ASUU, Michael Okpara Varsity may clash over suspension of union leader

Posted by Agwu Okojogho, Umuahia | 19 June 2015 | 4,407 times

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Authorities of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU) in Abia State and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) are now at daggers drawn following the suspension of the chairperson of ASUU in MOUAU, Dr Uzochukwu Onyebinama

The university authority had slammed a suspension on Onyebinama for his alleged indictment by two committees raised by the institution to investigate him

Vice Chancellor of MOUAU, Professor Hilary Edeoga, said the suspension of Onyebinama as a staff of the university was based on the university’s rules of service of the which he (Onyebinama) allegedly breached, as well as on the recommendations of the committees set up to investigate allegations of exam fraud and misconduct leveled against him and not on his role as a union leader.

But, the Owerri zone of ASUU, during its congress at MOUAU last week, condemned the suspension, describing it as callous and called for its immediate revocation. ASUU leaders who graced the meeting, resolved to commence action against the university authority until it reversed the decision.

The Owerri zonal coordinator of ASUU, Professor Ike Odumegwu, who announced the resolution, said the suspending the MOUAU ASUU  chairperson, placing him on half salary and banning him from entering the campus because he sought redress in the court against the university over cases of injustice, were  unacceptable measures.

However, Edeoga insisted that the university has done no wrong. According to him, the suspension of Dr Onyebinama was neither personal nor a war against ASUU, but an action borne out of due process as contained in the university’s rule of service.

The Vice Chancellor explained that Onyebinama did not wait for the outcome of the investigation before rushing to the court which, he said, was against the university’s rule, “You don’t take the university to court, the rule says that if you are suspended you go on half salary.”

He said further that Onyebinama was also guilty of examination fraud for allegedly awarding suspicious marks to students which the senate found abnormal, adding that there were allegations of incompetence and mismanagement against him as the Director of Continuing Education Center (CEC).

He also disclosed that problem developed after Onyebinama was removed as the Director of CEC. “They started writing all sorts of petitions, even against the new Director but I stood my ground that the right thing must be done,” Edeoga said.

According to him, the reports of the panel of investigation into a case of misconduct against Onyebinama and that of the staff disciplinary committee found him guilty of the allegations of “dereliction of duty, abuse of office and deliberate breach of senate guidelines.”

He noted that the committee also found him “guilty of insubordination, total disregard for constituted authority, inefficiency, negligence and dishonesty in the discharge of his official functions,” and recommended his suspension, while the 6-man staff disciplinary committee recommended his dismissal from service after its investigation.

Edeoga said since the matter was in court, ASUU should await the outcome.

•Photo shows MOUAU VC, Prof. Hilary Edeoga.

Source: News Express

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