The battle between celebrated Professor of Philosophy at the University of Port Harcourt, Andrew Efemini and the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof Ndowa S Lale seems not to have an end as the Management of the institution has arraigned Efemini (In absentia) and his bricklayer, Richard Nwaogu before a Magistrate Court in Choba, in Obio-Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State for allegedly conspiring to steal three buckets of chippings.
Professor Efemini, who has been a long critic of the VC for running the institution like a ‘military barracks’ and Nwaogu were alleged to have taken three buckets of chippings, and three slabs belonging to the University management to repair the professor’s quarters that was in bad shape within the University premises.
Efemini was not in court to take his plea while the bricklayer who faces a three-count charge for conspiring to steal the university property worth six thousand naira and which is a punishable offence under the criminal code laws of Rivers State, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Our correspondent, Tina Amanda, reports that the presiding Magistrate, Chief Magistrate Isreal Agbaesor, granted the defendants bail in the sum of one hundred thousand naira, and adjourned the case to 11th, 18th, 29th of June and 9th, 21st and 30th of July 2020 for trial.
Counsel to the accused persons, OC HIGHER-KING told newsmen that the charges are laughable and a conspiracy against his client, stressing that he is waiting for the University of Port Harcourt to present their evidence in court that Professor Efemini actually stole the chippings in question.
“They are extremely laughable, the charges that a distinguished professor of philosophy at the University of Port Harcourt stole chippings and slabs to repair University of Port Harcourt official professor’s quarters. The most laughable aspect of it is that this is the duty of the management of the school to repair the official quarters.
“Professor Efemini has been spending millions repairing the quarters over the years and at the time of the recent repair, he was not in town, he engaged the service of a mason man by name Richard Nwaogu inside the campus, paid the mason man with his hard-earned money for the repairs.
“The mason man went outside the campus, bought chippings and cement blocks to do the work. Along the line, the mason man saw a slab lying along the University quarters and used it, they arrested and brought him to court that the mason man and professor Efemini stole slabs.
“We are waiting for them for proofs. We are not settling this matter. They must produce their evidence in court. We have all the receipts running into millions of naira that professor Efemini has spent in repairing University property.
“I am not going back on this case, they will regret ever bringing these charges against them. Their collaborators, especially the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Ndowa Lale, he is going to regret because this his plot has backfired”
Counsel to University of Port Harcourt declined to speak on the matter.
Recall that Professor Andrew Efemini recently took legal actions against the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt, Professor Lale and management of the University before a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt over unlawful increment of school fees, illegal suspension and misappropriation of University’s funds.