The University of Port Harcourt chapter of the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) has accused the institution’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ndowa Lale, of allegedly mobilizing students to invade its congress on Wednesday at the school campus.
ASUU also accused the VC of plot against members of the union.
This is just as Student Union Government of UNIPORT had disrupted the meeting on ASUU in the school and sealed off the premises over the fear that the academics were meeting to embark on strike.
The body which spoke in Port Harcourt yesterday also called for immediate reinstatement of a sacked lecturer in the Department of Fine Arts and Design, Prof. Frank Ugiomoh, who was accused of meddlesomeness.
The Chairman of ASUU, Uniport, Dr. Austen Sado, in a statement titled, ‘Scourge of Despotism and Impunity in the University of Port Harcourt, described the termination of the appointment Ugiomoh as unjust and illegal.
He stated that the management of the institution had mobilised the students to molest the ASUU members.
Sado said: “We regret that the Vice-Chancellor has forced us to make public the embarrassing state of despotism and impunity that has characterized the university since his assumption of office in 2015.
“Against all hope, we have wished and relentlessly worked for sense of responsibility and democratic tenets in the administration of the university.
“The case of the termination of the appointment of Prof. Frank Ugiomoh by the University is among the many display of recklessness and abuse of power in the University of Port Harcourt under the present Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ndowa E.S. Lale.”
The ASUU chair in the University noted that the union had made efforts to ensure that the issues were resolved, but regretted that its reports and efforts were treated with disdain.
In his words: “Since the illegal and unjust purported termination of the appointment of Prof. Ugiomoh, our Union has made conciliatory efforts to de-escalate the cloud of tension hanging over the University created by the tendentious acts of the Vice Chancellor.
“As part of conciliatory efforts, a committee of eminent scholars two of whom are emeritus professors was constituted to engage the administration and the Governing Council of the university towards a resolution, but the Vice Chancellor had other ideas.”
He, however, called on relevant bodies and well-meaning individuals to call the VC of the university to order, noting that act of professional misconduct must be established before a lecturer would be sacked.
Sado further expressed worries that the VC of the institution had alleged refused to worked with Budget Monitoring Committee, to ensure that funds for projects in the university were judiciously used.
He called on relevant bodies to observe the development in the university, claiming that projects do not meet standards process of execution.
He added: “The Vice-Chancellor has unilaterally rejected the nomination of the ASUU of the schools to work in the budget monitoring department. In the last three years the Vice-Chancellor has refused a budget monitoring committee in the university.”
Meanwhile, in a swift reaction for the management of the university of Port Harcourt, the spokesman of the university, Dr. William Wodi, described the claims of ASUU as false, adding that the decision on the termination of the appointment of Prof. Ugiomoh was taken by the Governing Council of the institution and not the Vice-Chancellor.
Wodi noted that the termination of the appointment of Ugiomoh was carried out by the governing council after thorough investigation, which proved that the accused had interfered in a departmental issue that did not concern him.
He also denied that the Vice Chancellor of the institution mobilised student to disrupt the meeting of ASUU, adding that Lale had always support programmes of ASUU in the university.