Posted by News Express | 10 January 2014 | 4,290 times
Facts have emerged on why the Federal Government suspended and later dismissed Sir (Dr.) Emeka Enejere as Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council of the University of Nigeria (UNN).
News Express learnt was made to suffer that fate following evidence that he was polarising the institution, ignoring the instructions of the Ministry of Education as well usurping the role of university management, as he became an Executive Chairman.
“Enejere in particular disregarded the instructions of the Supervising Minister of Education, Barrister Nyesom Wike, to pay the N1.9b earned allowances of university staff as he had taken over the University Bursary,” a competent source close to UNN told News Express. “University of Nigeria paid the allowances from December 20, 2013 following the removal of the Pro-Chancellor. The refusal to pay earned allowances made the Ministry of Education and the Vice-Chancellor look bad before staff of the University and was even one of the complaints of staff,” the source added.
A UNN alumnus, Enejere also taught in the institution, leaving as Lecturer 1. An indigene of Nsukka, he was appointed in April 2013. Since his appointment, suspension and dismissal, the hitherto calm UNN has been embroiled in turmoil. Host communities of the institution have led protests to the school four times, demanding that UNN management led by Prof. Bartho Okolo, the Vice-Chancellor, should provide power and water to them. Similarly, factions of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and other unions are demanding the resignation of the Vice-Chancellor on the strength of an alleged probe by the Governing Council that the supervising ministry of education has yet to acknowledge.
News Express learnt that the Federal Ministry of Education considered Enejere’s chairmanship of the Governing Council as disruptive. “The last straw,” according to a source, “was a demonstration by one of the host communities on December 2, 2013 witnessed by a Federal Government representative on the Council. Her report indicted the Chairman of Council as it showed that the demonstration was sponsored.”
Records at UNN show that Enejere as Pro-Chancellor unilaterally cancelled and suspended appointments/promotions in the university, a function outside the scope of University Council.
In a memo copied to the Registrar and Controller Personnel Services, Enejere had asked UNN Management to “take note that with effect from the inauguration of Governing Councils of Universities on April 9, 2013 by the Honourable Minister of Education, Professor Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufai, any employment or appointment not brought before the Council for prior consideration and approval is null and void.”
In consequence, the appointments of two Deputy Vice Chancellors have yet to be confirmed as well as other key staff of the institution.
The UNN Governing Council under Enejere also awarded contracts and instructed either the University Registrar or Bursar to implement, News Express learnt. According to one source, “The refusal of the Bursar, Mrs. Chinwe Obi, to honour those instructions she deemed ‘unusual and not in line with procedure’, fetched her suspension from the Chairman of Council who personally supervised her evacuation and handover from 9pm to 2am on the day of her suspension.”
ASUU and some other unions at UNN have been fighting for the return of Enejere as chairman of Council, abusing the Honourable Minister of Education whose ministry initially recommended Enejere and who recommended his sack.
•Photo shows former UNN Pro-Chancellor, Sir (Dr.) Emeka Enejere.
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