"Whoever lies in this Calabar sexual case will go to jail. I will personally make sure that all involved in this shameful act shall be prosecuted and jailed. I am pleading with you, I want justice to be done."
The Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Ohaneye, has said she will ensure those who lie during the ongoing investigation of the alleged sexual assault at the University of Calabar, are prosecuted and jailed.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported how on 14 August, female students of the law faculty held a peaceful rally against the varsity's Dean, Faculty of Law, Cyril Ndifon, whom they accused of sexual harassment, an allegation he denied.
He told this newspaper that the protest was sponsored by lecturers in the faculty who did not like his style of leadership.
The Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Florence Obi, told PREMIUM TIMES that the university management would investigate the allegations but that the students would be required to provide evidence to support their complaints.
Sequel to the probe, the minister in a video seen by PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday, warned parties in the probe.
"Whoever lies in this Calabar sexual case will go to jail. I will personally make sure that all (guilty persons) involved in this shameful act shall be prosecuted and jailed. I am pleading with you, I want justice to be done.
"If you have complaints or anything to talk about concerning this case, head to the panel because the investigation is still ongoing. Go there and lay the complaint but don't lie. Because if you lie, I will make sure you are prosecuted and jailed if found guilty."
This statement was made shortly after the release of a report and audio by Sahara Reporters, which claimed that the minister threatened to jail a female student of the university if her testimony is false.
Speaking further in the video, Mrs Ohaneye urged that the probe be used as "a big opportunity for us to put an end to this numerous sexual harassment or false accusation."
"We must get it right and justice must be done. Whether you are the vice chancellor, whether you are a professor or the student, any of you that lies will surely be prosecuted and jailed, if found guilty," she added.
This is not the first time Mr Ndifon will be in the news for sexual harassment and for allegedly demanding for sex in exchange for awarding grades.
He was previously suspended by the school authorities in 2015, a move upheld by the Industrial court, when the graduating law class of 2004 petitioned the then Cross River State Commissioner of Police alleging that the lecturer raped a 20-year-old law student in his office. He challenged this in court.
His suspension was lifted about a year later under unclear circumstances.
But Gender Advocates have tasked the new minister of women affairs and the vice chancellor of the university to ensure Mr Ndifon is brought to book if found guilty.