June 16, 2009

Ebonyi varsity parades two fake lecturers

By  Dennis Agbo

ABAKALIKI—Ebonyi State University (EBSU) Abakaliki has paraded two young men, who the authority alleged are fake lecturers in the institution, but the young men insisted that they were former students of the university, who only took voluntary students on tutorials.

EBSU claimed it caught the two men administering quiz to more than 2,500 first year students at three different halls at College of Agriculture (CAS) campus of the university, but the suspects when interviewed said they took students on extra-moral classes on payment of certain fees, but insisted that the students knew they were not lecturers and that the students were never coerced.

One of the suspects, Justus Ogbonnaya, who said that he taught students calculus, quantitative statistics or calculations in Economics, noted that he graduated from the university, last year but was not aware that it was illegal to conduct such lessons in the university, which he does for economic reasons.

Chief Security Officer (CSO) of the university, Mr. Ugo Nwenyi stated that it was illegal and against the school regulations for anybody, much less, external persons, who are not in the employment of the university to extort money from students in the guise of organising lectures and quizzes  for students.

He said that investigation revealed that unauthorized lectures had been going on for some time without being detected because such huge gatherings were usually mistaken for religious programmes, adding that the arrested suspects would be handed over to the police after investigations.

The CSO explained that time ran out on the suspects when the Director of General Studies of the University, Rev. Samuel Odoh alerted the university authority based on a tip off.

Commenting on how he got information about the nefarious activities of the suspects, Rev. Odoh said that he received a phone call from a friend whose wards are students of the university, around 6.30am on Sunday, demanding to know why the school authority fixed quizzes on a Sunday and collected money from them.

“I was so embarrassed, and immediately I decided to come to the venue he had given as AC 16, The Law Auditorium and the Agric Halls. He told me that his wards were demanding for money to come for the quiz. So I went there, after spending a long time there, students started streaming in, up to the point that around 1.30 pm the halls were filled up with students.

“On enquiry, the students told me that they were still expecting those who made the announcement for the quiz that day, which will hold by 2pm. So, one of them identified this two young men when they were coming with their  bags. I quickly went to them and asked them and they admitted that they were there for the quiz,” Rev Odoh narrated.