The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt, Profesor Ndowa Lale has for a second time, suspended the former dean of students’ affairs, Professor Andrew Efemini.
The former ASUU chair in the university was initially suspended by the VC in August 2017 and was recalled a year later.
The reason for the latest suspension might not be unconnected to a letter written by Efemini, calling for Lale’s sack.
Efemini, a professor of philosophy of development, had in a letter dated June 21 and addressed to the Pro-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Mvendaga Jibo, accused the VC of “criminally misleading the senate by not providing an approved schedule of fees in federal universities to distinguished members”.
Efemini further noted in the letter that “The directive is that students who are coming into the university should be charged fees not exceeding N45,000 all-inclusive. The circular warned against the collection of acceptance fees. But Prof Lale collected N30,000 as acceptance fee from each incoming student”
“Under Prof Lale’s watch, first-year students are charged approximately one hundred and twenty-eight thousand Naira (N128,000) excluding non-statutory charges at the various faculties and departments.
“Due to Prof Lale’s criminal concealment, Senate and Council have taken decisions to enforce illegal fees on unsuspecting parents and students with very damaging consequences.
“The implication of the excess charges on 1st-year students is that the Senate was misled into forcing 2nd year and 3rd-year students to repeat their classes for inability to pay their fees when the draconian Vice-Chancellor has collected such fees in their first year.
“Prof Lale must urgently be removed as investigations into how much was collected and what he did with these illegal collections are carried out.”
Efemini in his petition also accused Prof Lale of “criminal and deliberate violation of the University Act, abuse of the university law and installing his stooges and surrogates as members of the university governing body.
He noted that: “Armed with his surrogates and cronies; Prof Okey Onuchukwu, Prof Antonia Okerengwu, Prof Femi Shaka and Prof Henry Alapiki, the vice-chancellor proceeded to unleash terror on all dissenting voices. Prof Frank Uguimoh and I suffered from the ruthless abuse of office by Prof Lale and his illegal internal council members.
“Pro-Chancellor Sir, it is obvious that Prof Lale must be urgently removed from office and investigated to save the university from further high handedness and damage”.
Calls and text messages sent to Professor Efemini comments on the matter were not responded, although theportcitynews gathered from reliable sources that the suspension is being challenged in court.
The sources who did not want to be named for fear of being victimised by the VC, told our correspondent that the suspension was illegal, adding that the court will do justice to it.
The latest suit by Efemini adds to the paraphernalia of what inside sources termed the “disastrous policies” of the vice-chancellor after over 2000 students who were denied mobilization for the one-year mandatory youth service won a suit against the VC and the university management at a federal high court sitting in Port Harcourt – a matter the VC has since appealed.