruled the no case submission made by Professor Cyril Ndifon and his lawyer, Barrister Sunny Anyanwu in the case instituted against them by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

The Commission is prosecuting Ndifon and Anyanwu over alleged sexual misconduct and attempts to perverse the cause of justice contrary to Sections 8, 18 and 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and Section 182 of the Penal Code Cap 532 Laws of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, 2006.

Before the ruling on the no case submission, the second defendant, Barrister Sunny Anyanwu had informed the court of the absence of his counsel and that of the first defendant, Mr. Joe Agi, SAN, just as he prayed for an adjournment.

However, Justice J.K Omotosho held that the ruling on the no case submission would be determined first before the prayer for an adjournment would be heard.

While reading his ruling on the jurisdiction of the court to hear the case, the judge held that Federal High Court has requisite jurisdiction to entertain matters based on the Corrupt Practices Act 2000.

He cited the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Aweto Vs. FRN (2018) saying the powers of the Federal High Court under Section 251 of the 1999 Constitution vested it with exclusive jurisdiction over civil and criminal matters involving federal agencies.

He held that the ICPC is a federal agency and that the first defendant (Cyril Ndifon) is a public officer in a federal institution, hence the Federal High Court has a proper jurisdiction to hear the case.