By PETER OKUTU
ABAKALIKI—THE Governing Council of Ebonyi State University, EBSU, Abakaliki, weekend, disagreed with Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, of the institution over the reappointment of the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Francis Idike, for another term by the state government.
He stressed that there were no provisions in the 1999 Federal Government Constitution and Miscellaneous Provision Amendment Act Law 2012 that superseded the provision of 1999 and 2011 Ebonyi State University Laws, arguing that the provision on the appointment of serving present principal officers was not in tandem with ASUU-FGN agreement.
He said: “It is the firm position of the Governing Council of this institution that no violence has been done to the laws of Ebonyi State University by action of the present Governing Council on the recommendation of the re-appointment of the present Vice- Chancellor to the visitor of the this great institution.”
The Pro-Chancellor pointed out that the investigation of the Vice Chancellor by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC and other Anti-graft agencies cannot stall the recommendation of the Vice Chancellor for another term in office, describing the allegation of N70 million bribe to the Governing Council by the Vice Chancellor as laughable.
On the 70 years mandatory retirement age, the pro-chancellor said since the Vice Chancellor would be 70 years old in the next 3 years, the institution would find a solution when that time came to avoid any vacuum that might be created when he retires.
“Professor Idike’s case is not the first in the retirement age of appointed VC’s. A former Lagos State University vice chancellor was appointed at the age of 68 years and by the time he clocked 70, he was due for retirement and he retired and another person was appointed, so when we get to that bridge, we will know how to cross it,” he said.
Briefing newsmen in Abakaliki, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, Dr. Igwe Ajah Nwachukwu, said EBSU- ASUU in a letter to the senate, dated October 31, 2012, and signed by the chairman, Dr. Emma Nwakpu, wherein the union protested the recommendation of the re-appointment of the vice chancellor.
Tt would be recalled that the leadership of ASUU had in a letter to the Senate, dated October 31, 2012: “The Academic Staff Union of the University unequivocally strongly condemns in its entirety, any recommendation for the re-appointment of serving principal officers of the university.
“ASUU/EBSU insists that the council should advertise the position and ensure that due process is duly compiled with in line with Federal Government, University Miscellaneous Provisions Amendment Act Law 2012.
“That the Governing Council of the University in advising the visitor in the re-appointment of the principal Officers be properly guided by the Federal Government University miscellaneous Provision Amendment Act 2012 which is in conformity with ASUU FGN 2009 agreement.
“That the recommendation of EBSU Governing Council for the re-appointment of the present serving Principal Officer is a contravention to the Federal Government University Law 2012 and to the extent of its inconsistency, is unacceptable to the congress and should be reversed.
“That ASUU/EBSU Congress also wishes to remind the Governing Council that their recommendation of the re-appointment in EBSU will be acting in isolation of the Federal Government Law 2012.”