Okon Basssey in Uyo
The Vice Chancellor of the University of Uyo, Prof Enefiok Essien has been cleared by the Federal Ministry of Education of sex harassment allegation levelled against him soon on assumption office last year.
Anonymous persons under the aegis of Integrity Group had petitioned on the V-C to the federal government seeking his disqualification from the position on the grounds that he had sexually harassed a female law student when he was the dean, faculty of law.
The investigative panel constituted by the federal ministry of education on the issue said in its report that; “there was nothing to show that Prof. Enefiok Essien was charged or joined in any case relating to love overtures. There was no complaint from the university relating to the allegation.”
The report also cleared Essien of allegations of forgery, manipulation of the selection to the office of the vice chancellor, as well as that of “tension and uneasy calm in the university.”
“Based on the broad-based support for the new vice chancellor, the federal government is advised to accord him all the necessary support for the development of the university. On the petitioners being faceless, the federal government is strongly advised to discountenance the petitions”, the panel recommended
Members of the panel equally urged the federal government to reprimand the former vice chancellor, Prof. Comfort Ekpo for writing malicious and vindictive report concerning the process leading to the selection of the incumbent vice chancellor.
According to the Vice Chancellor, since he assumed the mantle of leadership of the institution, there was no incidence of sexual harassment or sex-for-marks in the university as any such infraction would be instantly dealt with by the disciplinary mechanism within the university.
“I encourage student s to report any infringement on their rights; so there is no question as to how we manage sex-for-marks because we are not managing it since it doesn’t exist. I want to make the University of Uyo look like a world class university in terms of physical infrastructures and staff composition. It is the foreign staff that improves the rating of any university,” Essien said.
Essien explained that under one year of his administration, the institution has enjoyed peace and tranquility with no disruption of academic calendar which used to be the norm in the university.
He however lamented that the shortfall in government allocation has forced the university to pay incomplete salaries and allowances to the staff. “But the staff has seen the records what the university used to collect last years and what we are collecting this year. I have been that transparent and frank with them. That is why there has been not strike because I also collect incomplete salary,” he added.