A probe panel set up by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has stated that due process was followed by the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, in the appointment of Isa Pantami, minister of communication, as a professor of cybersecurity.
The panel was inaugurated by the ASUU chapter of the university at its congress in September to investigate Pantami’s appointment.
Members of the committee were M. S. Nwakaudu (Chairman), G.A. Anyanwu, C. E. Orji, O.P. Onyewuchi and T. I. N. Ezejiofor (member/secretary).
In its report, the panel stated that it interacted with the university registrar, the immediate past chairman, committee of deans, and other stakeholders.
It said the advertisement for academic and academic support staff vacancies in FUTO for the positions of professor, reader, senior lecturer and lecturer appeared in two newspapers on September 21, 2020, and September 22, 2020 respectively, of which Pantami responded and applied for the position of professor of cybersecurity.
“He was given a temporary appointment as Professor of Cybersecurity in the Cybersecurity Department, for which he accepted in writing,” the report reads.
“The prima facie case for Dr. Isa Ibrahim was presented to the Academic Staff Appraisal and Promotion Committee-Professorial (ASAPC-Professorial) meeting held on 17th March, 2021. The Committee discussed the issue and recommended same for approval by the FUTO Council. The Council at its meeting held on the 18th of March, 2021 approved the prima facie case for Dr. Isa Ibrahim to be appointed a Professor of Cybersecurity.
“Following the approval of the prima facie case, Dr. Isa Ibrahim’s publications and productive works were sent for external assessment. The external assessment returned positive and the Council at its meeting of 20th August, 2021 approved his appointment as a Professor of Cybersecurity. He was given a tenure appointment as a Professor of Cybersecurity following his appointment by the FUTO Governing Council.”
The panel therefore concluded that “the appointment of Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami as a professor of Cybersecurity by the FUTO Governing Council followed due process”, and recommended that “the university management should as a matter of urgency take appropriate actions, including legal action, against those who deliberately tried to drag the image and reputation of FUTO to the mud”.