Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia
The Vice-Chancellor of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike (MOUAU), Professor Francis Otunta, has accused the President of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Mr. ChinonsoObasi of engaging in wild and unsubstantiated allegations to disrupt the peace at the institution.
The NANS president was said to have called for the resignation of the VC barely 10 months after he assumed duties and accused him of corruption, maladministration and incompetence.
But briefing journalists in reaction to the allegations against him, Otunta said the NANS president was acting on a revenge mission and malice having been expelled as a student of AkanuIbiam Federal Polytechnic Unwana during his tenure as rector.
He said Obasi was caught engaging in examination malpractice and after investigation he was found guilty and expelled from the institution. However following the intervention of the then minister of education, Obasi was recalled but “out of shame”, he did not return to the institution.
He said the “concocted statement” from the NANS president should be disregarded because it came from a “malicious liar” who is not worthy to parade himself as the president of a respected association like NANS.
The professor of mathematics also debunked the allegation by one Danladi Isaac of Transparency Group who said the management of MOUAU had dragged him to court over maladministration and inhuman treatment of staff.
He called on security agencies to fish out and punish those behind the malicious statements targeted against him and the management of the institution.
Otunta was accompanied by some members of his management team, including the Deputy VC (Administration), Prof. Joy Nwabueze, insisted that there has never been any misunderstanding in the management to warrant legal action.
But he did not rule out the existence of corruption at MOUAU, saying that it was already in the system before he took over as VC and that he has been battling to eradicate the evil.
To this end the VC said he had set up four committees to look into the various issues that had negatively affected the growth of the university, adding that all he has done was “to begin implementing all regulations.”
Otunta accused his predecessor of introducing academic programmes that were not relevant to the mandate of the institution and were not approved by the National Universities Commission (NUC) hence his administration has taken steps to scrap such new courses like Mass Communication, Philosophy, Peace and Conflict Resolution.
He explained that the affected programmes were introduced by the last administration because of the “unwarranted level of impunity to start programmes not approved by NUC hence when they said close I had to obey because I am a slave to the law.”