The University of Nigeria Alumni Association, UNAA, has petitioned President Goodluck Jonathan, over the suspension of Chairman of the Governing Council and Pro-Chancellor, Dr. Emeka Enejere, from office, asking him to institute a full scale investigation into the activities of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Bartho Okolo.
In the petition signed by the National President, Mr. Andrew Oru, the association also appealed to President Jonathan to order the immediate reinstatement of Dr. Enejere as Pro-Chancellor of the university.
Oru recalled a plethora of cases where the vice chancellor awarded contracts for projects in the university without recourse to due process.
He said most of the contracts awarded by the VC were yet to be completed, despite the fact that almost one hundred percent payment had been made to the contractors.
In one instance, he said though N46.703 million had been paid for construction of the proposed Umunkara Street University Secondary School Road, Nsukka, out of the N49.161 million for the project, the job was yet to be completed six months after it was to have been delivered in four weeks.
He also accused the Supervising Minister of Education, Mr. Nyesom Wike, of replacing the Pro-Chancellor with his own lawyer in Rivers State, Mr. Emmanuel Akara, SAN.
Oru alleged that the Pro-Chancellor’s problem arose out of the report submitted to the Supervising Minister of Education by the university’s Governing Council which indicted the Vice Chancellor of monumental corruption and profligacy.
The petition, dated December 20, 2013, read: “Your Excellency, as you can easily discern from the above initial narration, the action of a purported suspension of the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council, without reason and on no available legal authority by the Supervising Minister, runs completely at variance with the avowed adherence to your government’s due process regime and laudable transformation agenda.
“Further shock, the same Minister on December 19, 2013, announced the appointment of one Emmanuel Akara, SAN, who is his own lawyer in Rivers State to replace the Pro-Chancellor.
“We, as responsible major stakeholders and apostles of zero tolerance for corruption in whatever form, are unable to keep to the sidelines and watch the decimation of our dreams as epitomised in the great institution which we have lived to cherish and protect.
“In the light of the above and all other collateral circumstances, we here-in below examine this volatile situation with all sense of responsibility in the context of all extant rules, laws, norms of civility and respect for the visitor.
“Without mincing words, it has practically been a war situation for the number of years that the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Bartho Okolo, has been in charge of the university’s affairs. However, with vast resources at his disposal and his readiness to act with brute force of the military style, his challenges, be they academic staff unions or students or even the previous Governing Council, were simply not his match.
“He simply plundered and roared and every lip remained awed and sealed. It was simply a culture of impunity and naked megalomania and profligacy. Nemesis, however, came calling sometime in April 2013 when Your Excellency, as visitor, and a bona-fide indigene of the academic environment, in apparent pursuit of your famous trnsformation agenda, appointed a well-groomed fresh Governing Council under the captainship of Dr. Emeka Enejere as Pro-Chancellor.
“This appointment, like all other appointments to different offices within the universities of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and in particular, in your capacity as the visitor.
“In the circumstances, we, hereby, respectfully call for the reinstatement of Dr. Emeka Enejere as the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the University of Nigeria, even though we are aware, from enquiries, that he has not even been officially informed of his purported removal as required by law.
“Further, we, hereby, use this medium to invite your intervention to cause the relevant security agencies to institute a full blown investigation into this dark stain placed on your administration’s posturing of good governance and probity.
Want VC Okolo suspended
“Finally sir, we respectfully call for the immediate suspension from office of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Bartho Okolo, to pave way for an undiluted and unhindered investigation of the contents of the ‘offensive’ report of the Governing Council submitted to the Supervising Minister of Education by the purportedly removed Pro-Chancellor,” he said.