The Minister of Education Malam Adamu Adamu on Thursday in Abuja inaugurated committees to investigate the management of 10 universities and polytechnics over allegations ranging from abuse of due process, financial mismanagement to sexual harassment.
The minister said government had received numerous complaints against the governing councils and management of some institutions and resolved to set fact-finding committees to determine the veracity of the claims and give appropriate recommendations.
The institutions included the Federal University Dutsin-Ma, Katsina state, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia state, University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, Federal University Kashere, Gombe state, University of Abuja, FCT and University of Nsukka, Enugu state. Others are Federal Polytechnic, Auchi, Edo state, Federal Polytechnic Oko, Anambra state, Yaba College of Technology, Lagos state and University of Calabar, Cross River state.
The minister said the allegations and counter claims against the institutions “have created mistrust and hostility and hindered the smooth conduct of academic activities to the detriment of students,” saying “this cannot continue and it must not be allowed to liger.”
The allegations include: financial misappropriation, disregard of due process, nepotism and irregularities in recruitment and promotion of staff, corruption, power tussle among council members, sexual harassment and fraud to mention but a few.”
Meanwhile, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to constitute an investigative panel to look into what it described as “resonant impunity” at the Micheal Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike.
At a press briefing in Abuja, zonal coordinator, ASUU-Abuja zone Professor Suleiman Muhammed accused the Vice Chancellor of the institution Prof. Hilary Edeoga of breaching laid down procedures for staff recruitments and promotions.
“How can one explain the show of shame the Professor of botany has displayed in appointing staff without prior university teaching and research experience as lecturers grade one and within a space of one year,” he queried.
The union also accused the VC of unwholesome exploitation of students of the institution, as well as running unaccredited programmes in the university some of which include Chemical Engineering, Environmental Management and Human Resources Management.
“The tenure of the Vice Chancellor of the Micheal Okpara University Umudike comes to an end in March of 2016. He has committed these crimes and created such problems with monumental consequences on the University,” Prof. Muhammed stated.
To this end, ASUU asked President Buhari to constitute a special Presidential visitation panel for Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike to conduct detailed enquiry into the way and manner in which the affairs of the university have been conducted for the past four years.