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Why NANS insists Umudike VC must resign

Nigerian News Update » Nigerian Newspapers
Vanguard Newspaper
The National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, has given a four days ultimatum for the resignation of the Vice Chancellor of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture (MOUA), Umudike, Professor Francis Otunta over financial misconduct and what it termed, behaviors inimical to the growth of the students.

In a statement signed by its National President, Comrade Chinonso Obasi, it said the VC has been engaged in several fraudulent acts which have led to his being temporarily detained by the police and which have equally led to his being charged to court.

NANS equally gave other reasons why it thought the VC must resign, vowing to submit evidence of gross misconduct by the VC to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

“FURTHER to the call on the Vice Chancellor of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture (MOUA), Umudike, Professor Francis Otunta, to resign his appointment within seven days, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), wishes to set out reasons for the ultimatum and renew the demand.”

“Recall that rising from its fourth National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting at the University of Abuja, NANS resolved to align with the current fight against corruption and all forms of anti-social activities in the country by serving as whistle blowers.”

“In line with that policy direction, NANS at a press conference addressed by the National President, Comrade Chinonso Obasi, GCNS; gave seven days ultimatums to Governor Abiola Ajimobi, to reopen the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomosho, as a first step to addressing the crisis in the institution and the VC of MOUA, Prof. Otunta, to resign from office for issues bothering on gross incompetence, dishonest practices and highhandedness, as well as engaging in behaviours inimical to the academic and proper development of students.”

“While Governor Ajimobi commendably heeded the call by NANS, Prof. Otunta, mounted a high horse and instead of reasonable consideration of the accusations against him, resorted to grandstanding and declaration of war against the NANS President, Comrade Obasi, whom he claimed was expelled from Federal Polytechnic Unwana.”

“Based on the foregoing, NANS wishes to spell out the cases against Otunta, which make him unsuitable to continue to occupy the office of Vice Chancellor and insist on his resignation within a grace period of four working days.”

“Prof. Otunta had while serving as Rector of Federal Polytechnic Unwana, allegedly conspired with four other persons and forged the letter-headed paper of Emma-Ishiagu Int’l Ltd and opened account No. 4110018208 with Fidelity bank with intent to defraud and allegedly obtained the sum of Eighty-One million, Seven Hundred Thousand Naira (N81, 700, 000.00) from the Polytechnic.”

“Prof. Otunta was briefly detained by the police in Abakaliki before a three count charge of obtaining by false pretences, fraud and forgery was preferred against him and four others before a Federal High Court, Abakaliki in suit No. FHC/AI/5C/2015.”

“Within few months of assuming office as VC of MOUA, perhaps to lay the foundation for another commission of fraudulent contract awards for which he is standing trial in court, Prof. Otunta prematurely removed a good number of HODs to cover impunities perpetrated in Computer Engineering.”

“Other nefarious actions taken by the embattled VC include:

*Result upgrading and sexual harassment in Computer Engineering Department, in addition to installing a student as HOD, Computer Engineering, who presently collects N6, 000 each from students while issuing receipts for N2, 000.”

“ *Stopping Senate-approved Post Graduate programmes in some colleges and departments and compulsory payment of N1, 500 for student and staff Identity cards.

*Extortion of N4, 000 from students for MOUAU campus shuttle, compulsory levy of N5, 000 for ICT and taking undue advantage of female students.

*Illegal collection of N2, 500 for online registration of all one hundred level students of Engineering and illegal fronting of engineering students for dubious but selfish objectives by fraudulent academics in Engineering Department.”

“NANS is not only disturbed about the dirty and bushy environment in MOUAU, which is inimical to students health and academic work, but also that in spite of the N4, 000 extorted from students, the transportation system has crumbled, with lack of water and power supply compounding the woes of students.”

“Consequent upon the foregoing, NANS hereby challenges Prof. Otunta to disprove the above allegations, especially the criminal case of forgery and fraud instituted against him at Federal High Court, Abakaliki and show evidence that Comrade was ever expelled from Federal Polytechnic Unwana.”

“We shall in line with our resolve to partner the various anti-graft agencies in the country, forward Otunta’s acts of dishonesty to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and at the end of the grace period of four days, take necessary actions to put effect to our resolution,” it concluded.
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