Police Investigation Frees UNICAL Law Dean of Rape Allegation

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The Dean of Law Faculty, University of Calabar, Cross River State, Professor Cyril Ndifon that was accused of raping a law student in the faculty, Sinemobong Ekong Nkang and subsequently suspended has been exonerated from the alleged offence by police investigation.

According to a Police Investigation report  obtained by THISDAY,  and signed by Assistant Superintendent of Police Babatunde Lasisi, 2i/c Force Gender  Unit, Force Headquarters, Abuja, three findings were made before recommendation that none of which indicted Ndifon.

They after a painstaking investigation discovered that, “from the totality of evidence adduced by the parties and witnesses, the following were deduced: they are

·  That the evidences of the complainant in this case are incoherent and partly disjointed

· That there is no material evidence to corroborate the testimonies of the complainant and build this offence of rape around the suspect sufficiently; and

·         That penetration which is the crux of the offence of rape was not revealed  by the medical evidence

“In the light of the above, therefore, it is important to restate that in decided authorities, important and essential ingredient of the offence of rape is penetration. Sexual intercourse is deemed complete upon proof of penetration of the penis into the vagina. This is presently absent looking at the medical evidence of examination of the complainant.

“On the other hand, it is a trite in law that for the prosecutor to succeed in a case of rape, the testimony of the complainant requires to be corroborated as a matter of practice.

However, ‘corroborative evidence is no more than evidence tending to confirm, support and strengthen other evidence sought to be corroborated.

In considering whether evidence is corroborative or not , the court must take the evidence as a whole and not piece  by piece and suspicion cannot give such evidence the quality of corroboration, see Ahmed vs Nigeria Army (2011) 1 NWLR (Pt 1227) p.112. There is also no such corroboration to strengthen the evidence in the instant case .

“Having highlighted all these, it is humbly submitted that the case file be duplicated and forwarded to the Force Legal Department for legal scrutiny and advise”.

Part of the 30 point findings in the investigation showed that Nkang was allegedly incoherent while she could not corroborate facts in statement she made at different times on the case.

Also, those who examined her and took her statement noted that she was too calm immediately after the reported incident to have undergone such harassment and that shortly after she was taken by her friends to the police to report the alleged rape, she made a statement and later was handed a form which she filled before she was medically examined by an expert.

“That the voluntary statement of the medical officer revealed that the complainant’s clothing was intact, no sign of rumpling nor torn pant and she was calm as she gave her stories.

“That the medical report revealed that upon examination of the complainant, there was no bleeding part of her body,  no laceration, abrasions nor bruises on her body. On vaginal examination, her panties were not stained, normal female external genitalis observed, no abrasion, bruises, no laceration. There was no hyperemia to show forceful penetration within her vulva and pineal region including her anus.

“That the voluntary statement of the medical officer who examined the complainant revealed an impression of query sexual assault to rule out pelvic inflammatory disease.

“That the statement of the complainant at the police station is completely at variance with her recent statements at the state CID, Calabar and Gender Unit of Force Headquarters, Abuja respectively”, the report said.

Part of the doubts raised by the report was the claim of the alleged victim that when her attacker held her down and removed her panties, he put on a condom and there was a knock at the door which he went to check and returned to put on another condom before he penetrated her, even when the environment was a busy one where students and workers trooped in and out.

However, since the alleged offence took place in Calabar, the report recommended returning the file to the Attorney general of the state for advice and decision on whether a charge could be filed.