What’s Going On: Nigerian Students protest professor with history of sexual assault & more

News headlines from Nigeria, Niger, Madagascar and Tunisia.

“What’s Going On” Tallies Notable News Headlines From Across The Continent — The Good, The Bad, And The Horrible — As A Way Of Ensuring That We All Become A More Sagacious African Generation. With This Column, We’re Hoping To Disseminate The Latest Happenings In Our Socio-Political Climate From Across The Continent, Whilst Starting A Conversation About What’s Important For Us To All Discuss. From Political Affairs To Socio-Economic Issues, ‘What’s Going On’ Will Discuss Just That.


Female students of the faculty of law at the University of Calabar, Cross River State have demanded the immediate removal of the Dean of the faculty, Prof. Cyril Ndifon for allegedly sexually harassing them. In a viral video, the students protested, carrying placards with inscriptions such as, “Prof Ndifon, let the girls with big breast breathe. Stop suffocating us.”

There are reports that Ndifon was accused of raping a student in his office in 2016. After a preliminary investigation by the university, he was suspended. In 2022, he was reinstated by the school and this has sparked anger with students, parents and organisations questioning the reinstatement and promotion of the dean.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Florence Obi, told news authorities that she and the faculty of law management have discussed the development and would investigate the allegations against Ndifon but that the students would be required to provide evidence to back up their complaints. “When you are talking about sexual harassment, you need more than accusation,” she said.

Many young Nigerians, some of whom have dealt with or witnessed this type of abuse of power in educational institutions, are showing their solidarity across social media. Social justice organisation Stand To End Rape (STER) Initiative threw their support behind the students and called on “the school authorities to immediately suspend Prof. Cyril Ndifon and carry out an investigation devoid of witch-hunting of witnesses. If found guilty, he should not only be relieved of his duties but also be charged by [the Nigeria Police].”



Niger’s military junta has revealed it will prosecute deposed President Mohamed Bazoum for treason. This comes hours after a group of Nigerian Islamic scholars who met Niger’s coup leader said the coup leaders agreed to hold direct talks to ensure an end to the political turmoil in the country. A spokesman for Niger’s military announced that Bazoum was charged with “high treason and undermining the internal and external security” of the country.

Since the Abdourahmane Tchiani-led band of security operatives overthrew Bazoum three weeks ago, the world’s attention has been tuned to Niger as the fate of the country hangs in the balance. While some of Niger’s citizens support the coup leaders, African and foreign leaders have criticised them and called for the reinstatement of the detained president. 

The United Nations and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) condemned the announcement about Bazoum’s prosecution. “It represents yet another form of provocation and contradicts the reported willingness of the military authorities in the Republic of Niger to restore constitutional order through peaceful means,” it said in a statement.  The United States, through State Department spokesman Vedant Patel, has also condemned the decision, saying, “This action is completely unwarranted and unjustified and candidly, it will not contribute to a peaceful resolution of this crisis. It is a further affront in our opinion to democracy and justice and to the respect of the rule of law and a threat like this underscores the urgency of respecting the constitutional order in Niger.”



The Chief of Staff to the President of Madagascar and her associate have been charged with bribery offences following an operation by the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA) operation.  Madagascan Romy Andrianarisoa, 46, and French National Philippe Tabuteau, 54, are suspected of seeking a bribe to secure licences to operate in Madagascar from Gemfields, the UK mining company that first raised concerns to the NCA.  According to reports, the sums they were seeking amounted to CHF 250,000 (approximately £225,000) in upfront charges, as well as a 5% equity stake.

Andrianarisoa and Tabuteau were arrested in the Victoria area of London on Thursday afternoon, at a meeting where they are suspected of having attempted to solicit a bribe.  The operation was conducted with cooperation from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). “The CPS made the decision to authorise charges after reviewing a file of evidence from the NCA relating to allegations of bribery,” said Joanne Jakymec, Chief Crown Prosecutor for the CPS.

“Criminal proceedings against Ms Andrianarisoa and Mr Tabuteau are active and they have a right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.” Andrianarisoa and Tabuteau could each face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.



Five people are dead and seven others are missing after a migrant boat sank off Tunisia’s port city of Sfax on Monday. According to officials, among the dead was a child. Sfax is the starting point for most attempts to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Italy.

Twenty-three migrants were rescued out of 35 people on board, most of them Tunisians and a “small number of sub-Saharan nationals,” said Faouzi Masmoudi, a Sfax court spokesperson. ABC News reports that the Sfax court opened an investigation to determine the cause of the accident, which occurred two days after another migrant boat sank off Gabes, a port in southeastern Tunisia, about 150 kilometres (93 miles) from Sfax, killing a child and a 20-year-old man. Five other people remain missing.

These tragedies happen due to thousands of Tunisians setting sail in search of a better life in Europe. Since the beginning of 2023, they have represented the fourth nationality among migrants who landed in Italy, behind Ivorians, Guineans and Egyptians, according to Italian statistics.