The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) has strongly criticized the Minister of Women Affairs, Barrister Uju Kennedy Ohanenye, for her alleged involvement in the ongoing investigation of Prof. Cyril Osim Ndifon, the suspended Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Calabar.
FIDA deems her actions “shocking and greatly disappointing,” particularly in her treatment of survivors involved in a sexual harassment scandal.
In an official statement acquired by the Legal Attorney Blog, FIDA emphasized that Minister Ohanenye, by her professional responsibilities and ministerial role, must lead efforts to safeguard women from all forms of abuse.
This includes supporting victims of sexual and gender-based violence and encouraging them to break the culture of silence and seek justice.
- Proposed Amendments To The Practice Direction of ACJA 2015: FIDA-ABUJA.
- INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF WOMEN LAWYERS (FIDA) AFRICA.
- FIDA (NIGERIA) ABUJA BRANCH INAUGURATES STUDENT-ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP.
FIDA, represented by its Country Vice President/National President, Mrs. Amina Suzanah Agbaje, has unequivocally condemned the alleged sexual harassment of female students by Prof. Cyril Osim Ndifon, the embattled Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Calabar, as reported in various news outlets.
The organization firmly denounces these acts as vile and destructive, asserting that they must be eradicated from educational institutions and society. FIDA emphasized that students attend school to acquire knowledge. They must be nurtured and protected during their learning journey rather than subjected to intimidation or exploitation based on their vulnerability or gender.
FIDA Nigeria expressed fear over the alarming rise in sexual harassment cases targeting female students in tertiary institutions, labelling it as a severe violation of individuals’ fundamental human rights.
These acts constitute a form of sexual victimization driven by unequal power dynamics. The organization pointed out that such actions have been criminalized under the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act of 2015 and Cross Rivers State’s VAPP Law.
FIDA Nigeria strongly condemns the alleged intimidation of students who courageously spoke up about the case involving Prof. Ndifon, which is currently under investigation.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Barr. Uju Kennedy Ohanenye bears a professional responsibility, guided by the expectations of her ministerial office, to lead the effort to protect women from all forms of abuse, including supporting victims of sexual and gender-based violence in their quest for justice.
Therefore, her alleged insensitive handling of vulnerable and possibly traumatized students is deeply disappointing to FIDA Nigeria.
FIDA Nigeria is closely monitoring the situation and remains committed to protecting, promoting, and preserving the rights of vulnerable women and children through legal means.
The organization offers unwavering support to all violence survivors, including those affected by sexual harassment and gender-based violence. They encourage survivors to speak out; their voices deserve to be heard, and justice should prevail.
In conclusion, FIDA Nigeria called upon the government, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), law enforcement agencies, civil society organizations, and the public at large to stand against the growing scourge of sexual harassment and all forms of violence. FIDA Nigeria urged students to stand tall and fearlessly share their truths.
Signed by: Amina Suzanah Agbaje (Mrs.)
Country Vice President/National President FIDA Nigeria.
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